As the clocks go back and shops are filled with tasty treats and all things sparkly for Christmas, for those of us in the food service industry, we need to remember the threat of Norovirus, which due to its prevalence in Winter, is also called the ‘Winter vomiting bug’.

I remember (not so fondly) my days of working on cruise ships, trying to contain yet another large scale outbreak of Norovirus.  But even ashore, there is still the threat from Norovirus amongst your colleagues or customers.

What is Norovirus

Norovirus is a “low-dose” organism which means that as few as 10 virus particles are required to make a person ill, causing an attack of acute gastroenteritis.

Symptoms last for 24 – 48 hours and some infected people can still pass on the virus for up to 2 weeks after their symptoms have stopped, although for most it is the 48 hours after symptoms have stopped.

Whilst most cases of Norovirus are transmitted from person to person, either directly or by hand contact points, it can also spread through food, in particular fresh produce and seafood or through infected food handlers.

Whilst fatality rates are low, the speed of spread and acuteness of symptoms makes this a high-impact threat which needs to be managed.

(If you can stomach it, watch this ‘Operation Ouch’ video demonstrating how far projectile vomit can spread https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcVlEJ43fkQ)


7 steps to help you stay clear of Norovirus this Winter

  1. Effective hand washing is the most effective preventative measure you can take. This means at least 30 seconds of scrubbing, not just a quick splash.
  2. If a member of staff develops symptoms whilst at work, send them home immediately.
  3. Remember the 48 hour rule; keep food handlers away for a further 48 hours after their symptoms have stopped. Read the FSA guidance on food handlers ‘fitness to work’.
  4. Ensure all hand contact surfaces are properly cleaned and disinfected. Not all disinfectants work on Norovirus, so check with your supplier for an appropriate disinfectant.
  5. Ensure salads, vegetables and fruit are washed thoroughly
  6. Ensure shellfish comes from a reputable supplier and is cooked thoroughly
  7. Make sure you have a contingency plan in place so you know how to handle the situation should you have an outbreak despite taking these precautions.

I do hope you and your business avoid the Norovirus this Winter.  If you need any help with staff training or food safety procedures and best practice, please do contact me.

What Our Customers Say About Us

FB-AVAK have used GH Training Solutions several times in the past year, and have always found the courses to be interesting and informative. Ghislaine has a way of making courses fun, even when the subject matter (Health & Safety) can occasionally be a bit dry.

I would highly recommend GH Training Solutions for any business looking for staff training.

Phillip Harben

GH Training Solutions
5.0.0
2018-07-02T15:01:47+00:00

Phillip Harben

FB-AVAK have used GH Training Solutions several times in the past year, and have always found the courses to be interesting and informative. Ghislaine has a way of making courses fun, even when the subject matter (Health & Safety) can occasionally be a bit dry.
Your passion for the subject and knowledge you imparted to my team will no doubt make a huge difference as they go about passing this on to our franchisees and their team members in our stores. My team spoke very highly of their time with you and I can see the confidence boost your course has given them in this critical area of expertise

Laura Carter

GH Training Solutions
5.0.0
2018-07-02T14:55:54+00:00

Laura Carter

Your passion for the subject and knowledge you imparted to my team will no doubt make a huge difference as they go about passing this on to our franchisees and their team members in our stores. My team spoke very highly of their time with you and I can see the confidence boost your course has given them in this critical area of expertise
At Southern Co-op, we have worked with Ghislaine (GH Training Solutions) for several years and have continued to be impressed by her professionalism. Ghislaine communicates well, from the initial joining instructions right through to the course results, which have always been excellent. Our colleagues talk favourably about Ghislaine's teaching methods and how much they enjoy her courses which take place in a pleasant, relaxed environment.

Linda Masterman
Academy Training Manager
Southern Coop

GH Training Solutions
5.0.0
2019-04-01T18:05:56+00:00

Linda Masterman
Academy Training Manager
Southern Coop

At Southern Co-op, we have worked with Ghislaine (GH Training Solutions) for several years and have continued to be impressed by her professionalism. Ghislaine communicates well, from the initial joining instructions right through to the course results, which have always been excellent. Our colleagues talk favourably about Ghislaine's teaching methods and how much they enjoy her courses which take place in a pleasant, relaxed environment.
As an experienced trainer myself, I recognise and recommend the quality of Ghislaine's training and style of delivery, particularly the way she met the individual needs of everyone on the course and made sure that we were fully engaged and able to share our own knowledge in a supportive and positive environment.

Rod Carver - Level 3 Food Safety Attendee

GH Training Solutions
5.0.0
2019-02-01T12:23:29+00:00

Rod Carver - Level 3 Food Safety Attendee

As an experienced trainer myself, I recognise and recommend the quality of Ghislaine's training and style of delivery, particularly the way she met the individual needs of everyone on the course and made sure that we were fully engaged and able to share our own knowledge in a supportive and positive environment.
10
4
Do you have a question? Need advice or not sure where to start?
All courses are accredited by Highfield, one of the UK's leading awarding bodies for vocational qualifications and work based learning