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March 13, 2020

From the Executive Director

In light of the recent developments with the spread of Coronavirus we all must take diligent and extreme measures to ensure our patrons and staff are in a safe environment. We feel that the best course of action is to have all the necessary tools and measures in place in order to provide a safe and positive environment for guests to enjoy a great meal in a casual environment and our staff to work in a stress free and knowledge based workplace. We will continue to provide feedback on the development of this virus and how it effects our industry. Your MRFA staff is here to provide any guidance and feedback as needed. I am consistently in contact with the Provincial health protection unit and our industry partners to ensure you have the latest in operational information. While it is difficult to assuage the fears of the public concerning the spread of this virus, ensuring your establishment is following hygienic practices as outlined below can help patrons feel safe.

What is 2019-nCoV Coronavirus?

2019-nCoV (Coronavirus) is virus that causes the COVID-19 respiratory illness. It was first detected in Wuhan, China. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. Typically, respiratory viruses are most contagious when an individual is most symptomatic, but there have been reports of the virus spreading when the affected individual does not show any symptoms.

Can the coronavirus be spread through food, including refrigerated or frozen food?

According to the CDC, “Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.”

How are restaurants responding across Canada?

The foodservice industry follows strict local public health guidelines. To meet these guidelines, restaurants have safety protocols and best practices in place including guidance from Health Canada. Owners and operators should continually refer to the Government of Manitoba website for the latest advisories/information about Coronavirus in Manitoba. The Association also has obtained a fact sheet from Restaurants Canada with information specific to our industry. Post in all accessible areas to ensure everyone in your establishment is aware of all signs of potential infection. Completion of a facility prevention audit is a great way to show due diligence in ensuring your establishment is prepared.

What can we all do?

Health Canada suggests that people take the same steps they would to keep from getting the flu: get a flu vaccine, take everyday preventative actions – like washing your hands often – and contact health links at 204-788-8200 or toll-free 1-888-315-9257 when you are sick and ensure that your employee’s feel safe and open to stay home if they suffer symptoms. Below are posters from Restaurants Canada that you can post in your facility to aid in effective staff sanitizing procedures.

1) How to wash your hands properly?

2) How to Disinfect your hands properly?

3) Hand Hygiene poster