The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released an update regarding Norovirus and its impact on food handling. This highly contagious virus causes gastroenteritis, leading to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramping. Norovirus causes about half of all outbreaks of food-related illness. The CDC’s comprehensive document aims to educate food handlers about preventing the spread of Norovirus, crucial for maintaining public health standards.
The update emphasizes the significance of proper hygiene practices among food handlers. Most reported norovirus outbreaks are caused by people who touch or prepare food when they are sick. Norovirus spreads through contaminated food, water, surfaces, and person-to-person contact. Hence, strict adherence to sanitation and hygiene protocols becomes paramount in preventing its transmission.
The key take away from the report states, “If you work with food when you have norovirus, you can easily contaminate the
food and drinks you touch. People who have the contaminated food or drinks you touched can also get norovirus and become sick.”
The CDC underscores several essential measures:
- Hand Hygiene: Thorough handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom, changing diapers, and before handling food.
- Proper Cleaning and Disinfection: Disinfecting surfaces with EPA-approved products designed to combat Norovirus can help eliminate the virus from frequently touched areas.
- Isolation of Infected Individuals: Promptly removing and restricting food handlers displaying Norovirus symptoms from food preparation areas to prevent contamination.
- Safe Food Handling Practices: Ensuring that food is properly cooked, stored, and handled to prevent cross-contamination.
The CDC update also provides detailed guidelines for food establishments, outlining steps to create a safer environment for employees and customers. Regular training sessions for staff on hygiene practices and vigilant monitoring of symptoms are highlighted as crucial preventative measures. The report can be accessed by following this link.
By disseminating this information and advocating for stringent adherence to these guidelines, the CDC aims to reduce the incidence of Norovirus outbreaks associated with food handling. Empowering food handlers with knowledge and resources to combat Norovirus not only protects public health but also upholds the credibility and trust of food establishments.
In conclusion, consumers may want to think about who is handling fresh fruit that is included in their beverages.