For Kitchen and Cafeteria Professionals

General Guidelines

  • Strengthen hand washing;
  • Keep the environment naturally ventilated;
  • Older people sit at least 1 meter apart from each other;
  • Divide residents into groups during meals in the cafeteria;
  • More frequent cleaning.

There is currently no evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted through food or water. However, food and water hygiene remain very important, after all, we cannot make the situation worse with food contamination.

Food Preparation

  • In preparing perishable foods, follow the guidelines already established by Anvisa for Nutrition Services, sanitizing them correctly and disinfecting those that will be consumed raw.
  • CLICK HERE and access the Primer on Good Practices for Food Services according to resolution RDC-216/2004.

Vinegar is not effective in killing viruses.

Cleaning and hygiene of the kitchen and cafeteria

  • Cleaning of the kitchen and cafeteria must follow the protocols already established by ANVISA that are certainly already implemented in the ILPI.

Special care must be taken due to on the Covid-19. Thus:

  • Change clothes before entering the kitchen. This includes changing shoes. The cooking apron must be changed daily.
  • Hand hygiene very often. You should wash your hands when you enter the kitchen, touch your face, cough, sneeze, blow your nose, or use the bathroom, and whenever your hands are dirty. When drying your hands, do not use the dishcloth. Use preferably paper towels or a special towel to dry your hands. Also do not dry your hands on the cooking apron.
  • Avoid touching your face with your hands. If so, wash immediately with soap and water.
  • Never taste food in your own hand. Always use a stainless-steel spoon and wash it afterward. Do not use the same spoon for different foods.
  • Wash floors, walls, benches, equipment, and tables with soap and water, always after meals.
  • Disinfection with 0.1% sodium hypochlorite (see products for disinfection of contaminated surfaces on this website) should be carried out on equipment that cannot be washed. Also on drawers and cabinets handles, doors handles, switches and doors of fridge.
  • Utensils and dishes used by elderly should well washed with water and detergent or soap,. rinsing with plenty of water. If possible, wash in hot water or in a dishwasher. It is not necssesary to disinfect utensils.
  • The elderly cannot share glasses, cutlery, and other utensils. They also cannot share food and drink.
  • Elderly people suspected of having Covid-19 infection need to eat in the isolated room. The meal should be served on plates, cutlery and glasses that can be discarded immediately after use.

Care in reception and storage of purchased or donated food .

There is no published scientific evidence and there is no knowledge of unpublished evidence of people who have been infected by touching food or food packaging.

However, the virus can survive on hard surfaces like metal or plastic for up to 3 days and about a day on soft surfaces like cardboard. Considering this, we must take some precautions when receiving food in the kitchen, in addition to the basic care that is already part of the routine of receiving food in any ILPI, such as refrigerating perishable food quickly, keeping raw and cooked food separately and heating food at the proper internal temperature.

  • Ideally, for non-perishable foods, you should wait 3 days upon receipt to store them in the warehouse or pantry. Meanwhile, do not touch the packages and leave them in a space with minimal circulation. However, as this must be difficult for most ILPI, the packages must be disinfected before storing. They can be washed with soap and water (for example, oil bottles, milk cartons, cans) or disinfected with 0.1% sodium hypochlorite (bags of rice, beans, sugar, flour, cookies, etc.).
  • For perishable products that must be frozen or refrigerated immediately, like meat, yogurt, butter, or margarine, the surfaces should also be washed with soap and water.
  • Eggs must be removed from the original packaging and refrigerated in a plastic container with a lid. They should not be washed.
  • Vegetables, fruits, and greens should be kept refrigerated. before storing the original packaging should be discarded or, when possible, disinfected with 0.1% sodium hypochlorite.
  • Fruits that do not need refrigeration should be removed from their original packaging and left in a ventilated space.
  • Be sure to wash your hands again after disinfecting all packaging and storing received food properly.

When purchases are made by Nursings Homes staff.

Minimize your trip to the supermarket, orgrocery store.

  • Just go shopping with a list.
  • Avoid rush hours to avoid crowds.
  • Since the virus survives up to 3 days on hard surfaces, take alcohol gel and paper towels to clean the trolley bar or the handle of the supermarket basket. Only touch the handles after disinfecting.
    Immediately throw the paper in the trash, and then wash your hands with alcohol gel.
  • Keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters from people.
  • Talk only the essentials with attendees and do not talk to other clients.
  • On the pay line, keep your distance from the customer in front of you.
  • Pack your own purchases.
  • When you arrive at Nursing home wash your hands and the used bank card.
  • It is not necessary to make a stock, apart from normal. The Association of the Supermarket Chain ensures that there will be no shortage of food products during the epidemic.

All these measures will protect the elderly, all the staff, AND YOURSELF.


  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Eat Right. Concerns Regarding COVID-19. Available on Accessed on 27 de março de 2020.
  • American Society of Nutrition. Making Health and Nutrition a Priority During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. Available on Accessed on 26 de março de 2020.
  • Associação Brasileira de Supermercados (ABRAS). Nota Oficial ABRAS, Covid 19 de 23 de março de 2020. Available on Accessed on  27 de março de 2020.
  • Harvard TH Chan. School of Public Health. Food safety, nutrition, and wellness during COVID-19. Available on Accessed on  26 de março de 2020.
    van Doremalen N, Bushmaker T, Morris DH, Holbrook MG, Gamble A, Williamson BN, Tamin A, Harcourt JL, Thornburg NJ, Gerber SI, Lloyd-Smith JO. Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1. New England Journal of Medicine. 2020 Mar 17.
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