Stop the Spread of Flu Viruses in Restaurants

Prevention is better than a cure for any disease, and flu is no exception. Working in the
restaurant industry comes with a certain responsibility to make sure you are not exposing
customers to the risk of getting sick. Knowing how the virus is spread and what you can do to
avoid infection are the first steps to keeping your customers and co-workers safe.
The influenza virus is transmitted in different ways:

  • By direct contact with someone who is infected.
  • By touching objects, like doorknobs and countertops, that have been contaminated with
    the virus.
  • By inhaling flu particles that have been released in the air.

People with the flu can spread the virus while being up to 6 feet away from other individuals
when they cough or sneeze. The virus can live on surfaces for up to 8 hours.

There are several ways restaurant workers can help stop the spread of flu viruses:

  •  Do not go to work if you are sick or think you might have the flu.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
    when soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, then wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid contact with anyone who may be sick.
  • Get your annual flu vaccine.

Employees should also be diligent about sanitizing common areas in the restaurant including:

  • Bathrooms
  • Cash registers
  • Chair arms and highchairs
  • Condiment bottles
  • Doorknobs
  • Exits and entryways
  • Play areas
  • Writing utensils

Restaurants should keep tissues and hand sanitizer available in common areas for worker and
customer use.
Help your workforce stay safe by encouraging employees to get their flu vaccines. Worksite
clinic programs are available through local pharmacies including Safeway, Times, Foodland,
Pharmacare, KTA pharmacy, Don Quijote, and others. Your health insurance provider may also
be able to help coordinate this service for your company.



Chief Medical Officer

Brought to you by HMAA, where we’re passionate about your health. To find out more about HMAA’s health plans, visit or contact our Customer Service Center. For information about our menu of wellness services, please contact Naomi Azama at (808) 791-7607 or


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