News | May 6, 2020

Active Food Safety Launches Free Tool To Help Restaurant Industry During Pandemic

Keep Emergency Operating Procedures at your fingertips with this app

Active Food Safety has launched a free app to help keep restaurants safe during emergencies, such as during this unprecedented pandemic. EmergiProtect – sponsored by GOJO – keeps critical safety & wellness management at your fingertips to help retail food service, sales managers, and operators prevent foodborne disease outbreaks while protecting their business, including guidance on:

  • Performing Employee Wellness Checks for signs and symptoms of illness.
  • Excluding employees from work and when to allow employees to return to work, including those deemed as Critical Infrastructure Employees.
  • Properly performing germ mitigation using personal hygiene and environmental contamination controls.
  • Responding properly to a customer illness complaint, including allergens.
  • Preparing for power outages and managing the safety of your food after an unexpected power outage.
  • Responding to body fluid spills.
  • Managing restaurant operations after a boil water notice by your health department.

“Restaurant management and operators may spend a lot of time developing robust food safety plans, but it won’t be effective unless your on-site team rapidly executes that plan,” said Hal King, Ph.D., CEO, Public Health Innovations and Partner, Active Food Safety. “This is a challenging time for restaurants – they want to protect their employees and their customers, but they also need to keep their restaurant safe. This app makes it easier for your managers to quickly know how to respond to emergency situations – to not only keep their employees safe, but also the public that visits their establishments.”

EmergiProtect is continually updated by both public health and food safety management experts. It reflects the most current CDC and FDA guidelines for wellness checks and contamination controls in foodservice businesses to help restaurants operate in compliance to the pandemic State of Emergency operations guidance happening around the country.

Employee wellness monitoring in restaurants has always been an important public health intervention of hazards in a foodservice business as described by the FDA (often called a business Health Policy) because a single sick employee with a foodborne illness that prepares food can cause a large foodborne disease outbreak. Now, most foodservice businesses are required to also perform wellness checks for signs and symptoms of this current pandemic.

Employee personal hygiene controls (e.g., hand washing that includes cleaning and sanitizing hands, proper glove use, etc.) has also been an important intervention of hazards. However, now personal hygiene controls include respiratory etiquette, avoidance of touching eyes, nose, mouth, and avoidance of close contact during work (6 feet rule).

Likewise, cleaning and sanitation has always been critical to the prevention of cross contamination of food (e.g., via sanitation of high touch surfaces that can lead to cross contamination). However, now during this pandemic, foodservice businesses must also disinfect all high-touch and commonly used surfaces that could be the source of transmission of viruses to employees and customers.

Source: Active Food Safety