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State Guidelines for Dining Halls
Massachusetts Restaurant and Dining Hall Safety Checklist
If you see a health and safety problem, call your shop steward right away.
To see the full MA safety standards for hotels, go to: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/safety-standards-and-checklist-restaurants
Safety standards are available online in Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Arabic, Korean, Vietnamese, Khmer, Gujarati, and Haitian Creole.
- Restructure set-up to encourage outdoor dining as much as possible and strictly limit indoor table service.
- Space tables at least 6 feet apart from other tables and high-traffic areas like routes to restrooms, entrances, and exits. May be positioned closer if separated by protective barriers at least 6 feet high.
- No groups of more than 6 people at one table.
- Reconfigure work spaces to allow at least 6 feet of distance between workers, vendors, and customers. Stagger work stations on either side of a processing line so workers are not face-to-face.
- Set up one-way hallways for foot traffic to minimize contact upon entrance and exit.
- Use tape or paint on the floor to mark 6-foot distance in common areas.
- Designate assigned working areas to workers wherever possible to limit movement throughout the restaurant/dining hall and limit contact between workers (i.e. assigned zones for servers.)
- Stagger break times and start/end schedule times. Allow breaks to be taken outside.
- Limit number of people in elevators or delivery vehicles.
- Require face coverings for all workers and customers, except when an individual is unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability. Customers may remove face covering when seated at a table.
- Improve ventilation wherever possible.
- Provide frequent opportunities for employees to wash hands with soap and water, or provide hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Close buffets, drink stations, and other self-serve stations.
- No reusable menus.
- Condiments, salt & pepper, and similar items should only be provided on request in single-use portions or in containers that are sanitized between use.
- Utensils and place settings must either be single-use or sanitized between use. No pre-set tables.
- Thoroughly sanitize tables and chairs between each use.
Staffing and Operations
- Screen workers at start of each shift for temperature and symptoms of COVID-19.
- Meetings and trainings should be virtual or in areas that allow for social distancing. Avoid large groups (over 10 people indoors is discouraged and over 25 is banned.)
- Maintain log of workers and customers for contract tracing if needed.
- Reservation seating is encouraged. No gathering in common areas or forming lines while waiting to be seated.
- Use contactless payment and reduce person-to-person interaction whenever possible.
- Management must name a Person in Charge on each shift to ensure safety compliance.
Cleaning & Disinfecting
- Frequently clean and disinfect all common areas, restrooms, heavy transit areas, and high-touch surfaces. Keep cleaning logs with date, time, and scope of cleaning.
- Increase cleaning and disinfecting in back of the house. Avoid all food contact surfaces when using disinfectants. Food contact surfaces must be sanitized before use with a sanitizer approved for food contact surfaces.
- If a worker, customer, or vendor is found or presumed to have COVID-19, the restaurant or cafeteria must close for 24 hours to clean and disinfect before reopening.