Dishing Up Disease: Why Your Restaurant Staff Needs Bloodborne Pathogen Certification

So you’re wondering if your restaurant staff needs bloodborne pathogen certification?

What do you do when one of your employees gets cut with a knife? Do you feel woozy and wake up in a sweat on the floor?

What if a customer breaks a glass, tries cleaning it up, slices their finger open, and creates a bloody mess on the table? You ignore it and hide in the walk-in freezer, right? Let’s hope not!

These things may not happen every day at your restaurant, but they happen every day in somebody’s restaurant. If you have a safety program in place, you and your staff won’t stand around wringing your hands. Or worse, faint on the floor.

Your bloodborne pathogen certification will come in handy!

Oh, you’ve never trained your staff for that? We’d like to say, “no worries,” but we can’t. Instead, we’ve put together all the information about why you need training.

Take a look. Then get ready for school!

Bloodborne What?

If you’re thinking to yourself, “what is a bloodborne pathogen?” you’re not alone. Let’s break it down in simple terms.

Pathogen. Merriam-Webster’s friends at the online Dictionary give a precise definition of the word: a bacterium, virus, or other microorganisms that can cause disease.

Merriam-Webster couldn’t help themselves and used the word in a sentence: “Ticks that carry Lyme disease can also carry other pathogens causing less-common diseases such as anaplasmosis and babesiosis.”

Bloodborne means carried or transmitted by the blood.

The letter e on the end of the word makes it a little less sinister. Thinking about birthing a virus in your blood is creepy. But if you carry the virus, chances are you picked it up and intended no harm.

Don’t like the dictionary’s explanation? Don’t worry, you’ll have many opportunities for exploring the topic when you enroll in a BBP Training course.

A Pathway for Pathogens

This all sounds like hospital talk, so how do bloodborne pathogens end up in restaurants?

Bloodborne pathogens and healthcare workers do make great partners. Blood and other bodily fluids thrive in hospitals and other medical settings.  A restaurant is the last place anyone goes expecting an encounter with blood.

However, consider the restaurant environment. Knives, graters, and commercial slicers are tools of the trade. Don’t forget broken glass! What about slips and falls?

Any of these workplace hazards could result in exposure to blood.

Blood exposure can come through human bites, cuts, and abrasions. The eyes, nose, and mouth are another source. Let’s hope the biting humans find other dining places but wounds are normal occurrences in restaurants.

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