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The Executive Briefing - Tuesday, May 2nd

How to decontaminate a bathroom after drug use?

Health News:

  • Millions of Americans are stuck in dental deserts with no access to dental care. (KFF)
  • The CDC will stop tracking COVID levels in communities. (NBC)
  • An unexpected surge in child brain infections has doctors concerned and CDC officials investigating. (NBC)
  • Federal officials are relaxing rules on past drug use amid a shortage of workers. (NY Times)
  • The cost of an ambulance ride from the FDNY rose yesterday by nearly $500 to a whopping $1,385. The fire department cited inflation and first responders’ salaries. (Spectrum)
  • General Mills recalled Gold Medal brand flour in 2, 5, and 10-pound bags due to Salmonella contamination. (Food and Wine)
  • Viral reservoirs are suspected to play a major role in long COVID. (NPR)
  • The food industry is ‘playing whack-a-mole’ with PFAs, also known as forever chemicals. (STAT)
  • Most federal vaccine mandates will be lifted on May 11th with the end of the public health emergency. (AP)
  • Menopause costs working women in the US a whopping $1.8 billion in lost working time per year. (NY Times)
  • The DOT issued long-awaited rules for drug screening changes, allowing oral testing for the first time and cleaning up variations between their agencies. (DOT)

Mental Health News:

  • Loneliness poses as big a health risk as smoking, says the US Surgeon General. (AP)
  • Eating disorders are more severe than ever. (NBC)
  • LGBTQ+ youth are in distress, with over 40% in a new survey saying they seriously considered suicide in 2022. 60% who wanted mental health care weren’t able to get it. (Trevor Project)
  • Emergency room visits for mental health crises have risen sharply for young people. (NY Times)

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide or need help, call 988 or message the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. For the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline, call  1-800-931-2237.

Best Questions:

I think I have the recalled Gold Medal brand flour. What are the symptoms of Salmonella that I should look out for?

Illness from Salmonella bacteria usually occurs within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food and usually lasts four to seven days. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Young kids, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe infections. You can check if your flour is included in the recall list here. If you have recalled products, throw them away. As a reminder, raw flour is a very common source of salmonella infections - when they tell you not to eat raw cookie dough, flour is actually a major concern, not just raw eggs! Wash your hands, utensils, and counters after contact with flour or raw batter.

My employee has Salmonella. When can they return to work?

In general, for major foodborne infectious diseases like Salmonella, E.coli, Listeria, and other similar illnesses, we recommend requiring two negative stool samples at least 24 hours apart in order for the sick employee to return to work. This is consistent with what most health departments require when they get involved in cases, which is relatively common with Salmonella since it’s a national reportable illness, meaning that labs are required to notify the local health department when someone tests positive. In addition to the two negative tests, we generally require a doctor’s note and verbal confirmation from the employee that they’re symptom-free. While these sound like a lot of hoops to jump through, it’s important to do your due diligence to ensure that an employee with a confirmed infectious disease is cleared to work, especially in a food handling position.

How should we decontaminate a bathroom after we’ve found evidence of drug use?

Whether you need a full decontamination will likely depend on the type of drug used and the severity of the issue. If there’s any kind of needle or syringe, you should follow safe needle disposal procedures to ensure no employees get stuck. Your company should have OSHA-mandated needlestick disposal procedures. In some states, if a room tests positive for over a set “acceptable limit” for an illicit drug, like meth or fentanyl, you’re required to do a full decontamination, which usually means bringing in an outside professional cleaning company that’s certified in hazardous waste removal and clean-up. Most of these guidelines are aimed at labs where drugs are produced, not properties where they’re consumed, so you’ll need to check local regulations to determine if professional decontamination is needed. In the majority of cases where it’s not required by law, make sure your team is prepared if they’re cleaning up after drug use. Be sure they wear gloves, have a proper container for hazardous waste, and consider a face mask and eye protection, especially if the drug is in powdered form. If you have a contract with an outside cleaning service, give them a call to see what services they offer. Create a clear policy about cleaning and decontaminating after drug use, what to do if needles and other drug paraphernalia are found, and when to call a manager or outside experts for help.

Best Read:

The Impact of Tech and Social Media on Gen Z Mental Health | McKinsey Insights

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Disclaimer: This post is meant for general information and educational purposes only and does not constitute, and is not intended as, any form of medical, legal or regulatory advice or a recommendation or suggestion regarding the same.  No recipient of this information should act or refrain from acting on the basis of this information without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.