RESPONSE PLANS TO INCLUDE PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT

We often speak to food service operators about having effective plans in place for responding to events involving vomit and/or diarrhea in their establishments.  We were recently reminded by the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Environmental Health Office of the current code requirements in this  area:  

“Chapter 511-6-1 requires operators to have procedures in place for responding to vomiting/diarrheal accidents [511-6-1-.03(6)] in the food service establishment and IF PRESENT playground equipment and associated areas, there needs to be a plan in place for operators to follow when responding to vomiting and diarrheal events there as well [511-6-1-.07(5)(b)3].”  

Please don’t forget that if establishments have playground equipment, there should be an approved plan for responding to such events if they occur there as well.  The disinfectants used for such purposes are to be effective against Norovirus.  Chlorine is a disinfectant that is approved to be used in response to an event, however, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list of others approved for use in response plans.  Click this link for an EPA list of effective disinfectants or go to the EPA’s website for more information.  Also, click here for an example of a response plan provided by the Centers for Disease Control.

 

 

 

 

Do you have a CFSM?

With very few exceptions, each food service establishment is required to have a certified food safety manager (CFSM) that is actively engaged in overseeing the application of safe food handling and operations in their respective facility. Food safety exams accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) meet the CFSM requirements of the Georgia Food Service Rules and Regulations Chapter 511-6-1.  The following providers are ANSI accredited: ServSafe, National Registry of Food Safety Professionals, Prometric, Learn2Serve and State Food Safety (the most recently accredited provider)

Cobb & Douglas Public Health offers the ServSafe course.  Registration has closed for Cobb’s July course, however, registration is still being accepted for the Douglas class scheduled for August 29-30.  Registration forms and links to other CFSM providers are found on our website at  http://www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.com/environmental-health/food-services/food-safety-training/ .

WOULD YOU LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR NEXT FOOD SAFETY PARTNERSHIP PANEL?

Our next Food Safety Partnership Panel will focus on the Source of Food.  If you are an operator of a food service establishment and would like to represent the food industry on this panel, please contact Cobb & Douglas Public Health’s Food Program Manager, Karen Gulley, at 678-385-5066 or via email at Karen.Gulley@dph.ga.gov .  This panel episode is scheduled to be recorded on Monday, July 24th at 2:00 PM at the Douglas County Courthouse.

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!

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/