Supermarket Perimeter - December 2020 - 56

Food safety

FLU SEASON
FIRST, THE BASICS.
To get ready for flu season, it's important to encourage associates
to get a seasonal flu vaccine as soon as possible, said Paula Herald,
Technical Consultant for Charlotte, North Carolina-based Steritech.
After that, companies need to continue to place a strong emphasis
on frequent handwashing, social distancing, staying home when
symptomatic and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. Businesses
should also remind employees that coming to work sick with the flu
may infect their fellow employees and possibly customers when they
sneeze or cough.

Getting a head start
It's hard to find any silver linings
during the pandemic, but Herald
pointed out that, due to COVID-19
preventative measures, supermarkets are already ahead of the
curve for flu-prevention practices.
Grocery stores - and perimeter
instore departments in particular
- should limit any self-service
56 - DECEMBER 2020

options and have items prepackaged or proportioned to
prevent any opportunity for
contact with shared utensils,
Herald said. Things like toppings
should be placed in dispensers to
keep hands out of the food.
It's also in a supermarket's best
interest to invest the time and
money to ensure employees are
cross-trained, regardless of their

" Shoppers don't want to see employees in the deli or meat
department or anywhere handle their foods while coughing, sneezing
or otherwise acting sick, " Herald said.
The symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are similar, Herald said, so it's
important to stay vigilant.
" It's so important this year for people to get a flu vaccine to prevent
the possibility of getting both COVID-19 and flu at the same time - a
'twindemic.' "
Companies need to encourage employees to keep well by getting
good nutrition, lots of rest and exercising., which may help boost their

normal interaction with fresh
departments, so that they're able
to cover in case of absenteeism,
Herald said.
" There could be increased
management costs associated
with training new employees, so
it's important to factor that in, " she
said. " New employees are more
likely to create food safety risks
as well. "

supermarketperimeter.com

Sick customers and employees
can transmit the flu when
common touchpoints are
contaminated and touched by
others. It's important, Herald said,
to have procedures in place, train
employees on proper execution
of protocols (such as disinfection
of those high-touch areas) and
monitor fresh departments for
blatant contamination.

DRAZEN - STOCK.ADOBE.COM, STERITECH

BY ANDY NELSON


http://www.supermarketperimeter.com

Supermarket Perimeter - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - December 2020

Supermarket Perimeter - December 2020 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2020 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2020 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2020 - 3
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2020 - 4
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