Research – New procedures for food handlers under infectious gastrointestinal disease: To control emerging microbial problems

Wiley Online

Abstract

Owing to climate change and global warming, foodborne infectious diseases are becoming an inevitable problem worldwide, and this includes Korea. An emerging factor of foodborne infectious disease outbreak in the foodservice business (i.e., restaurants) is inappropriate management of food handlers with acute gastroenteritis. This study will propose new procedures for bigger restaurants such as conglomerate chains or hotel restaurants that have adequate economic capability for operating new or existing procedures to complement the shortcomings of the Korean Food Safety Act based on microbiological, epidemiological, and etiological fundamentals. Designed procedures for managing a primary case (i.e., first symptomatic worker) or confirmed patients in close contact (i.e., colleagues) were based on several concepts, such as isolation, contact quarantine, and release. These procedures can be included in the sanitation standard operating procedures for foodservice business in a chapter on the Food Handler’s Hygiene Management Manual.

Practical applications

Foodborne infectious disease spread by food handlers is currently an emerging food safety management crisis in Korea. Since few response procedures have been proposed as to how to act in such a critical situation, our study will suggest new procedures. Possible foodborne infectious disease that can be mediated by food handlers was investigated and categorized into four types based on their microbiological, epidemiological, and etiological characters. Several distinct response procedures were designated for primary or secondary case, confirmed case, and close contact colleagues. Newly designed criteria were simulated for field applicability. These procedures can be included in the sanitation standard operating procedures for foodservice businesses in a chapter of the Food Handler’s Hygiene Management Manual.

 

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