This new resource tool is designed to help managers and employees in food service settings understand when, why and how to effectively restrict or exclude ill food service employees in order to prevent the spread of foodborne illness. The “Red Book” was designed by the Georgia Department of Public Health as a guidance document to help industry train food service employees, including a decision tree to help managers make the right call when it comes to a sick employee in the workplace. The GaDPH has been an integral part of Georgia’s Food Safety & Defense Task Force, and GaDPH used task force meetings in 2017 as the perfect platform to publicize the tool as a valuable resource for public health inspectors and industry. The template provides forms to utilize with all new hires, covering what foodborne illness is, an agreement for the employee to sign about reporting illness, and a decision tree to help managers ensure they are meeting regulatory requirements to help with inspections. This resource is an effective mitigation tool against the spread of foodborne illness by implementing a successful Employee Health Policy in food service establishments.
What are people saying about the Red Book?
“While I was standardizing one of our employees in Cobb County, during the standardization inspection, the industry representative had not yet implemented a proper employee health policy in their establishment. The inspector provided a copy of the Red Book and the industry rep exclaimed, ‘This is perfect – this is just what we need!’ As you can imagine, my face lit up! I’m very enthusiastic about more encounters like this as the Red Book becomes a common tool for inspectors to provide to industry.” –Shaun Bryant, Program Consultant, Environmental Health Section, Georgia Department of Public Health
“This has been great for my team. I am very appreciative of the Red Book because, even though we have had guidance documents like this in the past, this one hits the mark! It has been a very valuable tool for my staff and makes the topic of ‘employee health’ much simpler to explain, and is the perfect example to provide to operators in my area.” –Karen Gulley, Food Service Program Manager, Cobb County Board of Health/Environmental Health