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#1 imadoughguy

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 05:57 PM

Per SQF, we are having employees complete a Health Survey for pre-employment and upon returning from vacation or sick days. I really don't want to keep a file with this kind of information due to HIPPA laws. I'm thinking we will just document that the employee completed the survey and shred the survey. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Phil



#2 Setanta

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 05:59 PM

Because I am not recognizing this and I am preparing for an Audit, what is this under?

Thank you for your timing!
Setanta


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#3 Marshenko

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:42 PM

Because I am not recognizing this and I am preparing for an Audit, what is this under?

Thank you for your timing!
Setanta


11.3.1.1 Personnel suffering from infectious diseases or are carriers of any infectious disease shall not engage in product handling or processing operation

Edit: Or Personnel Hygiene and Welfare under whatever module is applicable for you :smile:

Edited by Marshenko, 25 March 2013 - 06:43 PM.


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#4 Setanta

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:59 PM

OK that I have covered, but is a Health Survey for post vacation the best way to handle this?


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#5 Marshenko

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 07:06 PM

Its an interesting technique to assess risk:

1. Did you go on a cruise?
2. Did you drink the tap water in Cancun?
3. How are your poops?

... and so on



#6 Chris @ Safefood 360°

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:20 PM

Per SQF, we are having employees complete a Health Survey for pre-employment and upon returning from vacation or sick days. I really don't want to keep a file with this kind of information due to HIPPA laws. I'm thinking we will just document that the employee completed the survey and shred the survey. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Phil



Hi Imadoughguy,

You have cited the chief reason why the GFSI "Medical Screening" requirements have been an issue for not only you, but a lot of other (US) industry professionals. I'd point you back to this conversation (although it was BRC-related, it applies all the same): http://www.ifsqn.com...h__1#entry56623

As an employer, do you want to take on the liability of infringing on privacy rights, or would you find it more advantageous to put the onus on the employee to report all illnesses to their supervisor? This is a slippery slope, and I'm afraid that a lot of US companies have put themselves at risk of litigation in attempt to simply pull the trigger on compliance to this requirement. I have been through GFSI certification a few times with different companies. At no time did I enforce "employee questionnaires", and at no time did I require pre-employment screening. These activities open you up to a lawsuit you can't win in court, and I've not seen a non-conformance result from stating that the internal policy requires the employee(s) to inform supervision of illness so they can be kept from direct food contact. You'll note that in the conversation I attached, 21CFR110 provides the federal directive regarding disease control:

"(a)Disease control. Any person who, by medical examination or supervisory observation, is shown to have, or appears to have, an illness, open lesion, including boils, sores, or infected wounds, or any other abnormal source of microbial contamination by which there is a reasonable possibility of food, food-contact surfaces, or food-packaging materials becoming contaminated, shall be excluded from any operations which may be expected to result in such contamination until the condition is corrected. Personnel shall be instructed to report such health conditions to their supervisors."


I hope this helps.

Chris

#7 imadoughguy

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 10:00 PM

Hi Imadoughguy,

You have cited the chief reason why the GFSI "Medical Screening" requirements have been an issue for not only you, but a lot of other (US) industry professionals. I'd point you back to this conversation (although it was BRC-related, it applies all the same): http://www.ifsqn.com...h__1#entry56623

As an employer, do you want to take on the liability of infringing on privacy rights, or would you find it more advantageous to put the onus on the employee to report all illnesses to their supervisor? This is a slippery slope, and I'm afraid that a lot of US companies have put themselves at risk of litigation in attempt to simply pull the trigger on compliance to this requirement. I have been through GFSI certification a few times with different companies. At no time did I enforce "employee questionnaires", and at no time did I require pre-employment screening. These activities open you up to a lawsuit you can't win in court, and I've not seen a non-conformance result from stating that the internal policy requires the employee(s) to inform supervision of illness so they can be kept from direct food contact. You'll note that in the conversation I attached, 21CFR110 provides the federal directive regarding disease control:

"(a)Disease control. Any person who, by medical examination or supervisory observation, is shown to have, or appears to have, an illness, open lesion, including boils, sores, or infected wounds, or any other abnormal source of microbial contamination by which there is a reasonable possibility of food, food-contact surfaces, or food-packaging materials becoming contaminated, shall be excluded from any operations which may be expected to result in such contamination until the condition is corrected. Personnel shall be instructed to report such health conditions to their supervisors."


I hope this helps.

Chris



#8 imadoughguy

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 10:04 PM

Thanks Chris,
Your comments and directive are very helpful.
FYI... we ran our survey by our legal counsel and they okayed it.
I didn't ask them what to do with the completed survey... I'll let you know what they say about that.

Phil



#9 Chris @ Safefood 360°

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:24 PM

Thanks! I'll certainly be looking for your follow up and appreciate any light you can shed on the subject!

-Chris



#10 SQFconsultant

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 03:01 AM

Per SQF, we are having employees complete a Health Survey for pre-employment and upon returning from vacation or sick days. I really don't want to keep a file with this kind of information due to HIPPA laws. I'm thinking we will just document that the employee completed the survey and shred the survey. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Phil



There is no requirement under SQF for a "health survey".


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#11 john123

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:45 PM

Pretty sure I wouldn't fill out a survey like this if my employer asked for it. We addressed the SQF requirement by adding verbiage to our GMP's that require employees to report the conditions listed above by Chris, and empower supervisors to send home employees who appear to be ill. Further more, employees must be free from vomiting and diarrhea symptoms for 48 hours before returning to work. HIPPA makes enforcement of that a grey area, without a doubt, but it has satisfied everyone thus far without becoming a "Big Brother" type employer.



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#12 imadoughguy

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 03:33 PM

Thanks for everyone's comments.
I know what you mean, I was thinking about it last night and I wouldn't feel comfortable filling out a health survey either.

Kinda sounds like we need to know but can't ask. :-)

We have to tell people what we want them to report, so I guess we could just give them a copy of the policy as a reminder when they return to work and at hire go over it as part of GMP training.

Phil



#13 imadoughguy

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 03:34 PM

There is no requirement under SQF for a "health survey".


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#14 imadoughguy

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 03:39 PM

Thanks Glen.

I should have said "as a means to meet SQF Code 11.3.1 we are thinking about a health survey" etc...

Nice to hear from you.
Thanks again.
Phil



#15 esquef

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 03:49 PM

This is a "grey area" in the SQF code. In 11.3 (Personnel Health and Welfare), 11.3.1.1 states: "Personnel suffering from any infectious disease shall no engage in product handling or processing operation."

I know SQF is not intended to be prescriptive, but how is a manager expected to know if an employee has a non-obvious infectious disease (ex.diarrhea) without the employee telling their supervisor or other management personnel? Most production employees have a limited number of sick days, and when they run out of days they're out money, so there is an incentive for them to work while ill. I have to believe that this is a regular occurance at most, if not all food manufacturers.

Tricky issue to be sure.



#16 abhagat

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 09:19 PM

I agree with John123, employees must be free from vomiting and diarrhea symptoms for 48 hours before returning to work. If this is observed or reported (by the person himself or someone else) a decision should be made. To make sure that the employee is not losing out on wages or gathers absentee points due to the fact that he/she has to go home until they 'recover' from the symptoms, they can always be transferred to role where they are not handling any exposed food. Is that fair?

Thank you.



#17 Sweety

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:05 PM

Attached File  Generic Illness Reporting Agreement.doc   26KB   85 downloadsI use a document for all new employees in which they agree to report any health issues. Attached File  Generic Illness Reporting Agreement.doc   26KB   85 downloads

#18 Oldairyman

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 07:18 PM

I have to agree with Phil on this question . Iv'e been through alot of SQF and BRC audits,and enforcement of this employee health question is not examined down to the personal condition of the employee. The underlying purpose is to make sure it's in your GMPs and have a policy/plan to help protect the consumer.
:smile: Jeff



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