Covid-19 Hazard for Workers in Rest Restaurants Rents: Cramped Kitchens

Many restaurants are struggling with a simple fact – often there is no easy way to make their kitchen completely safe.

During the coronavirus epidemic, restaurant managers installed dividers and cut staff to bridge the gap between workers. They changed the workflow to minimize contact.

However, some workers, infectious-disease specialists and local health officials say it can be difficult to avoid wasteful and crowded kitchen conditions that may promote coronavirus infection.

Davidson Hammer, a professor at Boston University School of Public Health and School of Medicine and Medicine, said masks can be smeared and contaminated, especially in hot weather.

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“It only takes one person in that environment to spread the virus, and everyone is at risk,” he said.

Cooks and food workers – more than two million according to federal data from 2019 – are among the majority of U.S. employees who cannot do their jobs remotely. Fast-food kitchens, which are usually smaller than full-service restaurants, have remained open for most of the year.

Overall, the industry is facing a difficult disease, with tens of thousands of restaurants closing as a result of epidemics and state and region restrictions.

Extensive data showing that restaurant restaurant workers are infected by Covid-19 at a higher rate than other labor groups is not available. Many local governments do not provide detailed information on outbreaks in the workplace, including the type of employees affected.

Several states and counties, including reg Reagan, Maryland and Los Angeles counties, have reported thousands of possible coronavirus cases or potential infections among restaurant workers.

Eating, drinking and epidemics

Colorado data show that more than 1,000 restaurant employees may have been infected on the job by the middle of this month. About 70 different types of job sites with cases being tracked by the state have three times the average number of potential employee infections per workplace.

Connecticut examined 21 clusters of Covid-19s built in rest restaurants Rome from July to late December. Lynn Sosa, Connecticut’s deputy epidemiologist, said most of the outbreaks were linked to restaurant-kitchen staff. D Most. “Most of these kitchens are not large and often do not have good ventilation,” Sosa said.

Restaurants and bars accounted for one-tenth of 47,357 coronavirus-related workplace complaints earlier this month, according to the Labor Department’s Office of Occupational Safety and Health.

Thamas Mus Russo, head of infectious disease at the University’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Buffalo, said restaurant kitchens vary widely in size and air flow, affecting the potential transmission of the virus. D kitchen. Rousseau said the risk increases when kitchen workers take off masks or don’t wear one constantly, requiring chefs to sample food.

‘It’s very difficult. We are all very close together. ‘

– Jay Joseph, Starbucks Barista in San Bernardino County, Calif.

Many restaurant officials say they are making extensive efforts to protect their employees. Taco Bell has also created a “quarterback” mode to help coordinate service while managers focus on safety and hygiene, according to Mike Grams, president of Taco Bell, president of Taco Bell and chief global operating operating officer. Inc.

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The chain also spreads production line workers in its kitchen and requires employees with Covid-19 features to stay home.

“I say it’s not perfect or it couldn’t be better,” Mr. Grams said.

McDonald’s Corpo.

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And its U.S. The franchisees began an investigation last month to make sure restaurant managers and crews comply with the company’s health and safety standards. With the guidance of the Mayo Clinic Hospital system, the changes suggested in previous operations in the epidemic include barriers erected on grill lines – where workers usually collect sandwiches side-by-side and add space to move some employees to the opposite side of the table . Them.

The company has advised operators to make their employees complete sandwiches on their own, which is less efficient but safer, according to McDonald’s U.S. Said Bill Garrett, senior vice president of operations operations. Previously, employees were standing side by side at a table, and one person was passing sandwiches to the person in front. At least two people assembled a sandwich, especially.

Dunkin ‘, like other big chains, said that if a worker is tested positive for Covid-19, employees in close contact are notified as soon as possible.


Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images

Recent OSHA complaints against Starbucks Corpo.

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, Chick-File-A Inc., Dunkin ‘Brands Group Inc., and McDonald’s included some employees who said coworkers tested positive for the virus but managers could not communicate properly or pay attention to matters. Inadequate social-gaps in complaints often occur.

Employees who believe they are working in an unsafe working condition can file a complaint through OSHA or an identical online or secret phone number. A spokesman for OSHA said agency officials were investigating all allegations of safety and health violations within its jurisdiction.

Chick-File-A, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Dunkin ‘, now Inspire Brands Inc. The department said that in the event of a positive worker test, employees who were in close contact with the individual are notified as early as possible and may need to be quarantined.

The companies say they follow the government’s guidelines and have taken various measures, including increasing social distance, keeping workers separate from each other and customers, and closing many dining rooms.

Michael Harris shows a photo of his late wife, Shonda Harris. She was the manager of a support bell in Denham Springs, LA.


L. Qasimu Harris for the Wall Street Journal

Shonda Harris, a 46-year-old Taco Bell manager in Louisiana, died in July after contracting the virus, according to relatives. Ms. Harris also did some shifts at a nearby Burger King, her husband, Michael Harris, said. He said he was not sure how his wife contracted the virus, but said he believed more work should be done to protect workers at the restaurant.

Taco Bell mourned the death of Mrs. Harris, a Taco Bell spokesperson said, adding that the owners of Taco Bell where Mrs. Harris works donated to her family and considered her a beloved employee.

Burger King, part of Restaurant Brands International Inc.,

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Said the health and safety of workers and consumers is its top priority.

For many rest restaurant renters, finding workers and keeping them healthy will probably be a challenge. Some employees are concerned about virus contracts, they have turned to work shifts, companies have events promoting and hiring epidemiological bonuses.

“Some people don’t want to leave their homes,” said Jack Hartang, chief financial officer at Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. Some people will pass in hours. They may ask for a temporary leave of absence. “

Starbucks, which postponed some happy promotions this month after some baristas complained they were crowding out stores, said its U.S. The salary for store employees is being increased by at least 10%. He says the increase is intended to help retain and retain employees and is part of a multi-year commitment to pay increases. Chipotle, meanwhile, said he had given more than 40 40 million in epidemiological assistance for salaries and bonuses.

Starbucks canceled some happy-go-lucky specials after employees said they caused a crowd.


Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

At least four barristas at a Starbucks in San Bernardino County, Calif., Usually make drinks behind the counter, said Jay Joseph, a 28-year-old barista there. Stickers on the floor show employees where to stand to keep apart, but he said he’s tied up in coworkers.

“It simply came to our notice then. “We’re all very close together,” said Mr Joseph, who said he often shifts up to 500 drinks.

Kevin Johnson, chief executive of Starbucks, said the company has paid employees who are quarantining sitting at home and analyzing local infection rates to determine safe employee levels. “We have no problem closing a store to do this,” Mr. Johnson said.

Ken Gonthier, 20, left the manager’s post at McDonald’s in New Hampshire in April because he was worried he might be infected with the coronavirus and spread it to his father. He now works in a call-center job from his new home in Nevada.

The owner of New Hampshire McDonald’s said he needs employees to wear masks and he has been trained on social distance.

Mr Gonthier said he was glad he was no longer close to many people in the closed space. “People come in and realize they can do a lot to stay safe.”

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Write to Heather Hayden at [email protected] and Micah Maidenberg at [email protected]

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