News and Stories

FOOD SAFETY UPDATE: Norovirus Transmission in Food Establishments

November 30, 2017

At this time, this update does not apply to any Markon First Crop, Ready-Set-Serve, or Markon Essentials products. 

Norovirus remains the leading cause of foodborne illnesses in the United States. The majority of these illnesses can be traced back to food contaminated by infected food employees in either retail or restaurant food establishments. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a Risk Assessment of Norovirus Transmission in Food Establishments to evaluate and understand the effectiveness of various control measures in preventing the virus from spreading. The complete assessment is available for review here.

Key Findings:

  • Exclude employees from the establishment as soon as symptoms of Norovirus appear (vomiting and/or diarrhea)
    • Restricting employees from preparing food after being ill still allows for potential transmission of the virus to other employees through non-food contact surfaces
  • Ensure compliance and effectiveness of handwashing by all employees
  • Effectively clean and sanitize all food-contact surfaces
  • Limit employee hand contact with restroom surfaces (i.e. touchless faucets and doors)

Although Norovirus outbreaks can occur anytime during the year, over 80% of reported outbreaks occur between November and April. Information on effective measures to prevent the spread of Norovirus can be found in Markon’s Norovirus Poster and the FDA’s Fact Sheet: Risk Assessment of Norovirus Transmission in Food Establishments.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Markon representative with any questions.

Lianna Kelly

Food Safety Director

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