CDC: Sick workers linked to 40% of food poisoning outbreaks in restaurants


CDC: Sick workers linked to 40% of food poisoning outbreaks in restaurants

The CDC says sick workers are linked to 40% of restaurant food poisoning outbreaks.

Federal health officials said Tuesday that food workers who turned up while sick or infected were associated with about 40% of restaurant food poisoning outbreaks of known cause between 2017 and 2019.

Norovirus and salmonella, germs that can cause severe illness, were the most common cause of the 800 outbreaks involving 875 restaurants and were reported by 25 state and local health departments.

Investigators at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called for better enforcement of "comprehensive food safety policies," emphasizing basic measures like hand washing and keeping sick workers off the job.

Although 85% of restaurants said, they had policies preventing employees from working while sick, only about 16% of the procedures were detailed enough to require workers to notify managers and stay home if they had any of the five main symptoms — including Vomiting, diarrhea, and sore throat with fever.

About 44% of managers told the CDC that their restaurants provide paid sick leave for workers. That's a problem, according to Mitzi Baum, CEO of STOP Foodborne Illness, a nonprofit advocacy group.

She said this means that workers are forced to choose between making money or appearing ill - or there is social pressure to keep fellow employees from being understaffed.

"If there is a positive culture of food safety, you will not be penalized for being sick," said Baum.

She said it could be hard for consumers to tell when sick workers are at work, but there are some clues to look for: "Is your server sniffing? Are they sneezing? How do they handle utensils?"

About 48 million people annually in the United States develop foodborne illnesses, including 128,000 hospitalized and 3,000 dying, according to the CDC.

0/Post a Comment/Comments