Operating Safely GUIDE

How restaurants and foodservice operations can adopt safe practices while operating efficiently

Templates to Help Restaurant and Foodservice Operators Communicate a COVID-19 Positive Employee or Customer

The data and recommendations below are from The Acheson Group for US Foods®

These templates can be used to communicate with employees, customers and the general public.

Employee Communication Template if COVID-19 Case in Workforce

We have recently learned that one of our employees has tested positive for COVID-19. Our immediate thoughts are with them and their family. [Insert company specific sentiments here].

Following guidance from the [local, state, or national health agency] and in partnership with outside public health experts, we have been working to take the right steps in response to this situation. Our main priority is to support you and provide you with information, as we navigate this together.

We are actively identifying people that may have come into close contact with the ill employee. We are working with the health department to determine who may need to self-quarantine. We have also conducted extensive cleaning of common areas and the employee’s work area in the [name or description of the facility] to minimize any risk of surface transmission.

These are stressful times and it is critical that we all support each other. Some things you can do every day to keep yourself and your colleagues healthy are:

  • Continue to practice good preventative habits like frequently washing your hands, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Gloves should always be changed after washing hands, when moving to a new task, or when interrupted during a task.
  • If you are sick, or have a fever, please stay home! Even if you do not think you are contagious or “that sick,” we want to prevent exposing others to your illness as well as prolonging your own recovery.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Talk to your supervisor about any planned travel, whether personal or business related. This will help us prepare to better support you.
  • Out of respect for the affected employee, we ask that we all respect their privacy and avoid sharing names and details publicly in social media.
  • This situation may generate media attention in your market. If you receive any media inquiries, direct them to [name of company media contact].

Communication Template if COVID-19 Customer Recently Visited Restaurant/Store

Protecting the safety of our customers and employees is at the forefront of every decision we make. Hence, upon learning of reported cases in [name of geographic area], we have undertaken extensive steps and tapped additional resources to help prevent the spread of communicable diseases. This includes routine cleaning and disinfecting of high-traffic, high-touch areas, keeping open lines of communication with employees regarding health and wellbeing, and providing flexible scheduling in the event an employee does not feel well.

Since being alerted by health officials that an individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19 has visited our [describe type of business], we have been working closely with the [name of health department] to inform our guests and staff of the potential interactions that may have occurred, while also immediately [describe additional actions that are being taken].

We will continue to work with [name of local health department] to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken and that the health of our customers and employees is protected.

Customer Communication Template if COVID-19 Case in Workforce

On [insert date] we learned that an employee at our [name of location] tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon learning of the result, we have moved quickly to notify our staff, [insert others contacted and any relevant actions taken]. We are following all recommended guidelines from public health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and city, county, and state public health departments [or insert relevant health jurisdiction name here].

We are actively working with external public health consultants and investigating each instance of employee illness and evaluating their circumstances and symptoms on a case-by-case basis, and we will continue to work closely with public health authorities and customers to share timely and relevant information that may impact our customers.

[Company name] is taking multiple steps to best serve you, care for our staff, and be a responsible member of our community. We have implemented rigorous cleaning practices throughout all of our [types of facilities], including more frequent cleanings of high touch areas. To learn more about the steps we are taking, please visit [company website].

The Acheson Group (TAG) is a global food safety consulting group that helps companies throughout the food supply chain more effectively mitigate risks, improve operational efficiencies, and ensure regulatory and standards compliance. Since its founding in 2013, TAG has built a strong reputation — and is proud — to have helped thousands of organizations in the food industry achieve better results.