Important updates for retail managers and food employees!

Posted: 8 October 2020 | | No comments yet

The FDA has revised its Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook to help prevent spread of bacteria and viruses and promote good cleanliness among workers.


The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has updated its Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook for retail food managers and food employees.

The handbook includes best practices and behaviours that can help prevent food employees from spreading bacteria and viruses such as Salmonella and norovirus, including effective interventions to prevent the transmission on food and food-contact surfaces. It also incorporates updates the 2017 Food Code.

Although the Food Code doesn’t address respiratory illness, such as covid, the Employee Health section emphasises long-standing public health principles for preventing disease transmission – hand washing; excluding ill employees from the workplace, prohibiting bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat foods; and reporting of illness and symptoms, among others.

Updates to the handbook include:

  • The addition of nontyphoidal Salmonella as one of the reportable illnesses for action by the Person in Charge in a retail food establishment
  • Updates to the nomenclature of E. coli from E. coli 0157:H7 to Shiga Toxin-producing E. coli
  • A new section to address written procedures for responding to vomiting or diarrheal events
  • Information on discarding food that may have been contaminated by an employee excluded or restricted from work because of an illness transmissible through food.

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