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Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:40 AM

Food establishments should have to post a warning sign

If their employees do not have adequate healthcare. This is a public health issue. I have a right to know whether my food is being prepared and served by people who have not seen a doctor for whatever illness they might have.

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply Food establishments should have to post a warning sign (Original post)
nichomachus Nov 2012 OP
ForgoTheConsequence Nov 2012 #1
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #6
fleabiscuit Nov 2012 #23
BlueMan Votes Nov 2012 #9
Wednesdays Nov 2012 #13
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #22
closeupready Nov 2012 #2
RB TexLa Nov 2012 #3
nichomachus Nov 2012 #4
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #7
Wednesdays Nov 2012 #14
Patiod Nov 2012 #15
RB TexLa Nov 2012 #19
customerserviceguy Nov 2012 #25
RB TexLa Nov 2012 #31
Patiod Nov 2012 #26
MineralMan Nov 2012 #5
RB TexLa Nov 2012 #8
MineralMan Nov 2012 #10
LancetChick Nov 2012 #11
Patiod Nov 2012 #16
nichomachus Nov 2012 #28
Bryn Nov 2012 #12
Bragi Nov 2012 #17
nichomachus Nov 2012 #29
Bragi Nov 2012 #32
cynatnite Nov 2012 #18
nichomachus Nov 2012 #27
cynatnite Nov 2012 #33
haele Nov 2012 #20
cynatnite Nov 2012 #34
mojowork_n Nov 2012 #21
HopeHoops Nov 2012 #24
VPStoltz Nov 2012 #30

Response to nichomachus (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:49 AM

1. I agree.

And their prices should reflect the fact that we as tax payers heavily subsidize them by paying for the cost of their employees health care. This is true in food service and in retail.

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:56 AM

6. Because of course the employees themselves are NOT tax-payers, right?

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:50 PM

23. I love that meme!

That along with the OP could develop some legs with a bit of work.

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:00 AM

9. their prices already DO reflect it...

 

if they had to provide healthcare for their employees- their prices would be much higher.

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Response to BlueMan Votes (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:36 AM

13. Non sequitur

The prices could be just the same, if the fatcat owners would forego some of their obscene profits.

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Response to Wednesdays (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:49 PM

22. Companies that are already providing healthcare to their employees

are building that into the price of their goods. No reason why employers that will be providing it in the future shouldn't do the same thing.

The company I used to work for (grocery store) operated on a 1.5%-2% profit margin, and all full time workers had the option of two excellent health insurance plans. Not adding the cost into price would have bankrupted the company.

As I said in another thread yesterday, the cost of health insurance is no different than the cost of pepperoni, green peppers or onions on a pizza - so raise the price of the damned pizzas by 14 cents and offer health insurance.

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Response to nichomachus (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:52 AM

2. Disagree.

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Response to nichomachus (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:52 AM

3. But having health insurance doesn't mean the person has seen a doctor.


I have insurance and I haven't seen a doctor in two years. That's not what it's for, I want my HSA to grow, and I'm not going to reduce it by giving some of it to a doctor.

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Response to RB TexLa (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:54 AM

4. You're right, but

Having signs that say "Employees must wash hands" doesn't mean they actually do, but they're still required to put up the signs.

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Response to RB TexLa (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:56 AM

7. Kudos for being so literal-minded. It's a gift.

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Response to RB TexLa (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:41 AM

14. Having a law about anything doesn't guarantee its enforcement

So we shouldn't bother having laws?

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Response to RB TexLa (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:51 AM

15. Ugh - new HSA owner here too

Best of a bad assortment of choices. When I became a homeowner, I realized I needed catastrophic coverage or one appendix burst, and there goes my house.

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Response to Patiod (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:09 PM

19. If you can stay healthy it becomes another retirement account. At age 65 you can pull money out


tax free. Lot's better than paying it to premiums.

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Response to RB TexLa (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:23 PM

25. Not exactly tax free at 65

But there is no premature withdrawl penalty if you wait until that point. And if you have some room under your personal exemptions and standard deduction, then it can be pulled out free of Federal income tax.

Even for folks who are paying some income tax, there are always medical expenses that you can use an HSA on. I'm glad I set up mine just over two years ago.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #25)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:55 PM

31. Right. I mean penalty free

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Response to RB TexLa (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:33 PM

26. Thanks - I needed some re-enforcement (nt)

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Response to nichomachus (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:55 AM

5. Better plan to eat only at home, then.

Few restaurants offer health insurance to all employees. The line cook in the back is almost certainly not insured.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:58 AM

8. That's always a better plan. Much more economical

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Response to RB TexLa (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:03 AM

10. Better food, too, at least at my house.

Still, going out to eat is fun, sometimes. That's especially true with some ethnic cuisines. It can be hard to duplicate that at home. We have some terrific restaurants here in the Twin Cities, representing just about every place on the planet. My wife and I enjoy trying stuff we'd never think of making at home. Last week, we tried an Ethiopian restaurant here. Very interesting and quite good, too. We were also the only white faces in the place. Fun.

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Response to nichomachus (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:09 AM

11. As a former owner of a small restaurant, I can tell you this...

... there are untold food establishments that are too small to provide their employees with health care. We were able to for several years, and we did, although we were, even then, not big enough to be required to provide insurance. There is a HUMONGOUS difference between big business and truly small business, which is often at odds to scrape enough together to survive. Requiring warning signs would be, to use Hugh Grant's words in Notting Hill, "spectacularly unfair". And having health insurance doesn't mean you regularly see a doctor or aren't sick, or don't have the flu, or aren't clean.

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Response to LancetChick (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:52 AM

16. +1

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Response to LancetChick (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:36 PM

28. So, if a restaurant couldn't afford

to provide sanitary facilities for their employees, you wouldn't have a problem with that? I'd want to know if that were the case.

I'm not saying restaurants should be forced to provide health care -- only that they inform us that that is the case, so we can choose wisely.

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Response to nichomachus (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:13 AM

12. Several years ago I watched a program on TV where they secretly videotaped

pissed employees in the kitchen in various restaurants. Took me a long time to ever go out to eat again. Very nasty stuff they put in your food that I can't mention here. I'd stay away from restaurants who are cutting down hours/healthcare for their employees due to Obama's victory. Yikes!

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Response to nichomachus (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:52 AM

17. Is there any evidence to back the claim?

I get your point, but public health actions need to be evidence-based.

Far as I know, there is no evidence at all showing heightened risk of foodborne illness among people eating at restaurants whose employees lack a health care plan.

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Response to Bragi (Reply #17)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:38 PM

29. Oh heavens -- tons of cases

Of infectious employees making dozens of customers ill. Happens all the time.

The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that more than 76 million cases, 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths occur annually from foodborne illness. Infected restaurant employees were identified as a contributing factor in more than 65% of U.S. foodborne illness outbreaks in restaurants in a 200203 study. The pathogens that cause foodborne illness can be transmitted directly from an infected food employee through food to the consumer. Clearly, employee health and personal hygiene is critical in protecting your customers and your business.


http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/RetailFoodProtection/FoodborneIllnessandRiskFactorReduction/ucm122832.htm

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Response to nichomachus (Reply #29)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 03:47 PM

32. That isn't evidence that proves your point

Yes, of course we know that employees at food service establishments can and do transmit infectious illnesses via the food they handle and serve.

What isn't known, however, is whether there is any correlation between risk levels and whether or not the employees have health insurance plans.

Given your OP, you obviously feel that there is a relationship between risk levels and health plans. I'm just saying you need actual evidence to make that case in a public health setting.

(I worked in public health much of my career.)

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Response to nichomachus (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:57 AM

18. It's not your business if one has or has not seen a doctor. n/t

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Response to cynatnite (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:34 PM

27. If they're handling my food it is my business

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Response to nichomachus (Reply #27)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:42 PM

33. Do you have that right when you are in a doctor's office?

In a hospital? What about those who handle your clothes at a store? What about a stranger you are sitting next to?

No, it is not your business. You need to read HIPAA.

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Response to nichomachus (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:16 PM

20. Tuberculosis and Meningitis outbreaks are more often tracked down to food-handlers that work sick -

than to any other exposure possibility. That means that desperate, hard working people trying to make ends meet with no health care other than the emergency room are going to work even when they know they shouldn't be working because they don't want to be thrown out on the street - and they're serving you, your co-workers, and your family food without you knowing they're sick.

Their employers don't care if they're sick or not, what sort of customer loyalty they've cultivated, or how long they've worked there, those employees will get fired the first time they don't show up and put in the effort expected.

Doesn't matter if they spent last night in the ER, were quickly diagnosed and discharged after minimal tests that "won't come in for a few days", and given tylenol, other happy pills (and warnings to stay hydrated) to begin their next shift with. Doesn't matter if they look like death warmed over, running a fever, are throwing up, coughing and wheezing, or have to wear adult diapers to keep from having "accidents", they have to show up and work.

Again, they're the ones serving your family food, or preparing and shelving it at the stores and delis, or handling the change that gets back to you after you purchase something.

As you said, this is a public health issue - that gets ignored because it's assumed that "those people" only interact with other poor - totally forgetting all the other merchants and employers in toney, rich areas that hire the cheapest support staff they can - or hire under the table - just to make a few extra bucks to buy that Maserati to treat themselves or pay for the "date night" trip to Cabo or Las Vegas because the spouse is feeling a bit blue and the relationship needs some spicing up.

I'm not saying that's why all employers ignore their employee's health concerns - some small business owners honestly are working on a shoestring - but suck-ups, and ambitious "owners" who think of their businesses as their personal ATMs rather than an investment or enterprise are particularly stupid in how they view the people who's work is the primary reason they have that successful business in the first place. And they're also the ones who's greedy, self-serving actions usually put the rest of the public at risk

Haele

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Response to haele (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:50 PM

34. Do you have sources to back up that claim?

Tuberculosis is an airborne disease. You can get that in a church, a hospital, or anyplace where you come into contact with another carrier. It is not associated with food preparation. It's considered a disease of the impoverished and AIDS patients have historically carried it as well.

Viral meningitis is the most common, but you can also get it from bacteria or fungus. These viruses are spread by contact with the fecal matter of an infected person, such as by using the bathroom or changing the diaper of someone who has the illness. You can also get viral meningitis by coming into contact with nasal mucous, saliva and sputum--of someone with the virus.

Other forms of meningitis are not as contagious as the viral form. In fact, fungal meningitis cannot be spread from person to person. Bacterial meningitis is contagious and can be spread through respiratory and throat secretions, but the bacteria that causes the infection is not as contagious as those that cause other illnesses and is not as much of a threat to others.

Meningitis (all three forms of it) are not associated with food preparation.

My understanding is that people usually become ill not from a worker in a restaurant, but incorrect handling of food.

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Response to nichomachus (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:47 PM

21. Healthcare? So many don't have social security/min. wage or green cards

They're paid in cash at the end of the day, or end of the week.

That's it. That's all they get.

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Response to nichomachus (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:55 PM

24. Interesting. I've wondered about that too. The warning mandate makes sense.

 

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Response to nichomachus (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:41 PM

30. Superbly excellent point!

Because there is no respect for workers in this country, they are given any leeway in when they legitimately feel they should be working. I work in a more lenient environment and am, "If you even THINK you're getting sick, stay home!"
We can't afford to risk the rest of the population in my building my coming in with something someone else can catch.

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