To provide a healthier environment for patients, visitors and staff, consumption of food and beverages by employees in patient care areas is not permitted in areas where potential exists for inadvertent exposure to blood, body fluids, infectious agents or potentially harmful chemical compounds.
As a reminder, Policy 13.01 Restrictions on Food and Beverage Consumption applies to all employees, including medical staff, students and contractors, while in areas of UWHC where potential ingestion exposure exists.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogen Rule prohibits employees from eating, drinking, smoking, applying cosmetics or lip balms, or handling contact lenses in any area where potential contamination with blood or body fluids
- Restrictions to beverage consumption apply whether the container is open or covered (e.g., lidded travel mugs, soft drink cans, recappable plastic bottles do not render consumption of beverages acceptable in restricted areas)
- Employees have access to areas designated for consumption of food and beverages in order to accommodate breaks for hydration and nourishment. When feasible, these areas may be identified in proximity to work areas for employee convenience. If an employee is unsure of where food and drink are allowed, they should contact their manager
- Managers are responsible for ensuring that employees comply with restrictions on the consumption of food and beverages
- While OSHA regulations do not extend to non-employees, it is preferable that visitors be directed to the hospital cafeteria in order to take meals when feasible
Acceptable areas in which employees may ingest food or beverages in public areas within UWHC include the following.
- Hospital cafeteria
- Lounge and lobby areas
- Conference rooms
- Tables/seating in unutilized space such as hallway corners or elevator lobbies
- Other areas in which patients, patient specimens, or used patient equipment do not enter. Examples include administrative office areas which are physically remote from patient care areas, employee break rooms, employee lounges, private offices and conference rooms
Employees should talk to their managers/directors if they have questions regarding this policy.