December 21st is the first official day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. And because many of us have already started to experience decreasing temperatures in certain parts of the country, the chill in the air has been a great reminder of the health-related hazards that cold weather can bring. Therefore, as professionals in the foodservice industry we must pay super-imposed attention to regular healthful practices and strongly reinforce these ideals to our teams. Why? Because for the sake of your bottom line, professional reputation, and the comfort level of your customers, avoid making them feel as though they are being served by employees who look like their name tags could read Influenza or Rhinovirus.
Because the winter season is notorious for circulating sicknesses, there are quick and easy steps to keep in mind in order to maintain a healthy foodservice environment. Among others, remember these three important factors to help prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses, and keep the immune system strong:
Wash hands thoroughly: This should be done before preparing or serving food items, after a visit to the bathroom, following coughing or sneezing, and after handling garbage.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects: This reduces the risk of spreading germs after touching an infected surface and then the eyes, nose, or mouth.
Avoid sick team members: If a team member is sick, send them home or do not allow them to come in. This protects you, the rest of your team, and your customers from becoming infected.
Remember, sanitation doesn’t begin or end with your equipment. The goal is to keep your team and yourself healthy, thereby creating a safe and productive serving environment