Self-reported surveys still suck: Is anyone surprised US food service workers go when sick?

From the duh files:

vomit.toiletA nationwide survey found out that most of the food workers in the U.S. still report for work even when sick.

Based on a poll conducted by the Center for Research and Public Policy for Alchemy Systems, the majority of food industry workers are most likely to show up for work even when sick with illnesses that will most likely make their customers ill as well.

Survey findings revealed that 51 percent of food workers report that they “always” or “frequently” report to work even while sick. These findings were more or less the same as the last time these surveys were conducted, and are part of a larger study to determine safety issues on major food and food production industries.

120 sick: Tourists at Taiwan afflicted by possible norovirus

About 120 tourists in a central Taiwan tourist spot known for its cherry blossoms reported a diarrhea and vomiting outbreak Monday, which health officials said could be a result of norovirus infection.

Hoya Resort Hotel WulingBoth tourists and staff of the Hoya Resort Hotel Wuling in the Wuling Farm reported norovirus symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and fever, according to the Taichung City Health Bureau.

The hotel has been ordered to stop providing food to guests, the bureau said, adding that it has taken samples to test for the virus.

The hotel said that five of its workers had taken sick leave prior to the outbreak.

Who talks like this? Don’t cook when you’re crook – be food safe this winter

Almost three years in Australia and I still can’t understand what most people say.

The high is going to be 75 F today, with nothing but sun, but people are freezing, because this is the two weeks of the year they get to wear different fashions – Uggs and parkas.

vomitSure, it’s colder further south – we live in the Florida of Australia – and they just got a snowstorm, but it’s not that cold.

The New South Wales Food Authority is warning that as the temperature drops, the risk of viral gastro contamination rises.

The Food Authority’s Chief Scientist Dr Lisa Szabo said the best way to prevent the spread of infection is to avoid food preparation when you are unwell.

“Don’t cook when you’re crook is a good basic rule to apply whether you are cooking commercially or preparing food at home,” Dr Szabo said.

“However, this warning applies particularly to food industry professionals who come into contact with the preparation and service of food for hundreds, if not thousands, of people.

“Under the Food Standards Code it is illegal for food handlers to handle food when they have a gastric illness. It is also illegal for food businesses to allow staff to work if they are aware they have a gastric illness.

“To put people to work when you know they’re unwell, or to not declare an illness, could potentially put the health of many people at risk.

“Viral gastroenteritis is highly infectious and can be very easily passed from person to person through poor hygiene and food handling practices.”

Dr Szabo said the first rule of food safety is to thoroughly wash and dry your hands before beginning to prepare or eat any meal, and to wash your hands after touching raw meat or poultry.

As a precaution it is recommended that people with gastro do not prepare food for 48 hours after their symptoms finish.

So I’m guessing, crook means sick, so don’t make food for others when you’re barfing.

Norovirus closes Applebee’s in Washington over weekend

A suspected outbreak of norovirus forced the Applebee’s restaurant on East Sunset Drive in Bellingham, Wash., to close over the weekend for extensive cleaning.

It reopened around noon Sunday.

Applebee’s spokesman Dan Smith said the closure was done “out of vomit.salman abundance of caution.”

Applebee’s idea of an abundance of caution was that 10-15 employees were sent home Friday morning after saying they felt sick or had called in sick Thursday evening and Friday morning.

“We decided that there was an outbreak going on among staff that we did not understand. We didn’t have it under control, and so we ordered the restaurant to close,” said Tom Kunesh, supervisor for the health department’s Food and Living Environment Program, of the early part of the investigation and closure that started Friday morning.

It was unknown how many restaurant-goers may have been sickened before the closure; Kunesh said the health department received a total of eight complaints, including four Monday.