Coronavirus and Eating Out in Jersey
It’s natural our customers and team are anxious about the recent outbreaks of Covid-19 (also known as Coronavirus) in countries outside China and especially those closer to home such as Italy, the UK and France.
With frequent news bulletins and the situation changing by the day, our customers may also be worried about visiting public events and places such as restaurants. We want to continue, as we always have done, to ensure our restaurants and cafés (Oyster Box, Banjo, Jersey Crab Shack and Café Ubé) are the safest possible places to eat and meet.
Our normal food handling and internal health and safety processes go a long way to prevent the spread of illnesses. These include specific agreed procedures to investigate any reports of customers falling ill after dining with us, staff training including a requirement to not be in work both when they have an illness, and during a period of 48 hours after the symptoms of gastroenteritis have ceased.
We have separate hand washing areas and changing rooms for staff, strict protocols for hand washing and cleaning surfaces and have hand sanitizer/anti-bacterial gel (with minimum 60% alcohol to kill viruses) and soap available to customers.
We also follow HACCP (“Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point”) procedures to ensure safe food handling. The Government of Jersey Environmental Health has awarded all our restaurants and cafés a 5* rating which means all JPRestaurants outlets are excellent performers, fully compliant with the law and adopt best practice with an overall very high standard of food safety management practices.
At a time of heightened risk such as we have now with Covid-19, we have recently reminded our entire staff of the importance of following these processes. We have also introduced some additional measures to keep everyone as safe as possible.
We have provided the additional written guidance (see below) to our team not only to keep them and their families healthy, but also to help prevent the spread of any viruses to colleagues and customers. We’ve even looked at small areas to reduce risk such as temporarily removing crayons we lend to children, using dishcloths rather than bare hands to serve dishes and encouraging cashless payments.
We have detailed written processes (contacting health authorities, deep cleaning, waiting for help to arrive and self-isolation if required) guiding our team in how to deal with either a colleague or a customer falling ill in one of our restaurants or cafés. These are both to protect the person falling ill and those around them.
We’ve also got detailed plans as to how we will continue to serve customers should customers numbers and revenues drop significantly or we have large numbers of staff ill. These include possible reduced business hours or even in worst case closing some restaurants. We also need to plan for Government restrictions on social gatherings at restaurants and how this might impact our business.
We’ve reminded our team of basic personal hygiene practices including:
1) Advice to wash your hands frequently with anti-bacterial hand wash, or with anti-bacterial gel. We’ve sent them a quick reminder guide as to how to wash hands properly which can be seen here;
2) We have suggested they purchase hand-sanitizer/anti-bacterial hand gel in a small bottle that can be used when they are on the move outside work;
3) We’ve reminded them that if they cough or sneeze, to use a tissue and put the tissue in the bin immediately and then wash their hands or if they do not have a tissue to cough into their elbow, not their hand.
We have re-forced and extended the hygiene practices in our restaurants/cafés including reminding Duty Managers and all staff to ensure that hard surfaces such as bars and tables, door handles and bathroom taps are regularly cleaned/wiped (with the appropriate anti-viral cleaning product) and to ensure customer and staff bathrooms are stocked with anti-bacterial hand wash and gel. We are also placing anti-bacterial gel in additional locations in all outlets and advising staff on additional measures to our normal 5* approach to food safety including how to best handle plates, food containers and cutlery using serving cloth rather than bare hands and providing guidance on serving and food preparation to further minimize risk and re-assure customers.
We have reminded all our colleagues to follow the advice on the Government of Jersey’s Corvid-19 web page and provided them with the Department of Health helpline number (01534 445566).
We have importantly reminded them if they have recently traveled to an affected country, that they should self-isolate (stay at home) for 14 days and should not attend the Emergency Department or a doctor/GP but instead call the Government’s helpline above for advice. We hope our customers follow this advice too. We’ve also sent them information provided by the World Health Organisation of the symptoms of coronavirus to look out for including fever, a dry cough, and a shortness of breath.
We all have a role to play in minimizing the threat to ourselves and those around us. The hygiene practices outlined above will help enormously but also keeping fit, rested and eating healthily will minimize the risks to all of us. Life needs to go on and we hope customers will, until Government advice to the contrary, visit us and other restaurants in the Islands to eat healthy food and to socialize as part helping them stay fit and healthy. We’ve got plenty of immunity boosting healthy dishes on our menus to choose from.
We sincerely hope all our colleagues and customers ,and the wider public in Jersey, Channel Islands stay safe from the threat of coronavirus. We are following developments closely and will continue to do what we can to help keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible.
Memo sent to JPRestaurant Staff:
Dear JPRestaurants colleagues
Please find attached the latest version of the company’s coronavirus advice. Please read this – if you have any questions, please ask your manager, or contact HR. Some key points:
Travel outside of Jersey
All employees need to inform HR of all travel that you make outside of Jersey (including trips to the UK, France, or any part of Europe) until further notice. We need to keep this information in case further countries and areas are added to the affected countries lists. In your email, please include the cities/towns that you will be visiting, and which airports you will be using. Holiday requests will not be granted for travel to affected countries on both Government of Jersey lists unless you agree to two weeks self-isolation upon your return.
Important hygiene habits to demonstrate
The attached summary talks about how important it is that we follow the detailed hygiene procedures, but also that is important to reassure our customers about the hygiene of their food by the habits that we demonstrate to them. These include:
Wash your hands when arriving at the restaurant / café, and hourly during your shift
Avoid touching your face (and if you do, wash your hands)
Use hand sanitizer / alcohol gel and keep sanitizer or hand wash on display
Do not shake hands, hug or kiss colleagues or customers
Use dish cloths to carry all plates and coffee cups, to lay cutlery, and to unscrew wine
Avoid touching the tops / lids of products (e.g. soup lids, bottle tops); instead, handle products in the middle / near the base
Under the Government of Jersey’s advice, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days if you have come into contact with an infected person, or travelled to an affected area.
The Government will pay Short Term Incapacity Allowance (STIA) to anyone who self-isolates and can prove they have travelled to an affected country. JPRestaurants are currently finalising their policy on sick pay and self-isolation, and will communicate this shortly.