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Susan Quam

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Food Safety –
Sick Employee Policy

Make sure your employees know that the Wisconsin Food Code requires them to inform the manager on duty if they are ill with certain types of symptoms or illnesses.

You should post or give to each employee a copy of the notice on the following page to inform them of this important Food Code requirement. We’ve also included a Spanish language version of this notice at the bottom of this page. Providing such a notice to employees could help limit your exposure to liability.

If an employee has vomiting or diarrhea, they cannot return to work until 48 hours after the symptoms have ceased.

If an employee has been diagnosed with any of the foodborne illnesses listed below, you must notify the health department, and they cannot return to work until the health department gives approval.

  • All Salmonella species
  • All Shigella species
  • E.coli 0157:H7
  • Hepatitis A
  • Entamoeba histolytica
  • All Campylobacter species
  • Norovirus
  • Cryptosporidium
  • Giardia
  • Yersinia enterocolitica
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Listeria monocytogenes (aka Listeriosis)

If an employee has Jaundice, they should be tested for Hepatitis A. If an employee is diagnosed with Hepatitis A, check with the health department to find out when that employee may return to work. If you notice signs of Jaundice in an employee, make sure you discuss this with them.

Norovirus Outbreaks on the Increase
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has seen a noticeable increase in norovirus gastroenteritis cases throughout the state. Norovirus (previously known as Norwalk-like virus) is a group of viruses that causes acute intestinal illnesses in humans.

What is Norovirus

  • Norovirus is highly contagious and easily spread from person to person. Norovirus is primarily found in the feces and vomit of infected people.
  • Like hepatitis A, it is commonly associated with ready-to-eat food that has been contaminated by an infected restaurant employee (by direct contact, person to person, or cross-contamination of equipment).
  • Consuming even small amounts of the virus can lead to illness and people become contagious within a few hours of eating contaminated food.
  • Most common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and abdominal cramps.

Questions? Need more advice?
Contact WRA at 800.589.3211.

Important Employee Notice
Important Employee Notice (Spanish)

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Wisconsin Restaurant Association • 2801 Fish Hatchery Rd. • Madison, WI 53713 • Tel: 608.270.9950 • Toll Free: 800.589.3211 • FAX: 608.270.9960