Super Bowl and the Super Bug
Restaurants are not immune from the flu and many of them are taking extra steps to help keep the germs away.
The flu season here in the Tennessee Valley is hitting people hard and is now widespread. Hospitals are seeing more people for the flu and local restaurants are not taking any chances.
Super Bowl Sunday is just days away, sports fans will gather around TV's and in local restaurants, meaning their risk of contracting the flu could be higher.
"We hold ourselves to high standards no matter if the flu season is in effect or not in effect,” said Foster Yates, General Manager of Pucketts.
Restaurants are not immune and many of them are taking extra steps to help keep the germs away. Yates is having his team disinfect and clean everything in sight.
"Salt and pepper shaker, sugar caddies, even down to the legs on the table, just really making sure we're doing our part to reset that whole area to be as clean as possible,” he explained.
This flu season is being dubbed the worst outbreak in nearly a decade, it's why Pucketts has new policies.
They keep hand sanitizer at each computer station, disinfect each table and all employees have to wash their hands at least once every 30 minutes, especially those dealing with food and money.
"We deal with a lot of cash, credit cards and people touching those things back and forth,” Yates said.
If employees get sick, Yates said they don't take any chances.
"All of our team members have been notified, any symptoms anything like that we want to know the minute it happens,” he said.
In Tennessee, employees work at will, this means an employee can generally be fired at any time and for any reason, including un-excused sick leave.
At Pucketts, Yates said employee and customer wellbeing is his priority and if someone is sick, it's the teams’ responsibility to keep everyone healthy.
"We as managers and as a business we have to do our due diligence to make sure we handle that correctly to keep the patrons in our restaurant safe,” he said.
Health officials said it doesn't matter where you work; if you have the flu you should just stay home and contact your doctor.