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How not to get sick?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I keep hearing that cooks who take sick days get fired quick.

 

But I keep getting sick! Does anyone have a strategy for not getting sick? Obviously eating "well", but is there any secret to staying healthy enough to work the line?

post #2 of 26

Live a healthy lifestyle. Stay away from people who are sick. The same applies not only for cooks but all vocations in life. Possibly see a shrink as stress could be the underlying cause.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #3 of 26

get plenty of sleep, eat well, limit excessive drug and alcohol use, exercise

post #4 of 26

Theres a difference between being sick and just feeling crummy. If you work through feeling bad when you can, you won't catch much flack about calling out when you really are too sick to work. 

 

But like everybody else said... just do the common sense sorta stuff to stay healthy- even with that though, some people just get sick more than others. 

post #5 of 26

Define "sick"!

 

If you mean:

  • running a temperature above 100°F (38°C), or
  • vomiting, or
  • experiencing diarrhea, or
  • are diagnosed as having an infectious disease

 

then call in SICK.

 

Otherwise, suck it up and report for duty!

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #6 of 26

Pete.....you're my hero!!!

post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian Holmes View Post

I keep hearing that cooks who take sick days get fired quick.

 

But I keep getting sick! Does anyone have a strategy for not getting sick? Obviously eating "well", but is there any secret to staying healthy enough to work the line?



Someone else touched on it but what kind of sick?  What do you keep getting sick with? Since I have nothing to go by it could be your diet. You might eat well, but you may have gluten intolerance-something thats becoming more and more common today.

 

Do you notice any pattern with what you eat and how you feel afterwards? 

 

There are so many things it could be from your lifestyle, lack of excercise, diet, personal life (drama), and how much sleep do you get?

Lack of Vitamin D levels are a huge contributing factor to your overall health.

 

Do you take any time for yourself to chill out and get some peace. I cant help but think maybe you need to schedule in some fresh air and recharge your batteries.

 

 

I dont know what kind of answer you are looking for, you can go simple with over the counter meds like Goodys Powders (headaches), supplements like Holy Basil (stress), simple techniques like  EFT (simple effective technique similar to accupressure) or even take medicine that is made specifically with your immune system in mind (Immunocal comes to mind, it raises your bodies natural levels of Glutathione =Glutathione is to your immune system what gas is to a engine)

 

 

In a way I feel asking that question here is like taking your dog to a mechanic. The old school is made from tougher stock I'm afraid so your not going to get much sympathy lol

post #8 of 26

A regular dose of vitamin C might help you avoid getting sick apart from eating healthy food, regular exercise and enough rest. smile.gif

post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by catering101 View Post

A regular dose of vitamin C might help you avoid getting sick apart from eating healthy food, regular exercise and enough rest. smile.gif



Vitamin C, why didnt I say that? Doh! 

I've even been doing it this last week and I wasnt sick, but I did feel my mood lift and a energy boost. 

 

To the Poster - I read your bio and can relate to this "My ADD makes me an addict of the immediate and intense, and I can't wait to get acquainted with a real industry kitchen."


Edited by MacGregor - 11/1/10 at 11:53am
post #10 of 26

In this business don't call in sick unless you can'y walk or stand.!

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #11 of 26

eat your greens, and drink more fresh orange juice.

we're as good as our last meal.
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we're as good as our last meal.
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post #12 of 26

Are  you keeping up your liquids? Especially water? I have seen too many chefs/cooks spend shifts and days on end slurping the free soda, especially mountain dew, or in recent years slamming red bull to rev up for a shift.  Caffiene will dehydrate you and leave you feeling crappy at the same time. Follow the rest of the advice too, but do your best to keep the fluids up too.

post #13 of 26

Clean up your act.  Quit hanging out in bars after work.  Oh wait, you work in a professional kitchen.  Lost my mind for a moment.

post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldFoodGuy View Post

Are  you keeping up your liquids? Especially water? I have seen too many chefs/cooks spend shifts and days on end slurping the free soda, especially mountain dew, or in recent years slamming red bull to rev up for a shift.  Caffiene will dehydrate you and leave you feeling crappy at the same time. Follow the rest of the advice too, but do your best to keep the fluids up too.



Caffeine, despite what I believed for years, actually isn't a diuretic. But it's probably still less optimal than water for hydration. And all that soda & redbull will likely give you diabetes in the long run (nevertheless, I always slam redbull during the rare lulls in a busy shift).

 

Drink less booze, eat healthier food regularly. When working doubles, the latter is hard to do, and you'll want a drink at the end of the day; still, unwise.

 

I always fail to follow this advice. The advice I do follow came from a chef: "Don't get sick. If you do get sick, [series of expletives] and work."

post #15 of 26

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the obvious-

 

Wash your hands-frequently!

Use warm water, lots of soap and wash for the length of a chorus of "Hit the road, Jack" or "Happy Birthday!"

Use individual paper towels to dry your hands-not your nasty old side towel. 

Don't share side towels.

Sanitize the telephone and controls of any shared appliances-the mixer, blender etc.

Sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow and ask others to do so as well.

www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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post #16 of 26

 Eat well and live clean....

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #17 of 26

I take a multi-vitamin every day along with vit. c supplement.

Also when I start to feel like I am getting sick (itchy throat, achy etc.) I start popping Echinacea 3 times a day.

My great-grandma also used to drink every night before bed a big glass of water with a shot of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of honey. May sound crazy but she never got sick and was perfectly healthy till the day she died at the ripe old age of 97 in her sleep.

post #18 of 26

The "secret" is knowing your limits.

 

Learn the differences between what you HAVE to do, what you NEED to do, and what you WANT to do.  Deal with them, in that order, and you'll be just fine.

post #19 of 26

first post woo hoo

 

 

 

i get the gummy multivitamins.

 

gnaw a few on the way to work every morning.  also helps put some pep in my step as well.

 

c

post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momandchef View Post

I take a multi-vitamin every day along with vit. c supplement.

Also when I start to feel like I am getting sick (itchy throat, achy etc.) I start popping Echinacea 3 times a day.

My great-grandma also used to drink every night before bed a big glass of water with a shot of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of honey. May sound crazy but she never got sick and was perfectly healthy till the day she died at the ripe old age of 97 in her sleep.

Used to be a bit more up on nutrition information, but IIRC, vinegar improves insulin sensitivity, usually when consumed a few minutes prior to a meal.

post #21 of 26


Pete,

 

That is about the size of it !
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

Define "sick"!

 

If you mean:

  • running a temperature above 100°F (38°C), or
  • vomiting, or
  • experiencing diarrhea, or
  • are diagnosed as having an infectious disease

 

then call in SICK.

 

Otherwise, suck it up and report for duty!

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(155 photos)
  
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(155 photos)
  
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post #22 of 26

All the above advice is great, and I could add something like changing your toothbrush every month or so as well. (it does make sense to do so).

 

Booze, in moderation, won't hurt you.  Moderation.

 

Fluids are important, Vit C and b complex and D as well.

 

But......

 

No one's mentioned exercise.

 

Me?  I'm the luckiest guy in the world, takes me 15 minutes to walk to work in the morning and another 15 to walk back every night.  Haven't been on my bike since October, but at least I'm getting some kind of excersie daily.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #23 of 26

 

Eat well. 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

Define "sick"!

 

If you mean:

  • running a temperature above 100°F (38°C), or
  • vomiting, or
  • experiencing diarrhea, or
  • are diagnosed as having an infectious disease

 

then call in SICK.

 

Otherwise, suck it up and report for duty!


This is the way of it right here ^^^. DONOT eat fast food... that chit will kill you. Drink lots of fluids. Many times I feel horrible in the morning when I wake up... once I get moving I feel fine, just don't stop working for very long or you will start to feel it again. But seriously... what Pete said is the truth, if you don't have at least one of the symptoms Pete said, you can still work... maybe not as fast, but you can make it through the day. When you call out, everyone else has to step it up for you... or the chef has to do your job... and you had better be sick if you are going to do that to your team.

 

post #25 of 26

There is sick and then there is sick. It's a difficult question to answer, and we all know there are those who will call in sick because they'd rather be at the beach or they're hung over. If no one did this, no one would get fired for being sick, because then they would be truly sick when they call in. No one would fire you for being sick for REAL. It's only because calling in sick has such a bad reputation. Here is my take on it:

1. if you are truly sick, you have an obligation to stay away from work. You may make your co-workers sick, too.

2. if you suffer from gastro-intestinal discomfort, you are required to stay away from food processing areas, and you are not allowed to handle food. I don't care how committed you are to your job, your team, your boss; if you come in looking like a soiled sheet I will send you home. Thanks but no thanks. That's the wrong kind of dedication.

3. many companies will extend medical benefits to their employees, including sick pay. We encourage our employees to make this decision, without feeling pressured to show up for work when they shouldn't, just because they need the money. This, of course leaves us open to abuse, but we have to accept that. yes, some of our staff take exactly five sick days a year because that's how many they get paid for. On the turn side, I, as an employer have the right to ask for a medical clearance certificate from a doctor, if an employee calls in sick. Rule of thumb, if someone is sick for more than a day, or more than five times a year, I will ask them to provide medical proof that they are safe to work with food, and not contageous. They cannot return to work until they provide this proof. it is well within my rights as an employer, and does not violate doctor-patient confidentiality (at least it does not here...) if it's a non-disease (ie a chronic injury or condition) I will ask them to provide an attending physician's report stating that they are able to work without exhasperating their condition. That's what we have job descriptions and physical demands analyses for.

 

Dealing with sickness on the job is not an easy situation. usually, when someone does get sick, they call in last minute before their shift starts, and it is often impossible to find a relacement in time. makes the best of us edgy, and it's easy to blow up at the sick person for being sick. that shouldn't happen. Imagine if they really ARE sick, feel crappy, feel like they let the team down, and then on top of it, the boss blows up at them, maybe even fires them for being sick??? yes, those who abuse the system make it tough for the rest, but I think they all deserve the benefit of the doubt. I've missed two days' work in forty years. Once I had food poisoning and coundn't even walk to the phone, and the other time I had shingles (OUCH!). How do I stay healthy?

I teach food safety for the local government, and my mantra is WASH YOUR HANDS, every opportunity you get, whether you need it or not. I am in a routine to wash or sanitize my hands after I shake hands with someone else (bad, unsanitary western custom - in Asia, where contageous diseases are much more prevalent because of the climate and population density, shaking hands is considered GROSS). I touch NOTHING in public washrooms (use paper towel to do EVERYTHING, including opening doors, turning off taps, etc.), and i live a clean life. I don't smoke, don't drink excessively - for a cook - don't do drugs of any sort (I don't even take aspirin), and don't do junk food. I exercise, and get as much fresh air as i can. Most times, if I do get the sniffles, it's from my kids. They drag everything home from school, of course...

post #26 of 26

If you're too sick to work,  you're too sick to work. Period.

If your boss fires you for being ill... f**k him.

 

Now... if you're sick often enough to screw up business and your co-workers lives... then you have an issue that you need to look into.

 

But, if you're not feeling well enough to perform, stay home. I don't buy into this "suck it up unless you're dying" B.S.  YOU make the call, if you can handle it... then do it. If not, then don't.

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