The health of people who work in the foodservice industry is important to everyone. People are quick to blame food product contamination as the primary source of illness outbreaks, and while this is a common cause, the predominant source is sick employees.
A food safety quiz is a novel way to keep employees engaged and constantly reminded of their food safety responsibilities. Reviewing a food safety quiz and implementing preventative health checks for your employees before they enter the premises ensures that illnesses are rapidly detected, preventing potentially infected workers from contaminating food products, or infecting fellow team members and customers.
It's critical to ensure policies are well-regulated and effective, as the health of foodservice employees is directly linked to the quality and safety of the meals they prepare. Operators must prioritize training that covers foodborne illness and personal hygiene, and its relation to food safety and health risks. All employees must understand the requirements for reporting specific symptoms and exposures and the severity of consequences if this is not done. A food safety quiz covering these important requirements is a quick and easy way to ensure food safety protocols are understood and followed.
Enforcing Employee Health Standards
The repercussions of sick workers causing food-related illness outbreaks cannot be overstated: lives can be lost, and liability claims can run into the millions of dollars in penalties, settlements, and legal fees. Though food can become contaminated at any link of the production and distribution chain, a large proportion of foodborne disease incidents are caused by mishandled foods in foodservice establishments. When ill employees work with raw food products, the risk of triggering severe food-related illness outbreaks increases significantly.
Adopting an employee health policy is (or should be) a vitally important aspect of every operator's critical risk management strategy. By rolling out and enforcing employee health standards, enterprises aren't only protecting co-workers and consumers, but also themselves against the costly—and sometimes deadly—consequences of foodborne illnesses.
Team members must understand the significant responsibility they have towards patrons and colleagues in maintaining food safety. They should always wear the appropriate protective gear, including gloves, hair covers, and closed footwear, as well as other specialty items. Washing of hands, work surfaces, and utensil sanitization, as well as food temperature control, should all be practiced frequently.
Multi-location enterprises should implement a system that enables automated communication, including email, text, and mobile app alerts. Manual processes can delay results and work progress; updates need to be immediately communicated to leadership, managers, and employees should there be a health emergency. Employees who are sick should leave the food establishment immediately and only return to work after at least 48 hours.
Keep Employees Engaged and Constantly Reminded of their Food Safety Responsibilities
A daily employee self-assessment survey is a simple yet necessary way to keep track of employee health. With an operations execution platform, such surveys can be submitted digitally prior to the employee arriving for work through a secure employee portal.
The self-administered questionnaire—absolutely vital if an employee has recently traveled internationally—should ask employees if they have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 since their last shift as well as to identify if they (or anyone they have been in contact with) have experienced the following symptoms in the past 24-hour period:
- A frequent or dry cough
- A fever of 99.5°F/37.5°C
- Extreme fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of smell
- Chest pain
Create an Employee Food Safety Quiz with Zenput
While pandemic guidelines are still top of mind, having "healthy employees" is not a new concept. Your strongest defense against spreading foodborne illness is ensuring employees come to work healthy and follow proper food safety protocols.
Zenput helps top operators and leading brands simplify the implementation of an effective employee health policy. On the Zenput platform, you can easily build a health check form specific to your organization. Food safety and hygiene compliance controls are easily automated, digitally recorded, and promptly displayed as store or department-specific reports, allowing management to receive instant alerts and wellness reports.
To learn more about empowering your staff to rapidly roll out, update, and enforce public health procedures and response plans, download The Operator's Guide to Food Safety Execution today.
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