This article is meant to alert lodging and food service personnel to the potential impact of infectious diseases, the risk of cross-contamination, and the need for infection-control programs throughout the hospitality industry. An infection-control program is not only a wise policy from the standpoint of avoiding health risks, but can also be an effective marketing strategy for those individual properties or corporations that seize the initiative.
The food service industry has experienced a phenomenal number of disease-related outbreaks. It is nationally recognized that only five to ten percent of food-related illnesses are reported to local environmental agencies and that the real number of illnesses is at least 25 times that reported. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) feels greater efforts should be made to determine the incidences of all diarrheal and food-borne diarrheal disease. In the hospitality industry, the process of eliminating disease-causing organisms is often taken for granted.