There has been a lot about the spread of viruses over the last few months, but it is also important to discuss viruses that are prominent during the upcoming winter season; the most significant of those is the flu, or influenza virus. Where the Hepatitis A and Noroviruses are spread through fecal-oral routes and contaminated foods, the influenza virus is transmitted three different ways:
People with the flu can spread the virus while being up to 6 feet away from other individuals when they produce a forceful burst of aerosol particles by coughing or sneezing. The virus can also live on surfaces for up to 8 hours.
Working in the restaurant industry comes with a certain responsibility to make sure that you are not exposing customers to the risk of getting sick when it can be avoided. There are several ways that restaurant workers can help achieve this:
Employees should also be diligent about sanitizing common areas in the restaurant including:
Restaurants should keep tissues and hand sanitizer available in common areas for worker and customer use.
Help your entire workforce stay safe by encouraging employees to get their flu vaccines. Worksite clinic programs are available through local pharmacies. Your health insurance provider may also be able to help coordinate this service on your company’s behalf.
Source: Hawai’i Restaurant Association; Dr. John E. Aoki, M.D. CHCQM, FABQAURP, Chief Medical Officer