Sick Employee Polices

Develop a written employee sick policy.

All food establishments will have workers that get sick. It is important that procedures or protocols are in place to deal with these situations. Sick policies must inform workers that they are responsible to inform management when they are ill. Policies must define what sick is, when a sick worker will be excluded from work, when they may return to work and what tasks they will be allowed and not allowed to perform upon their return. "Sick" needs to be defined. Workers that have vomiting or diarrhea cannot be in the establishment.

Know when workers are sick.

Identify workers that are or have been ill with vomiting or diarrhea. Workers that have vomiting or diarrhea must be excluded from work. Exclude for at least 48 hours after symptoms have subsided. Follow-up with workers that miss work or have their shift covered by someone else to see if they have been ill. Document the reason they missed work. Create a work environment where workers will advise management when they are sick.

Manage workers that have been ill.

Manage ill workers when they are well enough to return to work. Monitor their handwashing. Increase the frequency and thoroughness of their hand washing, especially after using the restroom. Do not assign them to food preparation tasks that involve ready to eat foods such making salads, or cold sandwiches. Use gloves extensively for at least two weeks.

Increase hand washing.

Increase the level of hand washing especially after using the restroom. Workers must wash their hands in the restroom and again upon returning to their work station.

Prevent bare hand contact with ready to eat foods.

Prevent bare hand contact with ready to eat foods. Use gloves when conducting any bulk produce preparation or when making salads, slicing and portioning luncheon meats and cheeses. Glove use needs to be task specific. Always wash hands before putting on gloves. Workers that return to work after being ill with vomiting or diarrhea must extensively use gloves for at least two weeks.

When to contact the Health Department.

Contact the Health Department when workers have been diagnosed with Salmonella, Shigellosis, Hepatitis A, E. coli, or Campylobacter. Workers with any of these illnesses must be excluded from work until the Health Department allows them to return. Workers may be required to submit stool samples for testing to assure they free of these disease causing pathogens.