Health Policy Plan

These links have been provided as resources to encourage practices and behaviors that can help prevent food employees from spreading viruses and bacteria to food.  Proper management of a food establishment involves ensuring that food employees do not work when they are ill and having procedures established for identifying employees who may transmit foodborne pathogens to food, other employees, and customers. Management must ensure that food employees and “conditional” hires alike are aware of the reporting requirements for foodborne illness symptoms and diagnoses. When a food employee or conditional food employee reports either an exposure to, symptoms of, or a diagnosis with foodborne illness, the person in charge (PIC) must take action to prevent the transmission of foodborne bacteria and/or viruses from the infected food employee to the food. The PIC must understand the requirements for restricting, excluding, and reinstating food employees to encourage practices and behaviors that can help prevent food employees from spreading viruses and bacteria to food. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA cite five highly infective pathogens that can easily be transmitted by food workers and cause severe illness. These five foodborne pathogens, also known as the “Big 5,” include Norovirus, the Hepatitis A virus, Salmonella Typhi, Shigella spp., and Escherichia coli (E.coli) O157:H7 or other Enterohemorrhagic or Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. Other, less infectious pathogens that can also be transmitted by food employees to consumers through contaminated food include Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella spp., and Streptococcus pyogenes.