Upcoming Employee Health Webinar!

The Georgia Department of Public Health’s Environmental Health Section and the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) are jointly presenting a webinar about Employee Health on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 from 2:00 – 3:00 PM.  Membership in the GRA is not required to view and listen during the live presentation nor is there a charge; however, preregistration for the webinar is required. 

Additional information and the registration link can be found here:

http://web.garestaurants.org/events/Webinar-Employee-Health-215/details

Resources for Handling Sick Employees

Regardless of the time of year, food service workers may become ill and try to come to work with a sore throat, fever, jaundice, diarrhea, and/or vomiting.  The employee may think he can manage his symptoms and make it through the business day, but his continued presence in your establishment could spread the illness to your customers and co-workers, and ultimately result in a foodborne illness outbreak.

Beginning on page 34, the Rules and Regulations for Food Service address employee health and establishes the criteria to help you determine if a food service worker exhibiting any of these symptoms needs to be restricted from his duties or excluded from work altogether. And if an employee is excluded, details are provided for determining when he can be cleared to come back to work.

To help guide you through assessing and addressing employee health in your facility, the Georgia Department of Public Health provides many useful tools at the following link:

http://dph.georgia.gov/food-service-rules-and-documents

Scroll down to the Employee Health Information section to find quick decision guides, medical clearance forms, an employee health and hygiene handbook, a list of approved disinfectants, and more!

Care Facility Outbreak Prevention Training Scheduled for February 7, 2017

The spread of a infectious diseases in a care facility can have a serious impact on the health and well-being of their residents, as well as their staff. Just last year, there were two large Norovirus outbreaks in Cobb County facilities, so our Environmental Health and Epidemiology divisions have teamed up to present a Care Facility Outbreak Prevention Training on February 7th from 1:30-3:30 PM at the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.  There is no charge for the training; however, registration is required.  The registration form can be found at this link:

Care Facility Outbreak Prevention Training Registration Form

Be Prepared for Weather Related Food Safety Emergencies!

Whether it’s snow and ice or severe storms and flooding, the safety of the food stored in your home can be compromised as a result of associated power outages and/or exposure to flood water.  To help guide you through the “what to do” process, Cobb & Douglas Public Health has created a webpage containing resources for these situations, and you can find it here:

http://www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.com/consumers-guide-food-safety-emergencies/

INSPECTOR IMPERSONATION ALERT!

We were recently notified by a nearby health district that a food service operator had received a call from someone claiming that he was from the health department and that the operator’s routine inspection was due.  The caller then stated that in order to receive the inspection, the operator would need to pay a fee via credit card over the phone.  Recognizing that this was not normal protocol, the operator informed the caller that he would need to phone the health department to verify the caller’s request.  The caller then quickly hung up.

Occasionally, we are made aware of such actions occurring via phone and in-person; especially during the holiday season.  Please review proper precautions and protocols with your staff.  For assistance with your food defense plan, please see the following link provided by the FDA:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodDefense/ToolsEducationalMaterials/ucm353774.htm