Recipe for outbreak: Sick food workers

  • Article by: Mike Hughlett , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 27, 2014 - 10:21 AM

Ailing employees cause most norovirus cases, state says.

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aviendhaJan. 25, 1411:39 PM

When you don't offer employees an option to stay home when they're sick without risking their job security, you get sick workers who spread illness. It's that simple. Companies who invest in their employees retain them longer, have better employee engagement, and become better places to work. It's that simple.

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comment229Jan. 26, 14 4:28 AM

aviendha: you are so right.... and it is the tip of the iceberg as well.... we value perfect attendance in schools, both by the staff and the students, but at what price? How many school kids/personnel have come to school, put in an enclosed environment, and people marvel at how sick they are, but came to school that day. I am sure it is the same in an office environment too. It's something in our culture I think, to admire people who go to extremes to go to work each day, instead of thinking of others.... It has to change.

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tomtom02Jan. 26, 14 4:52 AM

Everyone, just wash your hands, for Christ's sake! In fact, wash your hands twice as often as you THINK you need to.

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parksworkerJan. 26, 14 5:23 AM

@aviendha - yep on the sick days off but this golf course has lost tons o money every summer. time to give it to a company like stpaul is doing. the city could then maybe decide to give something extra to the companies workers salaries. where is the person in charge of this place in the article anyway?

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Willy53Jan. 26, 14 7:13 AM

Spot on comments. The attitude toward staying home when sick has to change. I tell everyone working for our company to STAY HOME when sick so the rest of the company can keep on working instead of spreading the virus among the office workers. Problem is that production has gone so high that when individuals are absent their impact is significant. The pressure to keep producing is keen and that increases the presence of ill workers. Stigmatizing workers that show up sick as irresponsible would be a better trend. Paid sick leave would be a better policy. The attitude of management contriubtes to what is a growing fear among all workers that they can be replaced if they don't constantly produce at a top level.

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swmnguyJan. 26, 14 8:13 AM

We're seeing more and more of this in the race to the bottom, as the value of employee's wages declines in real terms and more and more jobs become part-time/on-call. Of course, catering jobs and low-end restaurant jobs have always been like this. I got fired once when I was 17 for calling in sick when I had a stomach bug. I went in, sick, and had it out with my supervisor and got my job back (at the Happy Chef in Marshall!). But the default even in 1984 was you went to work sick, and let your supervisor decide if you were too sick to work, even preparing food. For the princely wage of $3.35/hr., at that time, less the $0.75/per shift "uniform fee" for the shirt they made me wear.

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reidJan. 26, 14 9:44 AM

I'm still baffled as to, despite the education and signs, the number of people in public (especially restaurant) restrooms, who head out the door without washing. Its been years since I saw an employee do that (and went straight to the manager and left after reporting it) but the number of customers who finish their business and head out is alarming. We don't live in fifteenth century Europe or Rome any more. While it is terrible enough to become ill after a meal at any land based place, can you imagine the awful state you'd find yourself ill on a big cruise ship hundreds of miles out to sea?

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md56482Jan. 26, 14 9:46 AM

learn how to properly wash your hands! The amount of men who leave the restroom without washing their hands amazes me. I was in a fast-food restaurant one day and went into the restroom where an employees had just finished at the urinal and smoothed out his hair and left. I followed him back to the counter where he used some hand santizer from a receptacle on the wall and called it good. So my thought was, do I call the manager or not make a big deal in front of the whole store? There was a lot of customers in line at the time.

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md56482Jan. 26, 14 9:52 AM

Staying home sick is okay. But the people who abuse it make it our hard for the truely sick to take the day off. For those of you who conveniently call in on Monday or Friday because sick days are your your "personal" day because you're tired, bored, want to hang out with friends, extend a weekend vacation or go shopping, think about this...Sick days are for being sick. When you're sick, others have to do your job. If you're not sick, go to work!!!

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th3171Jan. 26, 1410:40 AM

"I was in a fast-food restaurant one day and went into the restroom where an employees had just finished at the urinal and smoothed out his hair and left."...wasn't that in a Seinfeld episode?

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