The COVID-19 crisis is challenging for everyone, including those involved with producing the food that goes to Canada’s tables. On this page, we outline many resources that farmers can use to better understand this situation and how it affects them.
As always, farmers should consult with their provincial board for more information on how to keep themselves, their families, and their employees safe and healthy and maintain best practices on the farm.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has stated that there is currently no evidence that food is a likely source of transmission of the COVID-19 virus. The World Health Organization has issued precautionary recommendations including advice on the need for all Canadians to follow good hygiene practices during food handling and preparation, such as washing hands, cooking meat thoroughly and avoiding potential cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked foods.
See https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/topics/food-safety.html for more information about food safety at home.
Farmers are encouraged to develop a plan outlining what they will do if someone becomes ill with a suspected COVID-19 case at the workplace/home and communicate with their provincial board offices.
Please keep informed of any emergency measures placed by the community.
Everyone should follow physical distancing and good hygiene practices.
WHAT TO DO WHEN PRODUCERS, FAMILY MEMBERS, OR EMPLOYEES TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?
Self-isolate and stay away from your place of work. As your workplace includes your barns, you must have a contingency plan in place for replacement personnel to care for your birds.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’VE BEEN EXPOSED TO AN INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?
Self-monitor. Avoid crowded places and increase your personal space from others. Consult your provincial board, as well as local health authorities for more information.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU FEEL SICK?
Consult your provincial board, as well as local health authorities for more information.
Individuals with potential symptoms are expected to self-isolate for 14 days with the same conditions as individuals returning from travel outside of Canada.
The COVID-19 pandemic can cause stress and anxiety; it is disrupting to normal life for many people all at once. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has some great resources available if you are feeling unwell.
Ensure workplaces are kept clean and hygienic:
Recently travelled outside of Canada?
Individuals are required to self-isolate for a 14-day period. Producers or other family members and employees may continue their daily work routine if they are able to meet the following conditions:
For more information about Self-monitoring, Self-isolation, and isolation, please refer to:
Please notify your provincial board if any of this applies to you.
Note that some provinces have placed regulations to address provincial border crossings. Please refer to your own province or the province you are visiting for specific information.
Self-monitoring, Self-isolation, and isolation:
British Columbia Centre for Disease Control:
Chicken Farmers of Ontario COVID-19 information:
Retail Council of Canada:
Canadian Federation of Agriculture:
For latest information from WHO on where COVID- 19 is spreading:
Advice and guidance from WHO on COVID-19:
US industry associations have put together a document to address Food Industry Recommended Protocols When Employee/Customer Tests Positive for COVID-19.