Updated March 25, 3:30 p.m.

Updated March 25, 3:30 p.m.

If you’ve been to New York City in the past two weeks, please self-isolate for 14 days.

 General Hygiene, Social Distancing and Food Waste Guidance TAKE-OUT RESTAURANTS and FOOD MARKETS (Rev.3/25/20)

  • SICK EMPLOYEES NEED TO STAY HOME No worker should be allowed to enter the restaurant, at any time, if they have symptoms of body ache, fever, cough or nausea. Health status of employees should be established before they show up for work.
  • CUSTOMERS SHOULD ORDER & PAY ONLINE OR USE DELIVERY Delivery services should be used to avoid people coming into the market or restaurant. Customers should be told to place orders and pay online if that option is available.  This should be added to the establishment website so customers know this ahead of time if it is feasible to do so.
  • AT THE COUNTER Social Distancing should be observed during food pick-up or grocery check-out.
    • Recommended 6-feet separation is usually not feasible, so be considerate by speaking softly with head turned (less projection of droplets) and breath through nose, not mouth.
    • No unnecessary conversation (a smile goes a long way).  This is not rude and it will make a difference in reducing transmission risk.
  • EMPLOYEE HYGIENE PRACTICES People can transmit COVID-19 to others before they have any symptoms, so the precautions below are essential for all employees at work, even if they are not symptomatic with flu-like illness:
    • Employees should make every effort to avoid coughing or sneezing anywhere inside the establishment (even if not related to viral illness). If unavoidable, please use inner elbow to fully cover mouth.
    • All employees should wear disposable gloves if they are handling consumer goods, food packages, cash or credit cards. Wash hands, including between fingers, wrists, and forearms thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds, before putting on gloves and after taking them off.
    • After putting the gloves on, employees should never touch their face or hair, this is very important because it is one way in which COVID-19 spreads between people and onto objects.
    • While wearing the gloves during the day, wash with soap and water every 30 minutes to kill virus that might have come from surfaces or objects. Sanitizer is good, but not as effective as soap and water.
  • HAIR NETS FOR ALL FOOD PREP As required under the NJ Food Code all employees working with prepared food should wear hair nets. This is already required, but it matters more than ever.
    • Take away food containers and bags should never be touched with unwashed hands. Treat the containers as critical high-touch surfaces
    • Food delivery should be done with similar precautions, so drivers should frequently sanitize car-door handles, steering wheels and wash or sanitize hands or gloves as soon as possible after touching any public surface.
    • During delivery do not meet customers face to face if it can be avoided. Instead, 

leave food at their door for them to retrieve.


Identify and frequently clean all “high-touch” surfaces including:

    • Payment and EBT machines and surrounding surfaces
    • Scales
    • Shared shopping carts or handbaskets
    • Shared service counters and bagging area surfaces
    • Farmers Market tokens
    • Bulk bins and utensils (utensils should be washed regularly)
    • Salad Bars, self-serve condiments, self-serve beverage dispensers sugar/creamer, etc. and utensils (wash on a schedule)
    • Shared equipment like coffee grinders and peanut butter grinders
    • Menus or lists on the ordering counter shared by customers

Workers presumed COVID-19+ should be self-isolated and not enter the store for at least 14 days after symptoms end. 

    • Check with your waste vendors to determine that they will able to pick up your establishment waste on schedule.
    • If waste pickup is delayed or interrupted, please make sure to secure waste receptacles and dumpsters as securely as possible. We expect a major sanitation and pest problem if allow food waste sit for more than a few days.

Updates to this document will be posted to www.princetoncovid.org.  Retail food operators should check daily to assure they have the most current guidance for this rapidly evolving situation.

Call the Princeton Health Department with any questions about this guidance.

(609) 497-7608 (9am –  or email renglish@princetonnj.gov