Employee Health Initiative

The Health Inspection Program implemented an educational public health initiative on Employee Health on March 1, 2017. The purpose of this initiative is to reduce the likelihood that viruses and bacteria will be transmitted from infected food employees into food. The Centers for Disease Contorl estimates that each year roughly 48 million people become sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die. According to the 2011 estimates, the most common foodborne illnesses are caused by norovirus and by the bacteria Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, and Campylobacter.

During your inspections, a State or Municipal Health Inspector will ask the Manager or Person In Charge (PIC) questions about employee health (Section 2-2 of the Maine Food Code) to assess knowledge and awareness. The inspector will provide you with a red folder with handouts titled "Employee Health Policy" which will assist you in developing your employee health policy. The handouts in this folder have simplified the Employee Health section of the Maine Food Code.

These handouts focus on:

  1. Foodborne illness training
  2. Reporting Agreement
  3. Manager's decision guide

The goal of this outreach is to:

  1. Educate and train employees on foodborne illness transmission, diseases and symptoms;
  2. Increase employee awareness to report symptoms, diagnosis and exposure to their manager, and;
  3. Educate the manager or PIC as to what action to take when an employee reports and under what conditions the employee can return to work or assigned duties.

Downloadable forms

If you have questions about the employee health initiative, please contact Lisa Silva, Program Manager, Maine CDC Health Inspection Program.