Factors associated with food workers working while experiencing vomiting or diarrhea

Steven Sumner, Laura Green Brown, Roberta Frick, Carmily Stone, Rand Carpenter, Lisa Bushnell, Dave Nicholas, James Mack, Henry Blade, Melissa Tobin-D'Angelo, Karen Everstinexs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study sought to determine the frequency with which food workers said they had worked while experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, and to identify restaurant and worker characteristics associated with this behavior. We conducted interviews with food workers (n= 491) and their managers (n = 387) in the nine states that participate in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Environmental Health Specialists Network. Restaurant and worker characteristics associated with repeatedly working while experiencing vomiting or diarrhea were analyzed via multivariable regression. Fifty-eight (11.9%) workers said they had worked while suffering vomiting or diarrhea on two or more shifts in the previous year. Factors associated with workers having worked while experiencing vomiting or diarrhea were (i) high volume of meals served, (ii) lack of policies requiring workers to report illness to managers, (iii) lack of on-call workers, (iv) lack of manager experience, and(v) workers of the male gender. Our findings suggest that policies that encourage workers to tell managers when they are ill and that help mitigate pressures to work while ill could reduce the number of food workers who work while experiencing vomiting or diarrhea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-220
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of food protection
Volume74
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

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