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Industry Preparation for a Human Pandemic

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  • 1. Industry Preparation for a Human Pandemic Education and Awareness Information
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. 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
  • 7. 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
  • 8. 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
  • 9. 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.
  • 10. 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
  • 11. 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.
  • 12. 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
  • 13. 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?
  • 14. Stage 1
    • Consider taking the following actions:
    • Review your Crisis Management Plan.
    • 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.
    Stage 1 – Before operations are affected
  • 15. Stage 1
    • Consider taking the following actions:
    • Leverage international resources to learn: consumer, employee and government reactions; trends in production; and impacts on interdependent sectors during a pandemic.
    • Explore the possible use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
    • Discuss work schedules with FSIS and other regulatory authorities.
    Stage 1 – Before operations are affected
  • 16. Stage 1
    • FSIS recommends that you take these steps now in advance of the peak of the flu season:
      • Develop and practice procedures for minimizing the impact of the pandemic on employees and keeping track of the number of employees who are affected by the pandemic.
      • Educate your employees about any special procedures that may be implemented in case of a pandemic.
      • Develop and test your Crisis Management Plan (discussed later).
      • Discuss your pandemic plans with local and district FSIS officials
      • Draft public messaging materials.
    What can you do to prepare for a pandemic?
  • 17. Stage 1
    • The following steps are recommended for industry to prepare for a pandemic:
    • In case a pandemic is identified in the U.S.
      • Implement special procedures that you have planned.
      • Follow travel restrictions or health advisories issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
      • Review compliance with your sanitation and disinfection protocols.
      • Test and update your Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan.
    What can you do to prepare for a pandemic?
  • 18. Stage 1
    • The following steps are recommended for industry to prepare for a pandemic:
    • In case pandemic conditions impact operations at your location
      • Continue your pandemic procedures.
      • Continue to follow travel restrictions or health advisories issued by the CDC.
      • Ensure compliance with your sanitation and disinfection protocols.
      • Implement your Crisis Management Plans, as needed
    What can you do to prepare for a pandemic?
  • 19. Stage 1
    • The following steps are recommended for industry to prepare for a pandemic:
    • In case pandemic conditions impact operations at your location
      • Communicate the impact of the pandemic on establishment operations to the FSIS Inspector in-Charge (IIC).
      • Issue public message materials, if needed.
    What can you do to prepare for a pandemic?
  • 20. Stage 2
    • Consider taking the following actions:
    • 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
  • 21. Stage 2
    • Consider taking the following actions:
    • Provide clear communications to local district FSIS officials about the impact, if any, of the pandemic on the establishment’s operation and inspection needs.
    • Leverage cooperative agreements within the company infrastructure or with other companies to make the most of available resources and manage incoming livestock or other raw materials.
    Stage 2 – When absenteeism begins to impact operations
  • 22. Stage 2
    • Consider taking the following actions:
    • Tracking the effects of the pandemic on employees.
    • Social Distancing measure.
    • Developing Crisis Management Plans.
    Stage 2 – When absenteeism begins to impact operations
  • 23. Stage 2
    • Tracking the Effects of the Pandemic on Employees
    • Procedures to track the effects of the pandemic on employees will help you monitor the rate of absenteeism and the cause for absenteeism so that you can identify trends that could impact operations.
  • 24. Stage 2 Social distancing involves infection control measures that reduce the duration, frequency, or intimacy of social contacts to limit the spread of influenza. Social Distancing
  • 25. Stage 2
    • Examples of social distancing you might implement at the plant level could include:
    • Cancelling or postponing a company event, such as a holiday gathering.
    • Limiting the number of employees who attend face-to-face meetings.
    Social Distancing
  • 26. Stage 2
    • This type of planning can help keep operations going at some level in case a pandemic affects your location.
    • Crisis Management Plans can be simple or complex, depending on your operation.
    Crisis Management Plans
  • 27. Stage 2
    • Here are some questions to consider when developing your Crisis Management Plan:
    • If a member of your management team is absent (due to illness), who is in charge?
    • How will you maintain your level of production if 20% of your personnel are sick?
    • Do you have a quick and effective way to train new or temporary employees?
    • What alternative sources do you have for operational supplies if your regular suppliers are unable to provide them?
    Crisis Management Plans
  • 28. Stage 2
    • 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
  • 29. 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
  • 30. Stage 3
    • Consider taking the following actions:
    • 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
  • 31. 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
  • 32. 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
  • 33. 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
  • 34. 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
  • 35. Closing Thank you for joining us. We hope this session has been helpful to you in preparing and planning for a human pandemic.