Why you can’t work with food while sick

Alastair McLeod

2:57 mins

Lesson Details

As any hospitality employee knows, it can be difficult to call in sick to work. You’re worried about leaving your team understaffed, taking a hit on your paycheck, and the impact a sickie may have on your future rosters. 

But while calling in sick because you’re hungover or can’t be bothered working are deeply frowned upon, a good boss will never punish you for calling in sick when it’s legitimate. In fact, a good boss knows that it’s in everyone’s best interest for a sick person to stay away from the kitchen! 

Handling food when you’re sick can put your co-workers and customers in harm’s way and can completely ruin your venue’s reputation. If an employee’s germs contaminate a meal and make a customer sick in turn, it can signal the end of a food business! 

In this lesson for back of house staff, chef and TV personality Alastair McLeod explains why working with food while sick is an absolute no-no. 

Learn hospitality skills for today’s world, including:

  • Why working with food while sick is a risk not worth taking 
  • The most common illnesses that people come to work with – but shouldn’t! 
  • How to prevent bacteria from spreading in the kitchen 


Alastair McLeod

Owner of Al’FreshCo

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Food safety and hygiene