JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Mike Parson signed Executive Order 20-05, ordering the suspension of any prohibition on the sale of unprepared food by restaurants to the public.

“Due to the public health threat caused by COVID-19, many restaurants have been forced to limit or cease their normal business operations,” Parson said. “We hope easing this regulatory burden will not only assist restaurants financially during this time and avoid unnecessary waste, but also help meet the increased demand for food across the state.”

Limitations on restaurants due to the COVID-19 crisis could result in the spoliation of unprepared food, and restaurants may wish to sell their unprepared food directly to members of the public without fear of punishment, states a release.

"Nothing in the order shall be construed to suspend the enforcement of laws pertaining to adulterated or misbranded food," states the release.

This order terminates May 15.

“Many restaurants and bars are now offering drive-thru, pick-up and delivery options. This is a great option for Missourians to continue supporting their local businesses while still practicing the required social distancing,” Parson said. “We will continue doing everything we can to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on Missourians and their families, which includes supporting Missouri’s small businesses and the communities that depend on them.”