If the amount of H1N1 vaccine available was commensurate with the size of the problem, restaurant operators wouldn’t need much guidance about how to deal with the current outbreak or the potentially larger one the health experts tell us still looms. Since supplies are short, we’ve found a source that can help you figure out how to reduce H1N1 risks in your restaurant. It’s www.outbreakcontrol.com, and it’s particularly helpful if English is not the primary language for some of your staffers.
The site is backed by cleaning, sanitation and hygiene solutions company JohnsonDiversey, and you can find a list of its recommended products if you click deep enough. But there’s no in-your-face sales pitch whatsoever, and the depth of information presented is admirable. This company does business in many settings, including healthcare and schools, so it has a large base of both expertise and experience on which to draw.
“The global H1N1 pandemic has raised social and individual consciousness on the importance of visibly maintaining healthy, hygienic public environments,” says company president Ed Lonergan. “Our understanding of disease, infection and cleaning and hygiene practiced needed to minimize their spread makes us uniquely qualified to provide a platform for public awareness and education.”
What really helps knowledge-seekers is that pertinent information is tailored to the needs of JohnsonDiversey’s primary market segments. Foodservice operators can click on the “Customers/Food and Beverage” section to find out what works and what doesn’t for their type of operation.
In particular, the “Best Practices” section provides extensive information about the steps restaurants can take to stave off H1N1 invasions. A second topic, “Food and Beverages: Managing Outbreaks in Your Facility” tells you what to do if a flu outbreak hits your area.
One big key: the “What to Tell Your Staff” checklist. If H1N1 hits your town hard, customers are going to watch your employees’ every move. A second: the “Self Screening Guide” that will help your under-the-weather staffers decide if they should come into work or not.
Perhaps the biggest benefit to operators is that they can call up this site on one of their restaurant’s computer screens and have employees read the material for themselves. Even better is that the site links to information about infection control that’s presented in 14 different languages. That’s a big plus if you have non-English speakers on your staff.
If you still have questions about what to do after scrolling through all this information, the site also provides an “Ask an Expert” link that puts you in touch with the company’s infection control experts.
One of those experts is Dr. Jose Ramirez, JohnsonDiversey’s vice president of global research and development. His feedback tells him business owners need help on this issue.
“Outbreakcontrol.com is a 24/7 resource for people seeking the latest facts regarding infection control,” he says. “Until now, it has been difficult to sift through the myriad of information sources to obtain relevant facts for infection control. This website provides the proper education and product usage that are vitally important to maintaining a safe, clean and hygienic facility.”
We hope H1N1 doesn’t gain a foothold in your restaurant nor in the community you serve. But the health experts are calling it a “pandemic” for a reason. Keep this free resource in mind if you find yourself looking for help, because it explains all the options in restaurant-specific terms.