Yes, another cold and flu season is upon us. The time of year when both employees and guests might bring coughs and sneezes with them into the restaurant. Knowing it’s important to have your employees at work and not sick at home, try these tips to help your employees stay healthy this season.
The flu vaccine and diligent hygiene are important measures everyone should practice this time of the year to help reduce the spread of germs that can cause illness. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC) recommends the following actions:
- Take the time to get a flu vaccine. According to the CDC, even though it is already January, it’s not too late to get a flu shot since flu activity can last until May.
- Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs. This includes washing your hands often with soap and water, and if soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Also, place alcohol-based hand sanitizers in the front of the house, at the hostess stand for example, to encourage guests to sanitize their hands.
- Take flu antiviral drugs, if your doctor prescribes them.
Another important element to cold and flu prevention is to sanitize and clean frequently touched surfaces with products specifically designed to kill these viruses. At work and in our homes, we touch a variety of surfaces throughout the day. From doorknobs, to kitchen and break room counters/tables, to light switches, germs that can cause illness are easily transferred from one person to the next via the surfaces we touch. That’s why it’s important to sanitize and clean both hard and soft surfaces frequently as well as objects such as restaurant menus. Also, always sanitize and disinfect food-preparation surfaces with a sanitizer and disinfectant specifically formulated for those surfaces.
While you cannot prevent sick guests from coming into your restaurant, you can help your employees stay healthy by sharing these tips with them.