What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the flu?

I’m sure this question has been asked, I just have not been able to find the responses. I will open a Pizza & Eatery this April, I have come down with the flu and am wondering how others running their own business handle this situation? I do not want to get anyone sick…but, my husband and I will be the only pizza makers! All from scratch of course.

I am in NW Arkansas…originally from Jersey.

Thanks

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

I would never consider working food prep in that situations, and believe that is a black letter exclusion for any staff.

I had a hideous virus, could have been the flu, a couple years back. I laid on the couch, sipped the liquids I could keep down, and slept. REPEAT. For 4 days I was down for the count. It just had to happen. The risk to the community health in terms of spreading flu or flu-like viruses to potentially at-risk populations (children, ill, elderly) is just too great for me to risk. Flu is serious business and something I do not fiddle with. Stay out and take the hit . . . your staff will grow from the struggle like mine did.

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

Thank you for the response Nick…very much appreciated. I don’t get sick often, which is a good thing, so this was a real eye opener for me going into the business. I can imagine how cooks there are out their that don’t actually take this position. But, surely I will keep the doors closed if I have to.

I got the brainstorm of opening shop this past Oct. The pizza here, if you want to call it that, is awful, and the brainstorm hit me when I finally got my NY style where I know I can consistently reproduce it and feel it’s a darn good dough. I live in a small underdeveloped town that is growing in all directions and it will be pull off access from a heavily traveled Rte. Had a baking business back in the early 80’s. Have catered, worked in pizza shops & Deli’s & I love to feed folks. I can tell you getting this altogether has been an awesome and interesting experience. I know hard work and I’m up for the task. Currently a Customer Service Manager and Sales Analyst. I know this is probably a tough economy to come into, but, I don’t know what it is to have a shop in a good economy…so I will gamble. Name of our shop Dine-O-Mite Pizza & Eatery, Named it that as we have a Truck and Trailer shop next door called T-N-T.

Again, thanks for making me feel better (not quilty) for, if I ever had to just stay closed for the sake not infecting the community!

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

Totally agree with Nick, but unfortunately have never followed that instinct. The reality of the matter is, when you’re a small business owner, there are going to be times when you have to be there, or be closed. When I’m in that situation, there are several things I do at work -

  1. OD on Dayquill and “Airborne”
  2. Wear surgical gloves & change them often
  3. I do not do any prep work (green peppers, onions, etc) - don’t do any type of prep that will allow any germ, virus, etc to multiply for 24 - 48 hours in the cooler.
  4. I stay away from the counter & phones, I also have a supply of sanitary wipes to use on the phone if I do have to answer it.
  5. I only make food that’s going to be cooked right away (stay away from salads, cold sandwiches, etc.) Any bug that can live through a 500 degree pizza oven would have likely wiped out the human race by now
  6. I have my staff take “Airborne” as well. Taking the other precautions will protect your customers, but your staff will be in close contact with you for hours on end. This product does a great job of ramping up their immune systems to keep them from getting whatever it is that you’re carrying.
  7. This is about the only circumstance where I’ll close the store early for the night.

Of course, I’m completely insane (ex - a few years ago, I had a double root canal done & worked a full shift that night)

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

I can totally understand your position…especially like point # 5.
Hopefully, with my husband , me, my daughter, 1 cook and 2 helpers…we will be able to juggle and work it out for the sickie to go home when the time comes. Luckily enough, it is a rare occassion when I get sick. This flu stuff really bites.

Thanks for you response.
Andrea

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

Spouse does doubles.

You will be surprised though… I have always had some great employees who were trust worthy enough to “do the basics” while down and out.

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

Train your staff
Trust them to do a good job
Stay home and get well

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

<<>CAUTION I may be overreacting in your view . . . my business operates with this viewpoint >>>
8.) pray that the health inspector doesn’t make a surprise visit.
9) Do NOT tell anyone that you have the flu as it will open up very unfortunate liability claims against your restaurant should someone develop symptoms after frequenting your shop during contagious stages.

Double root canal is personal discomfort. Little to no health risk to anyone else. Influenza virus is a potentially serious public health issue that my local health departments in nearby counties tend to get very impatient about. Don’t have a false sense of security about plastic gloves and flu. You will find that it is an airborne pathogen that can transmit through breathing onto someone or something.

According to Wisc Health and Family services website, you are infectious starting one day before symptoms up to 7 days after they appear. What I am reading on the CDC websites suggests that a surgical mask may be an important preventative to prevent airborne transmission of actual influenza virus.

All in all, the best plan from my little paranoid vision is to get the flu shot religiously each year, and stay away from people if you get symptoms. I don’t play gambling games with my staff and customers’ health with flu. Even if the odds might be low for infections.

Tell you what. Make an anonymous call to your health department and ask their opinions to see if they will freak out if they find you working a commercial kitchen with the flu. That will be a best source of info for protecting your business.

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

Let’s make sure everyone understands that there is a BIG difference between a COLD and the FLU. You can take some preventative care with cold, but you should isolate yourself if you have the flu. The flu is MUCH more dangerous to the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Not only that, but the FLU should have already knocked you onto your back. It would be excruciating to try to work with the flu. I suspect many here are actually talking about a cold. Flu kicks your donkey.

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

Oh, and you may THINK Airborne works but there is no evidence it does. The “clinical evidence” they used to quote was from a two-man company, neither of which was a scientist or doctor, set up specifically to evaluate their product. :?

The dosages they recommend are also contain much more vitamin A than you should have. So much so that you could cause liver damage and other problems if you are not careful.

Eat healthy, wash hands frequently, and skip the snake oil.

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

Holly Cannoli - I don’t even want to be responsible for passing on a cold to anyone. Still home, now feeling a bit better and getting cabin fever. Plain & Simple find a way around being in the shop…period. I would not think twice about sending anyone of the staff home with just a sniffle. I am just a “want something done…you have to do it yourself” type person. That being said, so is my husband and daughter. This just serves as confirmation that there is no need to be there…Thanks!

Now, how do you handle a scrap, cut, small wound on your hands…band-aids get wet and fall off! Making everything from scratch I worry if a new (no longer bleeding) wound presents issues. Please understand I am a handwashing fanatic.

Thanks for helping out the new kid on the block…sounds kind of funny saying that at 48 yrs old…hehehhee

Andrea

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

I go to work. Ya I could stay home but I make sure I take pecautions not to spread something. The thing is it could be spread before you even know you have it. I have owned my own businesses for 15 years and have never had a problem with going to work sick no one in their right mind would try to blame a restaurant if they got a cold or flu and of course there would be no way to prove that is where it come from. I normaly dont get very sick so that is fortunate but this last month I was feeling pretty bad so I just went to work for the busy times and was very carefull what I touched washed my hands often, and did as little prep and pizza making as possible. No one else in the shop got it so everything was ok.

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

I must say that I am alarmed that ANY actual food service operators responsible for the safety procedures and reducing probability of food-borne illness would consider standing in a commercial kitchen with influenza.

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

Same here, Nick. I know some of you have a very small mom and pop stores, but it really is bad to be infecting so many for the sake of your own income. Perhaps it is for sake of financial survival.

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

Short term success at best. My wife and I are the two primary employees/managers. We work together every shift to save labor $$$. Really. We would pony up the 25 hours of labor costs if one got the flu and needed to have a replacement for a few days. Close if we could not man all the posts.

Taking the risk of spreading the flu would be contrary to our self-chosen responsibility to the community, and (on a business related note) would cut our customer base for the next couple weeks as people threw it around their families and friends.

I wonder what folks would do if they had a confirmed salmonella infection . . . or hepatitis . . . or walking pneumonia . . .or the mumps (I am still susceptible). Hobble through the shift or stay home.

See http://www.facesofinfluenza.org/myths_and_facts.php for flu info

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

Nick - I really didn’t expect this to get that much attention…but, I am with you all the way…

I posted again…not sure if you saw it, I respect your position!!!

Holly Cannoli - I don’t even want to be responsible for passing on a cold to anyone. Still home, now feeling a bit better and getting cabin fever. Plain & Simple find a way around being in the shop…period. I would not think twice about sending anyone of the staff home with just a sniffle. I am just a “want something done…you have to do it yourself” type person. That being said, so is my husband and daughter. This just serves as confirmation that there is no need to be there…Thanks!

Now, how do you handle a scrap, cut, small wound on your hands…band-aids get wet and fall off! Making everything from scratch I worry if a new (no longer bleeding) wound presents issues. Please understand I am a handwashing fanatic.

Thanks for helping out the new kid on the block…sounds kind of funny saying that at 48 yrs old…hehehhee

Andrea

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

Imagine if everyone every where didnt go to work because they werent feeling100%. I guess I should clarify what you mean by “sick” Headache? Sinus cold? Flu? upset stomach? Hangover? This last time I was sick it was in my sinuses I didnt have a cough I wasnt sneezing nose wasnt dripping I took some sinus medication and in 2 days was back to normal. I asked a doctor friend of mine about this and he said I probably wasnt infectious. He said if people were going to stop the spread of everything you would have to know 1-2 days before you were actually sick and then you should stay home 2-3 days after you feel beter. Of course that wouldnt be possible for most people and not very realistic, so his suggestion was BE CAREFULL, unless you work directly with the elderly or small children then you should take more percautions.His biggest thing was to wash your hands often thats is the best way to stop it from spreading. Here is a “Guide” to if you should go into work or not and remember I said “Guide” Some people will follow it some wont its a personal decision but its good advice either way.

Sniffling
If you are sniffling — but not achy, not feverish — it’s probably allergies. Get to work!

Sniffling, achy, tired, fever? You’re coming down with the common cold or the flu. You are contagious in those first days so if you have been at work for the first few days it doesnt help to stay away its to late. You are miserable, face it. You’re not going to get much done at work. Also, you will recover quicker from the common cold or flu if you get some rest,

Chills, Sweats
If your clothes are getting drenched, you likely have a fever. (A warm forehead is a very low-grade fever or nothing at all.) When you have a fever, stay home — you’re contagious! It’s likely flu or, yes, the common cold. Drink fluids. Stay away from work until you feel better, Horesh advises.

If you have a fever plus white patches on your tonsils (say “ah”), it may be strep throat. It’s highly contagious. You may need an antibiotic. See a doctor!

Coughing
If it’s a tickle in the throat or it feels like postnasal drip, the cough is probably from allergies or the common cold. Unless you’ve got other common cold symptoms, such as aches or fever, get to work!

If the cough feels deep, makes you short of breath, and brings up green mucus, it’s likely more than the common cold — perhaps bronchitis or pneumonia, according to Horesh. See a doctor!

Earache
If your ear really hurts, if you can’t hear well, you may have an ear infection. That’s not contagious. Congestion from a common cold can also leave your ear in pain. You need to see a doctor to see which it is. You may need an antibiotic. Ear infections usually don’t go away on their own, she says.

Pinkeye
If your eyes are bright red, if there’s creamy white stuff in the corners, if your eyelashes are getting matted, that’s likely pinkeye, which is highly contagious. Don’t go to work. See a doctor for an antibiotic. It’s another infection that needs antibiotic help, Horesh tells WebMD.

Sinus Pain
Pain around the eyes, top of the forehead, the cheekbones, even the top of your teeth are signs of a sinus infection, but it could be a common cold. Call in sick and see a doctor to see if you need an antibiotic. Next day, you’ll likely be able to get yourself to work since sinus infections aren’t typically contagious

Tummy Problems
A stomach virus — nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, aches, low-grade fever — can lay you low for several days. For 24-48 hours, you’ll be absolutely miserable. It can take up to five days to recover. Drink lots of fluids, especially water, so you don’t get dehydrated.

For the first day or two, fluids and soup should be your diet. Then it’s soft solids like mashed potatoes, applesauce, Jell-O, toast, and bananas. Slowly get into solid foods like meat. If you eat solid food too early, it just upsets your stomach more.

With food poisoning, vomiting and diarrhea usually occur six to 12 hours after you eat. The time frame is helpful for distinguishing it from a stomach virus. With food poisoning, once you vomit, you feel better. yes you can go to work

Rule of Thumb: If you can hold down food, you can go into work.

Sprains/Strains
Go to work if you sit at a computer all day. But if you’re on your feet, you will have more swelling, so wait until you can walk with little discomfort. An Ace bandage will give support to an ankle so you won’t re-injure it, Horesh advises. Anti-inflammatory pain relievers help most people, even if they’re not in a lot of pain, because they reduce swelling; take it with food so your stomach isn’t irritated.

An ice pack is a good way to reduce swelling without risking stomach problems.

Headaches/Migraines
Though headaches can be caused by things like the common cold, if you can’t tolerate noise or light, you likely have a migraine and shouldn’t be at work If you haven’t seen a doctor for your migraines, make an appointment. There’s no point in suffering with them. There are drugs you can take for migraines that start working within the hour and shorten the migraine’s duration.

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

Skin breaks are tough in the food service biz. We found a wonderful item for first aid called “finger cots”. They are like single finger gloves or little bitty condomes for your fingers. They roll down over the bandage and keep it dry. Handle like gloves in changing them out and all.

On the hands is tougher. We use gloves when possible, or exclude staff from tasks. If a scrape on the back of the hand, gloves or no dough stretching allowed until it heals. It’s a big pain, really. Lots of antibiotic creams and lots of latex or other stretchy material gloves/finger cots.

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

You can also try liquid bandages for cuts it works really great…

Re: What does a Pizza Owner do when they are sick with the f

Making a living 1 pizza at a time…

Awesome saying…thanks for your response…good idea:)