WASHINGTON, DC – During the unprecedented events and uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), the American Bakers Association, in partnership with more than 60 food and beverage groups, is working with all levels of government to ensure customers and consumers the American food supply is safe and abundant.
“The US food supply remains among the safest in the world,” said Robb MacKie, President and CEO of the American Bakers Association. “Existing regulations, such as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Federal Meat and Poultry Act guide food companies and food and agriculture infrastructure, which are critical during regular “ordinary business” and during times of uncertainty.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not consider COVID-19 to be a foodborne illness. Even so, as a preventative measure, many food companies are increasing the levels of sanitation and ordinary food safety testing beyond what is required by law or any regulatory guideline during this pandemic.
“Recent empty shelves are a result of ‘pantry stocking and preparedness’ and it is advisable to prepare for a week of food supplies, versus a month,” said MacKie. “Despite the surge and because of the strength of the United States’ food system, the supply chain remains solid and transportation is moving food to consumers as quickly and safely as possible.”
The food and agriculture sector has long been designated as a critical infrastructure sector that provides the essential services that underpin American society.
“The unsung heroes who deserve to be celebrated are the approximately 45.5 million people working throughout the food and beverage industry,” added MacKie. “They are working tireless and safely, today and always, to feed the country and the world. We cannot thank them enough.”
To recognize the efforts of the food and beverage industry, ABA and the Food and Beverage Issue Alliance (FBIA), will use a shared hashtag and invite all groups and companies in the food sector to do the same – to honor all of those who are #FeedingUS. As a special way to recognize the nearly 800,000 skilled men and women working in the baking industry, we encourage using the shared hashtag #BakingStrong.
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The American Bakers Association (ABA) is the Washington D.C.-based voice of the wholesale baking industry. Since 1897, ABA has worked to increase protection from costly government overreach, build the talent pool of skilled workers with specialized training programs, and forge industry alignment by establishing a more receptive environment to grow the baking industry. ABA advocates on behalf of more than 1,000 baking facilities and baking company suppliers. ABA members produce bread, rolls, cookies, crackers, bagels, sweet goods, tortillas, and many other wholesome, nutritious, baked products feeding America’s families. The baking industry generates more than $153 billion in economic activity annually and employs more than 799,500 highly skilled people.