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Coronavirus and Workplace Food Health and Safety

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Coronavirus and Workplace Food Health and Safety

Sam Milbrath
By Sam Milbrath
March 13, 2020

Office managers have an important job in managing the day-to-day operations and procedures in the workplace. This isn’t easy, considering workforce health and safety is paramount during the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

We’re sharing 6 essential food safety precautions that every office manager should know. In addition to the recommendations provided, we strongly advise staying up-to-date with relevant health authority preventative measures

6 Essential Food Safety Precautions Every Office Manager Should Know

1. Wash and sanitize your hands often and well

Although this is a given, it is important to build a habit of frequent hand washing in the office. Post signs in every workplace washroom of how to properly wash your hands with soap and hot water for 20 seconds. Use Wash Your Lyrics to generate fun handwashing infographics. Ensure that there are soap and disposable towels available at all times. Keep all faucets, doorknobs, handles and other high-touch points sanitized by cleaning them frequently. 

2. Sanitize and clean all shared meal surfaces

This is especially important in shared spaces and places where people eat. Place alcohol-based hand sanitizers throughout your workplace and especially near any kitchens or food stations. Leave signs at communal tables and dining areas to remind your team to sanitize surfaces before and after eating. Have antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer available in this area. 

3. Switch to individual meals for office catering

If you’re ordering office catering, consider switching to individually packaged meals, rather than sharing- or family-style. This will help your office avoid food and utensil sharing. Only the person eating the individual meal should touch, handle or come into contact with the meal, unlike with sharing-style where everyone serves themselves from open buffet dishes. 

4. Eliminate shared serving utensils 

Avoid sharing-style dishing spoons, forks and tongs that multiple employees handle. With clean hands, organize any cutlery, utensils, napkins and cups that people may require so that they only handle the one they plan to use. Or, order sustainable cutlery to arrive packaged individually with office catering deliveries.

5. Avoid shareable food and drinks

Snack bowls, family-size snacks and any other finger food items, dips, sauces and drinks should be avoided. If you’re ordering a traditionally sharable menu item, ensure that it is packaged individually beforehand. For example, rather than having a communal snack bowl, organize small sealed ziplock bags of snacks to give out at a pre-sanitized area away from where people will be eating and hanging out. Other hygienic snacks include wrapped protein or snack bars, small chip bags and fruit cups.

6. Avoid touching the communal drink spigot 

Depending on how your office’s water spout or dispenser works, the rim of employee’s mugs, cups or water bottles may be touching and contaminating the station. Some establishments like Starbucks are no longer allowing customers to bring in their own cups to use in the stores. Limit cup use to single-use before they go in the hot dishwasher for sanitization or find a hygienic system that works for your office. 

The overall health and safety of your team is our first priority. Together with your help, we can work to keep our workplaces and office kitchens safe and clean. 

Foodee’s food health and safety measures 

The entire team here at Foodee, which includes our restaurant and delivery partners in ten cities across North America, has a commitment to our clients’ health and safety. We are following precautionary guidance provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). In addition to measures recommended by authorities, our restaurant and delivery partners are doing the following to ensure maximum hygiene and safety.

Our restaurant partners are committed to:

  • Keeping kitchen surfaces sanitized
  • Strongly encouraging the use of gloves when handling any food or food packaging 
  • Encouraging hand washing and alcohol sanitization before and after deliveries
  • Reinforcing safe food-handling procedures 

Our delivery partners are committed to:

  • Keeping surfaces, including hot bags and vehicles, sanitized
  • Strongly encouraging drivers to use gloves to handle any food or food packaging 
  • Reinforcing hand washing and alcohol sanitization before and after deliveries

Foodee will continue to monitor and update our practices and communications based on guidance from relevant health authorities. 

Sam Milbrath

About Sam

Sam Milbrath is a freelance copywriter and content marketer. When she isn’t writing for brands, she's working on her first novel or exploring nature. Check out her work at www.sammilbrath.com

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