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Restaurant workers bring risk when sick on the job

November 12, 2014

US Food Safety

by Doug Powell

In the absence of paid sick days and health insurance, many food service workers show up sick.

Sonia Cohen has worked in the fast food business for the last 10 years. Cohen said even missing one day of work hurts her family budget. And she’s not alone.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 5 restaurant workers admits having reported to work while sick with diarrhea and vomiting, which are the two main symptoms of Norovirus.

Health inspectors and restaurant owners both watch for these symptoms.

“Always our inspections are a snapshot in time. We may walk in and someone may have a cold. That’s not a reportable symptom,” said Paula Cox, Health Educator with the Guilford County, North Carolina, Department of Public Health.

The North Carolina Food Code spells out specific illnesses and symptoms that restaurant employees cannot bring with them to work…

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