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Stand-Up Training: Emergency Preparedness for Food Service

Food manager teaches employees about emergency preparedness.

Empower Employees Through Food Safety Training

Sometimes you can plan ahead for an emergency. Other times, you and your employees will have to respond to a spontaneous event. In both cases, it’s important to have an emergency plan in place so your employees know exactly what to do to keep themselves and your customers safe.

Learning Objectives

You may choose to read these learning objectives with your employees as a part of the stand-up training.

After this training, employees should be able to:

  • Identify the imminent health hazards that should be reported to a manager
  • Describe the escape routes and emergency procedures for your workplace
  • Recognize situations that require contacting emergency services
  • Execute the emergency plan for necessary situations

The Facts

You may choose to read these facts with your employees as a part of the stand-up training.

  • If you notice any of these serious health hazards, report it to a manager immediately:
    • Fire
    • Flood
    • Extended power or water outage
    • Sewage backup
    • Misuse of poisonous or toxic materials
    • Foodborne illness outbreak
    • Allergic reaction to food
    • Unsanitary event or condition like a patron vomiting or broken equipment
    • Shelter-in-place situation, such as an unexpected natural disaster or violent act
    • Any other potential health hazard
  • Call 911 if the hazard could cause immediate harm to someone
  • Some health hazards may require you to temporarily close part or all of your establishment while you take care of the problem; follow the manager’s lead and use common sense
  • Also share specific facts about your establishment’s emergency plan, including:
    • How you will notify employees of an emergency
    • What they should do during the emergency
    • Escape routes from your facility

Training Activities

Choose the activities that will be most beneficial for your employees. Modify them as needed to fit the training needs of your establishment.

Emergency Scenarios

Discuss: What kinds of emergencies are most likely to occur at our establishment? When should you call 911?

Watch (optional): Watch the video When Do You Need to Shelter in Place?

Emergency Roleplay

Practice: Give a fictional example of an emergency. Ask your employees to respond as if it were actually occurring.

Discuss: What should you do during an emergency?

Following Up

When preparing your employees for an emergency, there’s no substitute for practice. Schedule drills throughout the year for the types of emergencies that are most likely to occur at your establishment. Depending on the situation, help your employees remember what to do.

As needed, review this training with your employees.

Training Resources

The video When Do You Need to Shelter in Place? will help your employees visualize the types of emergencies they might have to deal with at your establishment.

Post the Food Safety in a Disaster or Emergency infographic to help your employees remember how they can keep food safe during an extended power outage or other natural emergency.

If you haven’t developed your emergency plan yet, it may be helpful for you to review OSHA’s minimum requirements for an emergency plan and the article In the Event of Disaster.

Did you use this stand-up training in your establishment? We’d love to get your feedback! Take a minute to do our feedback survey.

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— Jessica Pettit

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