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/policies/administrative/uwhc/uwhc-wide/infection-control/1301.policy

201607211

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UWHC,UWMF,

Policies,Administrative,UWHC,UWHC-wide,Infection Control

Restrictions on Food and Beverage Consumption (13.01)

Restrictions on Food and Beverage Consumption (13.01) - Policies, Administrative, UWHC, UWHC-wide, Infection Control

13.01


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Administrative (Non-Clinical) Policy
As of August 1, 2016 this administrative policy applies to the operations and staff of legacy
UWHC. Effective July 1, 2015, the legacy operations and staff of UWHC and UWMF were integrated
into the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority (UWHCA). All administrative policies
are being transitioned to apply UWHCA-wide, but until future revision to this policy #13.01, it applies
only to the operations and staff of legacy UWHC.

Policy Title: Restrictions on Food and Beverage Consumption
Policy Number: 13.01
Effective Date: August 1, 2016
Chapter: Infection Control
Version: Revision
I. PURPOSE

To minimize the risk of occupational infection and chemical exposures via the ingestion route, and to
ensure full compliance with the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen standard, by restricting consumption of
food and beverages by employees in areas of UWHC where potential ingestion exposure exists.

II. GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

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 exists. Additionally, a number of
infectious agents are acquired via ingestion and outbreaks of such illnesses among patient populations
have sometimes extended to healthcare workers, with ingestion of food and beverages in clinical areas
implicated as significant risk factors. Non-infectious ingestion risks present in the clinical setting include
disinfectants, antiseptics, clinical and diagnostic reagents and chemotherapeutics.

III. POLICY ELEMENTS
A. Consumption of food or beverages by employees is not permitted in areas where potential exists
for inadvertent exposure to blood, body fluids, infectious agents or potentially harmful chemical
compounds.
B. Food and drink shall not be kept in refrigerators, freezers, shelves, cabinets or on countertops or
benchtops where blood or other potentially infectious materials are present.
C. 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).
D. Employees (defined as all persons performing work including regular and temporary employees,
physicians, students, volunteers, vendors and contractors) will 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. Cafeterias are acceptable locations for food and beverage consumption
during their hours of operation.


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E. The unit manager will be responsible for identifying the areas, if any, in their work area which are
appropriate for employee food and beverage consumption using the guidance in section IV.B.
F. The unit manager has authority to enforce this policy and will be responsible for ensuring that
employees comply with restrictions on the consumption of food and beverages.
G. Although especially important for employees working in clinical and laboratory areas, all
employees are strongly encouraged to perform hand hygiene, preferably by washing with soap
and water before consuming food or beverages.
H. 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.
I. Hospital Administration may choose to limit or exclude food or drink from any area based on
concerns about visual/olfactory aesthetics, potential for spill damage to finishes or equipment,
patient or public perception, or for noncompliance with elements of this policy.
IV. PROCEDURE
A. Unit managers will identify which general category their unit falls under, as described in IV.B.
(1-4), and identify acceptable locations for their employees to consume food or beverages.
B. General division of occupational areas and acceptable areas within each for consumption of food
or beverages:
1. Public Areas. These are defined as areas accessible without restriction to the general
public. Examples include the unrestricted main floor entry and foot traffic areas and open
areas around the first floor cafeteria, auditoriums and meeting rooms.
a. Acceptable areas in which employees may ingest food or beverages in public
areas within UWHC include:
i. Cafeterias
ii. Lounge and lobby areas
iii. Auditoriums
iv. Conference rooms
v. Tables/seating in unutilized space such as hallway corners or elevator
lobbies
vi. In exceptional circumstance, departmental directors may designate other
public areas as acceptable areas for the consumption of water, in
consultation with Patient Care Services and Human Resources.
2. Non-Patient Care Areas. These are defined as areas which patients, patient specimens, or
used patient equipment do not enter. Examples include administrative office areas which
are physically remote from patient care areas.
a. Acceptable areas in which employees may ingest food or beverages within non-
patient care areas include:
i. Employee break rooms
ii. Employee lounges
iii. Private offices
iv. Conference rooms
v. Tables/seating in unutilized space such as hallway corners or elevator
lobbies
3. Patient Care, Procedure and Diagnostic Areas. These are defined as areas in which
patients are present to be examined, receive inpatient or outpatient medical care, and
undergo inpatient or outpatient diagnostic procedures or interventions. Examples include
inpatient units, inpatient and outpatient clinics, operating rooms and patient recovery
areas, and ancillary areas such as phlebotomy, radiology, and ultrasonography.
a. Acceptable areas in which employees may ingest food or beverages within
Patient Care, Procedure and Diagnostic Areas include:


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i. Employee break rooms
ii. Employee lounges
iii. Private offices
iv. Conference rooms
4. Research Laboratories, Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories, Animal Care, Reprocessing, and
Pharmacy Compounding areas. These are defined as areas where patient or animal
specimens are received and analyzed, microbes or cell lines are cultured, human or
zoonotic pathogens are handled, research animals are maintained or manipulated, used
patient care items are returned for cleaning, decontamination and disinfection, and areas
where drugs are compounded.
a. Employees may not consume food or beverages within the general space of
research and clinical diagnostic laboratories, animal care areas, reprocessing
areas, or drug compounding areas.
b. Only locations which are physically separated by permanent walls within these
areas are acceptable for the consumption of food or beverages. Acceptable
locations may include:
i. Employee break rooms which are physically separated (by permanent
walls) from laboratory, animal care, reprocessing or compounding areas.
ii. Employee lounges which are physically separated (by permanent walls)
from laboratory, animal care, reprocessing or compounding areas.
iii. Private offices which are physically separated (by permanent walls) from
laboratory, animal care, reprocessing or compounding areas.
iv. Conference rooms which are physically separated (by permanent walls)
from laboratory, animal care, reprocessing or compounding areas.
c. For the locations listed above in IV.4.b to be acceptable for consumption of food
or beverages, potentially hazardous biological and chemical agents must be
excluded from the designated space at all times. Restricted hazardous materials
include patient specimens, microbial, viral, and tissue cultures, research animals
and animal products and specimens, laboratory reagents and chemotherapeutic
agents.
5. Limitations on consumption of food or beverages, which go beyond those stipulated in
this policy, may be applied in specific locations in order to avoid spill damage to
materials or equipment. Employees are expected to follow these local restrictions, which
may include:
a. Consumption of food or beverages is typically restricted in libraries, at the
discretion of the library director.
b. Consumption of food or beverages may be restricted in auditoriums, at the
discretion of the building manager.
c. Consumption of food or beverages may be restricted in conference rooms at the
discretion of the department responsible for its maintenance.
C. If the manager of a unit determines that there is no location within their unit acceptable for the
consumption of food or beverages, as noted in section IV.B (1-4), but wishes to provide a local
space for consumption of food or beverages for the sake of convenience, the unit manager has
latitude to designate a local area for consumption of food or beverages.
1. The designated area for food or beverage consumption on Patient Care, Procedure and
Diagnostic Areas, Research and Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories, Animal Care,
Reprocessing, and Pharmacy Compounding areas (IV.B.3 & 4) must be physically
separated, by walls, from the general area of restriction.
D. In all areas designated for consumption of food or beverages, whether consisting of established
locations indicated in IV.B(1-4), or a separate space allocated by the unit manager, as described
in IV.C., the following persons and items must be uniformly excluded at all times:


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1. patients and patient specimens
2. patient care supplies or equipment, whether new or used
a. an exemption is made for clean patient care items used for demonstration during
teaching in-services
3. patient medications and chemotherapeutics
4. biohazardous wastes and in-use waste containers
5. laboratory cultures and reagents
6. research animals, animal specimens, animal products and animal care equipment
7. any other items reasonably expected to be contaminated with patient or animal blood or
body fluids.
V. CROSS REFERENCES

UWHC Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan-accessible on U-Connect, Infection Control
Department.
Administrative Policy 13.08-Hand Hygiene
UW Health Clinical Policy 4.1.8-Standard Precautions and Isolation

VI. REFERENCES

29 CFR Part 1910.1030 Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens; Final Rule, December 6, 1991;
revised July 30, 1999.
An Outbreak of Hepatitis A Among Health Care Workers: Risk Factors for Transmission (American
Journal of Public Health 1993 83(12):1679-1684).
Hepatitis A Outbreak in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Risk factors for Transmission and Evidence of
Prolonged Viral Excretion among Preterm Infants (Journal of Infectious Diseases 1991. 164:476-482).
Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories; Fifth Edition. United States Department of
Health and Human Services, 2009. HHS Publication Number: (CDC) 21-1112. Accessible at:
http://www.cdc.gov/biosafety/publications/bmbl5/index.htm.

VII. COORDINATION

Sr. Management Sponsor: SVP, Patient Care Services and CNO
Author: Infection Control Practitioner

Approval Committee(s): Infection Control Committee; UW Health Administrative Policy and Procedure
Committee


SIGNED BY

Elizabeth Bolt
UW Health Chief Administrative Officer


Revision Detail

Previous revision: 082013
Next revision: 082019