Operations

Sodexo launches medical council to inform pandemic-related protocols

The group will include experts in the fields of epidemiology, nutrition and more.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Sodexo has created a medical advisory council to help the foodservice management company develop operating protocols as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The group will include experts in the fields of epidemiology, nutrition, occupational and behavioral health as well as family medicine, Sodexo said on Tuesday.

“As businesses and consumers begin to emerge from the pandemic, they want confidence that their environments are safe,” Marc Plumart, CEO of Sodexo’s healthcare and seniors worldwide division, said in a statement. “By working with clinical experts, we leverage the latest research, data and insights to set a strong and medically guided foundation for our protocols.”

Sodexo competitor Aramark on Tuesday announced its own steps forward in crafting safety-oriented procedures, including the creation of customized reopening playbooks for the operations it runs.

A number of the protocols Aramark detailed align with what foodservice operations across the country have been implementing to fight the spread of the coronavirus, including more grab-and-go options, stepped-up cleaning and sanitizing, requirements that staff wear personal protective equipment (PPE), and the inclusion of plexiglass barriers in checkout areas.

“While cafes, dining halls, cafeterias and concessions stands may look a little different, I am confident that they will feel and be safe for our employees and everyone we serve,” Aramark CEO John Zillmer said in a statement. “Our teams have been working incredibly hard, partnering with health and food safety experts, to ensure our locations meet stringent standards for dining in today’s new environment.”

Aramark noted that its plans include such new technologies as risk modeling conducted with the help of artificial intelligence and sensors that can detect motion and assess guest occupancy. The company also recently launched Aramark EverSafe, a safety-focused platform developed in partnership with Jefferson Health, a healthcare system based in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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