Catering Connection is committed to supporting the health of our community with our internal company practices and branching outward. This all begins with the health and safety of each of our employees utilizing up-to-date CDC, Santa Barbara County and city-mandated protocols, and continues outwardly in our daily work with food orders and events in the community.
All of Catering Connection’s staff are COVID19 Safety Certified, and we stay up to date with the continually changing rules and regulations so we can bring our staff, guests and our community the utmost protection possible.
Whether you are placing a Gourmet To Go order or attending an event with us when allowed by the County of Santa Barbara, you can be assured of the most up-to-date safety practices for you and your guests’ health.
Here are the steps we are taking to ensure everyone’s safety in reducing the spread of COVID among staff, clients and event guests:
Staying Home when Appropriate
- We educate staff and attendees about when they should stay home.
- We mandate our employees, clients and event attendees to stay home if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are showing COVID-19 symptoms or if they have had close contact with a person who has symptoms of COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
- We have and continue to expand policies that encourage sick employees to stay at home without fear of reprisal, and we ensure our employees are aware of these policies.
Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
- Our employees are required to frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and increase monitoring to ensure adherence.
- If soap and water are not readily available on event site, our staff will use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and rub their hands until dry.
- We always encourage employees to cover the mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when coughing and sneezing. Further, we recommend that used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- We encourage event attendees to wash hands often and cover coughs and sneezes.
- Because event guests/attendees often exchange handshakes, fist bumps, and high-fives at meetings and events, Catering Connection will display signs (physical and/or electronic) that discourage these actions during the event.
- We require the use of disposable gloves among staff for all work on our premises as well as off site: on deliveries, at events and in any situation around others.
- We require the use of cloth face coverings or CDC approved disposable face masks among staff for all work on our premises: including in the kitchen and office, as well as off site: on deliveries, at events and in any situation around others.
- We provide all employees with information on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.
- Catering Connection will encourage clients and all event attendees ahead of the event to bring and use cloth face coverings at the event.
- We will provide signs and messages re-enforcing these requirements, and we will place them in all employee/staff areas.
- Additionally, we will post signs in highly visible locations (i.e., at entrances, in restrooms) that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs by properly washing hands and properly wearing a cloth face covering.
Cleaning and Disinfection
- We clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces within the venue at least daily and between uses as much as possible.
- We clean and disinfect shared objects between uses.
- We use EPA-approved disinfectants against COVID-19.
- Our staff will ensure that there is adequate ventilation when using these products to prevent event attendees or themselves from inhaling toxic vapors.
- We use disposable gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash.
- We ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible, for example, by opening windows and doors. We will not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk to staff or attendees (e.g., risk of falling or triggering asthma symptoms).
- If portable ventilation equipment like fans are used, our staff takes steps to minimize air from them blowing from one person directly at another person to reduce the potential spread of any airborne or aerosolized viruses.
There is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread by food. However, people sharing utensils and congregating around food service areas can pose a risk.
- If a group dining room is used, we will serve individually plated meals or grab-and-go options, and hold activities in separate areas.
- We will use disposable food service items including utensils and dishes. If disposable items are not feasible or desirable, our staff will ensure that all non-disposable food service items are handled with gloves and washed with dish soap and hot water or in a dishwasher.
- Our employees will wash their hands after removing their gloves or after directly handling used food service items.
- We will avoid offering any self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, and drink stations. We recommend having pre-packaged boxes or bags for each attendee.
- Catering Connection discourages people from sharing items that are difficult to clean, sanitize, or disinfect.
- We will limit any sharing of food, tools, equipment, or supplies by staff members.
- We will ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high-touch materials to the extent possible; otherwise, we will limit use of supplies and equipment to one group of staff members or attendees at a time, and clean and disinfect them between use.
Designated COVID-19 Point of Contact
- Catering Connection will designate an administrator to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. All our staff and event attendees will know who this person is and how to contact them.
- Catering Connection staff is trained on all safety protocols using CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers as a guide.
- We conduct training virtually to ensure that social distancing is maintained during training.
- If training needs to be done in person, we maintain social distancing. Virtual training is clearly better for infection control when feasible, and we try to achieve this whenever possible.
Post-Event ReCap & Evaluation
- Catering Connection is continually committed to determining ways to improve planning and implementation processes after each event. That means we are constantly reviewing and updating protocol after each event’s recap and feedback, as well as the continual updates from local and County Health authorities, which are always shifting.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, we remain at your service. Your health and safety -as well as that of our employees – is of the utmost importance.