Preventing the Spread of Norovirus

Learn how to prevent the highly contagious norovirus and take steps to keep it from spreading when you suspect an employee is infected with the virus.

Keystone - News & Insights

May 24, 2017

Norovirus Prevention

Take Action

  • Sick? Stay home at least 48 hours after your symptoms stop. An infected individual can carry the virus for two weeks or more after they feel better.
  • Know your norovirus facts. Get access to educational and procedural information.
  • Locate spill kits and personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Thoroughly wash hands and exposed portions of arms with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use designated handwashing sink.
  • Avoid bare-hand contact. Use utensils and disposable gloves.
  • Wash clothing and linens that may have come into contact with the virus.

Prepare Food Carefully

  • Rinse fruits and vegetables before preparing and serving.
  • Cook shellfish thoroughly.
  • Discard contaminated food that may have come in contact with the virus or an infected person.

Clean Thoroughly and Routinely

  • Clean and sanitize food contact services in back and front of the house. Focus especially on prep surfaces and high-touch objects: utensils, prep and serving ware, cookware, etc.
  • Clean and disinfect storage areas, restrooms and break rooms using EPA-registered products with claims against norovirus. Focus especially on high-touch areas: chairs, door knobs, menus, etc.

Response to Possible Norovirus Infection

Follow these simple steps to keep you, your employees and customers safe.

  1. Report any suspected incidents to management.
  2. Send home infected individuals and direct them to stay home for 48 hours after symptoms end.
  3. Use appropriate PPE.
  4. Secure the area.
  5. Discard any food items that may have been contaminated.
  6. Clean contaminated area following appropriate biohazard protocol; follow warewashing standards for contaminated ware.
  7. Carefully handle contaminated clothing and linen. Have items thoroughly washed at the maximum available cycle length and machine dry.
  8. Disinfect “high-touch” surfaces.
  9. Carefully remove and discard PPE following biohazard procedures.
  10. Change into clean clothes and wash hands thoroughly before reentering the area.

Reference specific cleaning and disinfecting procedures for each step.

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