"Stay home if you're sick."
That's the message to food industry workers from the nation's public health watchdog, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The problem is staying home isn't an option for food industry workers - 70% of whom are low wage employees with no paid sick days.
The health agency last month issued a bulletin that said the worst food-borne illnesses originated from contaminated food handled by sick workers.
Can a person learn the art of hospitality?
That’s the question the organizers of the first Welcome Conference want to pose to participants both within and outside the restaurant industry. This sold-out, service-focused event will be held in New York City on June 17, and the team behind it hopes their message will spread.
“Service is black and white, hospitality is color,” says Will Guidara, one of the organizers. He’s the co-owner and restaurateur of Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad in New York; the former most recently earned the No. 4 spot on San Pellegrino’s notably buzzworthy World’s 50 Best Restaurants List.
What he’s talking about is the somewhat recent trend of restaurants extending beyond traditional service and taking extra measures - like Googling guests or handling special occasions - to make their diners feel like active and unique participants in their own experience.
Approximately 20 million people fall ill every year due to norovirus, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says the food service industry could do much to decrease that number.
Restaurants and catering services are the most common sources for norovirus outbreaks from contaminated food, according to the report. "Infected food workers are frequently the source of these outbreaks, often by touching ready-to-eat foods served in restaurants with their bare hands," CDC experts wrote.
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
A few weeks ago I was sitting at a bar when they announced last call. Service stopped. Twenty minutes later, two bartenders I know came rolling in. “Oh, man, the bar is closed,” I said. “Last call doesn’t apply to bartenders,” my friend replied. Sure enough, the guy behind the bar sprang into action for them.