Employee Illness: Are you following FDA recommendations?

UPDATE:  09/12/17

SMF Training now offers a free employee illness training for your use.  The training takes approximately 10 minutes and briefly explains what foodborne illness is, the causes, symptoms, why it is important to report illness to management, prevention, proper glove use and hand-washing, reportable symptoms and explanation of the form.   Link for the training can be found on our website MarylandFoodHandler.com


Do you have a sick worker policy?

Many restaurants do not have a policy that complies with the FDA recommendations. The majority of foodbourne illness comes from the transfer of feces to food due to poor personal hygiene. Feces of ill workers are a serious and high level risk in your facility.

According to a study performed by Environmental Health Services 1 Almost 70% of managers could remember a time they had worked when sick and one in ten said they had symptoms of foodbourne illness.


  • Educate managers and staff about when to restrict employees from working with or around food and when to exclude the employee. If you need assistance on this topic please contact me, I would be happy to answer any questions.
  • Teach proper handwashing techniques.
  • Avoid bare hand contact with food.
  • Teach proper glove use.

Training & Education:

Create an environment where your employees feel comfortable reporting illness. An employee should never be reminded of lost wages, job security or made to feel guilty about under-staffing.  A valued and responsible employee will not abuse the illness rules just to get out of work.

Proper training and education of what illness must be reported is paramount in protecting your facility from a possible outbreak caused from employee illness.

We have put together a free poster for you to print and  display.  The poster describes what illnesses need to be reported.  The link for the poster is here.

In addition to the poster we have linked the FDA recommended Employee Illness forms that should be maintained in the employee file. Form 1-A Conditional Employee or Food Employee interview. Provide this form to employee AFTER job has been offered. You can not ask potential employees to complete this form. Also have employee read and sign form 1B Conditional employee or food employee agreement. This states that the employee will report illness to you and is evidence that you have informed employee of their obligation.

The FDA forms can be found here

Be food safe my friends!


Sue Farace, CP-FS

1 http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/ehsnet/plain_language/mgrs-sick-food-workers.htm