Wisconsin Food Safety Guidelines

Sick Employee Policy

WRA has compiled useful forms and links for all of our busy restaurant operators that need to focus on running businesses effectively and efficiently. The Wisconsin Food Code requires employees to inform the manager on duty if they are ill with certain types of symptoms or illnesses. You should post or give each employee a copy of the notice on the following page to inform them of this important Food Code requirement to help limit your exposure to liability.. We’ve included an English and Spanish version of the notice.

Employee Notice (English)

Employee Notice (Spanish)


Employee Exemption

When Employees Should Not Work

There are several instances which exempt an employee from working. If an employee has vomiting or diarrhea, they cannot return to work until 48 hours after the symptoms have ceased. If an employee has Jaundice, they should be tested for Hepatitis A, and if diagnosed, check with the health department to find out when that employee may return to work. If you notice signs of Jaundice in an employee, make sure you discuss this with them right away. If an employee has been diagnosed with any of the food borne illnesses listed below, you must notify the health department, and they cannot return to work until the health department gives approval.

  • All Salmonella species
  • All Shigella species
  • E.coli 0157:H7
  • Hepatitis A
  • Entamoeba histolytica
  • All Campylobacter species
  • Norovirus
  • Cryptosporidium
  • Giardia
  • Yersinia enterocolitica
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Listeria monocytogenes (aka Listeriosis)

Norovirus Outbreaks on the Rise

What is NoroVirus?

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has seen a noticeable increase in norovirus gastroenteritis cases throughout the state. Norovirus (previously known as Norwalk-like virus) is a group of viruses that causes acute intestinal illnesses in humans. What you need to know about Norovirus:

Norovirus is highly contagious and easily spread from person to person. Norovirus is primarily found in the feces and vomit of infected people.

  • Like hepatitis A, it is commonly associated with ready-to-eat food that has been contaminated by an infected restaurant employee (by direct contact, person to person, or cross-contamination of equipment).
  • Consuming even small amounts of the virus can lead to illness and people become contagious within a few hours of eating contaminated food.
  • Most common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and abdominal cramps.