Industry Preparation for a Human Pandemic Education and Awareness Information
Introduction To ensure the safety of agency employees and the delivery of essential functions in the event of an influenza pandemic, FSIS has developed an internal document titled, “ FSIS 2009 H1N1 Pandemic Operations Plan for Employee Health and Safety and Continuity of Operations .” The purpose of the plan is to address how the Agency plans to protect the health and safety of FSIS employees, as well as maintain essential Agency functions and services during the current 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, as well as any future influenza pandemics.
Objectives The purpose of this education and awareness session is to share information with industry to help them prepare for an influenza pandemic. From this session, you will learn:
What a influenza pandemic is, and how it spreads.
The scope of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.
What industry can do to be prepared for a human pandemic.
Informational resources for personal emergency and pandemic preparation.
Background Influenza Pandemic: A global outbreak of an influenza virus that infects and can be transmitted among humans, to which humans have little or no immunity. Flu viruses constantly mutate and new influenza viruses emerge, generally from the animal population. Animals and humans are more likely to lack immunity to these new virus strains. FSIS has taken steps to prepare for the possibility of a human influenza pandemic, and we are recommending that industry take steps to prepare as well.
Background Influenza is spread through droplets from an infected person. Viral transmission can occur through touch (contact with contaminated objects) or air dispersion (through coughing or sneezing). Persons contracting the virus will be infectious for a period of time before they show symptoms, during the illness, and for a period of time even after the symptoms have disappeared. FSIS will follow U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ medical guidance and advise Agency employees accordingly.
Background Cough/Sneeze Etiquette Employees are encouraged to cover their mouths when coughing (if they are able) either by coughing into their hands, their sleeves, or into a disposable tissue. Coughing and Sneezing Etiquette
Background According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2009 H1N1 is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. The virus is spreading from person-to-person worldwide, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a pandemic of 2009 H1N1 flu was underway. H1N1: A Current Concern
Background It is thought that the H1N1 virus spreads mainly through the coughs and sneezes of people who are sickened by the virus, but it may also be spread by touching exposed surfaces or objects and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. The H1N1 infection has been reported to cause a wide range of flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. In addition, many people also have reported nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea ( www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/background.htm ). H1N1: A Current Concern
Food Safety and the H1N1 Virus Although mistakenly dubbed the “swine flu,” the 2009 pandemic H1N1 flu virus is a respiratory disease, not a foodborne disease. When USDA experts recently tested various tissues from swine purposefully inoculated with the 2009 H1N1 virus, they found that the H1N1 influenza A virus was detected in the respiratory tract of infected swine, but the virus could not be detected in the meat. Therefore, properly prepared pork and pork products are safe to eat.
Public health and food safety experts consider the risk of contracting human influenza through food contact (rather than person-to-person contact) to be extremely low. However, any person who has or appears to have an infectious disease must be excluded from any operations in accordance with 9 CFR 416.5(c) and 9 CFR 590.560(c), which could result in product adulteration and the creation of insanitary conditions. For example, product could be contaminated with filth (e.g. bodily discharges from coughing and sneezing). Food Safety and the H1N1 Virus
Employee Health and Safety Hand Hygiene Employees are encouraged to wash their hands: Employee Wellness During a Pandemic
after using the restroom
before and after eating
after coughing, sneezing, and using tissues
after using shared equipment
after shaking hands
An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used in conjunction with soap and water, or in case soap and water are not available.
During an influenza pandemic, other forms of personal greetings should be substituted for handshakes.
Call to Action Stay informed and be prepared in the event of an influenza pandemic. Here are some key sites for information on what to do before, during, and after a pandemic. What can you do to prepare for a pandemic? www.da.usda.gov/beprepared/ www.pandemicflu.gov
Call to Action Let’s review the three stages of an influenza pandemic : Stage I – Before the pandemic affects operations. Stage II – When absenteeism begins to impact operations. Stage III – When the second wave appears to be abating (the pandemic appears to be ending). What can you do to prepare for a pandemic?
Work with regulatory agencies to implement a single, clear messaging strategy in a timely manner.
Establish clear communications with your local district FSIS officials and other USDA officials (e.g., AMS) about inspection requirements, hours of operation, and any unexpected changes that could affect resource allocation.
Maintain clear communications with local district FSIS officials and other USDA officials (e.g., AMS) about inspection requirements, hours of operation, and any unexpected changes that could affect resource allocation.
Review previously prepared public relations and media messages.
Educate employees on:
The current situation.
Roles they have on ensuring the health and safety of fellow employees, and safety of food products produced at the plant.
Stage 2 – When absenteeism begins to impact operations
Here are some questions to consider when developing your Crisis Management Plan (continued).
Are employees cross trained, so that they can be re-assigned or fill-in for each other?
Do you have employee contact information, so you can communicate with each individual even if they are not at work? Is that contact information updated and reliable?
Have you made any arrangements with other establishments (that may be able to assist you) to maintain your pre-pandemic level of production?
Crisis Management Plans
Stage 2 You can find some examples of Crisis Management Plans on the following industry association Web sites: American Meat Institute http://www.meatami.com/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/8922 American Association of Meat Processors http://www.aamp.com/documents/AIPandemicImpact.pdf Crisis Management Plans
Assess personnel absenteeism and provide on-going assistance to employees.
Examine resource needs, and meet them as quickly as possible to resume operations.
When appropriate, review your Crisis Management Plan and modify as necessary.
Stage 3 – When the pandemic appears to be ending
Final Points Here are some other helpful sources of information to review that can help you be prepared for a pandemic: www.flu.gov/ This site is a one-stop access to U.S. Government avian and pandemic flu information, from the Department of Health and Human Services. This Web site contains important health and safety information concerning pandemic influenza, with material targeted for specific groups such as families, travelers, workers, communities, and health professionals. References
Final Points www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/individual/checklist.html This site provides a checklist that will help you gather the information and resources you may need in case of a flu pandemic. www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/ This CDC site provides the latest information on the facts about previous flu pandemics, and key facts about bird flu and the avian influenza A (H5N1) virus. References
Final Points www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/avian_faqs/en/index.html Avian influenza - frequently asked questions from the World Health Organization (WHO). www.opm.gov/pandemic/pandemic_guide/index.asp A guide for Federal employees from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). References
Final Points Resources for plant employees include: www.ready.gov/america/index.html This resources provides family planning advice for how you can contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Additional information is available from the CDC at (800) CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636). This line is available in English and Spanish, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TTY: 1-888-232-6348. Questions can be e-mailed to [email_address] . References
Closing Thank you for joining us. We hope this session has been helpful to you in preparing and planning for a human pandemic.