As befits the times, this issue of QA has a strong focus on the impacts of COVID-19 on the food industry, and its journey through the pandemic into recovery and the eventual “new normal.”

By the time you read the issue, however, it is likely that some of the information cited in the articles will already be obsolete. We conducted the interviews and wrote the articles as near to deadline as possible to be as relevant as possible; but since its first diagnosis in China, the coronavirus — and the knowledge of it — has evolved, frequently on a daily basis.

Despite the continuing research, investigations, and developments by scientists, epidemiologists, and public health experts worldwide, it quickly became apparent that what we knew and did yesterday is not what we know and are doing today. This has made it extremely difficult for businesses — as well as governments and individuals — to know how to best protect against the virus, and even how much protection is needed.

But, with that in mind, this issue provides a look at plant-floor best practices and expert guidance on managing business, protecting employees, and continuing to provide safe, quality food throughout the pandemic. And while none of us can know what tomorrow holds, the industry is doing its best to work through recovery and prepare for whatever the future may be.

Read what the industry and experts are saying and doing:

  • Dr. David Acheson’s recommendations for Protections for Our New Normal.
  • What food processors say about the impact of COVID-19 and their response in Reinvention Out of Necessity:
    • The Chef’s Garden
    • Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA (MZB)
    • Fat Bottom Brewing
    • The Aladdin Baking Company
    • Just the Cheese 
    • See’s Candies
    • Hazelnut Growers of Oregon (HGO)
  • How FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response Frank Yiannas sees Pandemic Lessons To Inform the “New Era” Blueprint
  • How going Back to Basics has become increasingly important for Sanitation (page 32), Pest Management, and Allergen Risk Management (page 42).
  • Abbott Nutrition’s focus on Building a Resilient Global Supply Chain to meet the challenges of the pandemic.

Just as what we knew and did yesterday is not what we know and do today; what we will know and do tomorrow is not what we know and are doing today. And just as the world and our understanding of it ever evolves, so will our understanding of COVID-19 and all that that entails. Thus, implementing best practices based on the knowledge we have is often the best we can do.

Lisa Lupo, Editor She can be reached at