• Jacksonville-area restaurants taking precautions during flu season

    By: Danielle Avitable , Action News Jax


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - When it comes to protecting customers and employees this flu season, Beachside Seafood Restaurant and Market general manager Tim Baker said it’s easy.

    “If you don’t feel well, don’t come to work. You work around food, it’s unhealthy for everyone,” Baker said. 

    As his employees were cooking and prepping food, they were also constantly changing out gloves and washing their hands.

    He said this flu season has become a huge concern. 

    “It spreads so fast in a small restaurant,” Baker said. 

    The state health department reported more than 80 flu outbreaks within the past couple weeks. 

    Lauri Wright, assistant professor of nutrition at the University of North Florida, said diners can catch the flu from someone who prepared it. 

    “It could be passed on through that food. We are hoping all restaurants owners send their employees home if they aren’t feeling well,” Wright said. 

    When you go to a restaurant, it’s recommended to bring your own disinfecting wipes to wipe down the table to decrease your chances of catching the flu. 

    “I’m a former nurse and I understand how important it is,” diner Merilyn Jonaitis said. 

    It’s also important to look for sneeze guards over salad bars and buffets. 

    “Anything to block when people are breathing or coughing or sneezing,” Wright said. 

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