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Department of Agriculture Releases COVID-19 Restaurant Enforcement Actions, March 29 – April 4, 2021

04/07/2021

Harrisburg, PA - The Department of Agriculture today released data related to COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions from March 29 – April 4, 2021. The information is specific to COVID-19 mitigation requirements for restaurants, including social distancing, masking and occupancy limits.

These numbers include actions taken during routine food safety inspections and inspections prompted by consumer complaints.

From March 29 – April 4, the department's Bureau of Food Safety performed 674 inspections, 11 of which were complaint-driven. Five complaints were related to COVID-19 mitigation measures. The department received 22 food facility COVID-19 related complaints, none of which were referred to local or county health jurisdictions.

No restaurants were closed by order this week for violating the Order of the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health for Mitigation and Enforcement and Order of the Governor for Mitigation, Enforcement and Immunity Protections issued November 23, 2020.

A county-by-county breakdown of COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions can be found on the Department of Agriculture's website. Data will be updated weekly with data from the previous week.

Consumers with general food safety complaints or concerns about non-compliance for COVID-19 mitigation can file a complaint online. COVID-19 mitigation restaurant enforcement actions will be released on a weekly basis.

Effective April 4, the following measures apply:

  • Restaurant bar service is allowed; alcohol service is allowed without purchase of food; and the curfew has been lifted for removing alcoholic drinks from tables.
  • Indoor dining capacity is 75 percent for self-certified restaurants, which have agreed to strictly comply with all public health safety guidelines and orders.
  • Capacity is 50 percent for restaurants that do not self-certify.
  • Outdoor dining, curbside pick-up and takeout are still encouraged.

The Bureau of Food Safety operates with an education-first model, and always works to educate and correct issues on-site before taking official action. Businesses will receive a closure order if they are confirmed to be operating in violation of COVID-19 mitigation orders and are unwilling to comply while the inspector is present. If the restaurant continues to operate in any manner following a closure order, the restaurant will be referred to the Department of Health for further legal action, including an action in Commonwealth Court to enjoin the continued operation of the restaurant in violation of the order.

The Wolf Administration offers opportunities for Pennsylvanians to explore restaurants that are operating safely and encourages Pennsylvanians to continue to support local eateries through the dining options now available to them.

If choosing to dine out, consumers can explore the online listing of  and add to their sense of safety and confidence for in-person dining by using the  for restaurants' current status on both food and safety inspection reports.

Consumers can also support restaurants from the comfort of their homes by ordering take-out or delivery. Visit the CarryoutPA website, which offers a comprehensive list of restaurants offering takeout, curbside or delivery services.

For more information about the Department of Agriculture's COVID-19 response, visit agriculture.pa.gov/covid.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers - shpowers@pa.gov

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