Norovirus is the most common cause of foodborne illness in the United States and can be present in any food or beverage that you eat. It’s important to know how to prevent, recognize and control the spread of norovirus. Food handlers can help prevent norovirus by washing their hands properly and avoiding sharing food, drink, and eating utensils with others. Food handler training can teach new hires about food safety, proper hand washing techniques and other ways to avoid spreading germs at work (and home).
Norovirus is the most common cause of foodborne illness in North America.
Norovirus is the most common cause of foodborne illness in North America. It may cause diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain that can last for 1-3 days.
Noroviruses are very hardy; they can survive on surfaces for up to 3 days, making them difficult to kill. They can also be spread through contaminated food or water, as well as by contact with an infected person.
It’s important to know how to prevent, recognize and control the spread of norovirus.
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that can cause gastroenteritis, or inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Norovirus causes vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes bloody) and nausea. It’s important to know how to prevent, recognize and control the spread of norovirus.
- Know the signs and symptoms of norovirus. Symptoms may include: diarrhea, vomiting or watery stool; fever; body aches; headache; nausea or abdominal pain.*
- Know how to prevent the spread of norovirus: Wash hands thoroughly with soap after using the toilet or changing diapers; before preparing food; before eating food yourself or feeding others in your care.* Don’t prepare food for others while sick with diarrhea from any cause (including from drinking contaminated water). If possible wait two days after diarrhea stops before returning back into kitchen environments.* Avoid unnecessary contact between infected people who are ill with vomiting/diarrhea and those who aren’t yet showing signs but could become infected by coming into contact with virus particles shed through feces/vomit.*
Food handlers can help prevent norovirus by washing their hands properly and avoiding sharing food, drink and eating utensils with others.
The best way to prevent norovirus is by washing your hands properly.
- Wash your hands before starting work, and after you use the bathroom or if you have handled raw foods or garbage.
- Use warm water and soap to wash both sides of your hands for at least 20 seconds, making sure that you scrub under the nails where germs like to hide. Dry thoroughly with a paper towel or clean cloth towel (not just air drying) so that no moisture remains on your skin which could harbour more germs than it would if dry.
Food handler training can teach new hires about food safety and proper hand washing techniques.
Food handler training can help new hires understand the importance of food safety and how to prevent the spread of norovirus.
In addition to basic information about proper hand washing techniques, food handlers should be taught how to:
- Prevent cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards for raw meats and produce;
- Avoid touching ready-to-eat foods with bare hands;
- Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue;
Training employees on proper hand washing techniques can help prevent norovirus.
Employees should be trained on proper hand washing techniques. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recommends that employees wash their hands with soap and water for at least 15-20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be used.
In addition to teaching employees about how much time is needed for effective hand washing, it’s important to teach them how to avoid cross contamination. Keeping one hand out of contact with the other while cleaning them both separately is effective. This will prevent spreading germs from person to person or surface to person/surface.
Employees should also be instructed on what steps they need take after using the restroom or coughing or sneezing: they should immediately wash their hands thoroughly with soap and warm water; if there are no sinks nearby, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer instead; then dry off completely before returning back into work areas where food is being prepared!
As a food handler, it’s important to know how to prevent, recognize and control the spread of norovirus. You can help protect yourself and others by washing your hands properly and avoiding sharing food, drink and eating utensils with others. If you or someone else have norovirus symptoms (like vomiting or diarrhea), contact your doctor immediately so they can determine whether testing is needed.