Health requirements for personnel when handling food

In Paragraph 42 "Prohibitions on activity and employment", the Infection Protection Act prescribes certain health requirements for personnel in food processing companies, as some pathogens are transferred to food and can thus be transmitted to other people.

The following persons may not be employed in the production, treatment or placing on the market in the handling of food:

  • Persons suffering from abdominal typhoid, paratyphoid, cholera, shigellar dysentery, salmonellosis, types of infectious gastroenteritis or viral hepatitis A or E or suspected of having such a disease
  • Persons who have infected wounds or skin diseases whose pathogens are transmissible via food
  • Persons who excrete the following pathogens:
    o Shigellen
    o Salmonella
    o enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli
    o Choleravibrions

The following foods are considered foods within the meaning of the Infection Protection Act:

  • Meat, poultrymeat and products thereof
  • Milk and products from dairy products
  • Fish, crustaceans, molluscs and products thereof
  • Egg products
  • Infant and toddler food
  • Ice-cream and semi-finished food products
  • Bakery products with unbaked or non-heated filling or coating
  • Delicatessen, raw food and potato salads, marinades, mayonnaises, emulsified sauces and food yeasts

Hint: If measures are taken to prevent the transmission of the diseases to food, the health authority may allow exceptions to these activity and employment bans.
As soon as you suspect one of the above-mentioned diseases, you are obliged to inform your employer immediately.

Instruction and certification

For the handling of food, instruction and certification in accordance with the Infection Protection Act is required.


The requirements for infection protection apply to you if you

  • are employed in a establishment which produces, treats or places food on the market and you come into contact with the food, or
  • are employed in the kitchens of restaurants and other establishments with or for communal catering.

If you come into contact with consumer goods (e.g. dishes) in such a way that a transmission of pathogens to food is to be feared, the activity and employment bans also apply to you.

As an employer, if you suspect cases of illness among your staff, you must immediately take measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

Furthermore, you must inform your staff before starting the activity and once a year about the prohibitions on activity and the employee's obligation to notify in the event of impediments and document these instructions.

Related Links

  • § 42 Infection Protection Act (IfSG) - Prohibitions of activity and employment
  • § 43 Infection Protection Act (IfSG) - Instruction, certificate of the health authority

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