How to Ascertain Whether Your Catering Staff Are Fit to Handle Food
When running a commercial kitchen, one of the most important factors is ensuring that staff are 100% healthy. If anyone with bacterial or viral infection comes into contact with food or the surfaces where it’s being prepared or stored, there can be serious ramifications.
Illnesses and infections can easily be spread via food, and it’s essential staff are in good health at all times. It is important to remember that it’s not only those who are in direct contact with food that can spread germs – it’s anyone who happens to be in the vicinity.
Recognising the Danger of Bacterial Infections
If staff are visibly ill, it’s easy to remove them from the kitchen environment. Symptoms that should result in instant exclusion are vomiting and diarrhoea. Any staff member who has either of these afflictions should be sent home and anything they touched sanitised.
The risk of bacteria spreading is at its highest when a person is vomiting or has diarrhoea. Every effort should be made to ensure no staff member ever comes into contact with food or the environment where it is prepared when stricken with these symptoms. If a staff member has been working whilst ill, it’s best to destroy any food they came into contact with, especially if it is uncooked, as it can harbour bacteria for longer.
Reducing the Chances of Viral Infections
Catering staff are not fit to handle food if they have a cold, flu or a cough. Coughing is particularly dangerous, as it spreads germs in a large radius. Any viral illness can be spread quickly, and even if food is stored properly at the right temperature in a refrigeration unit from a supplier such as FFD Ltd, it won’t halt the spread of potential infections.
Any surface that’s touched by someone with a virus becomes contaminated, and this can mean that even door handles or commercial refrigeration units will need to be disinfected. Whenever there’s a report of an outbreak, establishments must ensure that they take steps to disinfect the whole area to reduce risks of any further spread.
It’s vital that staff are informed as to the dangers of working when ill and that they adhere to rules set out by those in charge of the kitchen or overall operations.