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Issue Number: Council I 005


Sore throat with fever

Issue you would like the Conference to consider

Food and Drug Adminstration 2009 Food Code , section 2-201.13(G) requires a person with sore throat and fever to not return to work until they have medical documentation of being free of Streptococcus pyogenes or have received professional medical treatment for same.

This requirement is too strict considering the risk.

Public Health Significance

A sore throat is a frequent symptom of the common cold or other acute respiratory tract infections. Strep throat is caused by Group A streptococcus.

Antibiotics are needed if a healthcare provider diagnoses you or your child with strep throat, which is caused by bacteria. Strep throat cannot be diagnosed by looking in the throat - a lab test must also be done. Antibiotics are prescribed for strep throat for the purpose of preventing rheumatic fever . If the test result shows strep throat, the infected patient should stay home from work, school, or day care until 24 hours after starting an antibiotic.

The following links are CDC references that do not support the need for such a strict requirement -

CDC 2011 Foodborne Illness Estimates located at


Top 5 pathogens contributing to foodborne illness


Trends in Foodborne Illness in the US


Get Smart: Know when antibiotics work - Sore throat


Changing this requirement will reduce a misplaced effort on rare foodborne illness. Change will promote reporting of symptoms. Requirements will be more in line with risk to public health.

Recommended Solution: The Conference recommends...

that a letter be sent to the FDA requesting the 2009 Food Code (as modified by the Supplement issued in 2011) Section 2-201.13(G) be amended so that persons with sore throat and fever can return to work after being free of symptoms for 24 hours.

Submitter Information

Name Sean Dunleavy
Organization Great Lakes Conference on Food Protection
Address P.O. Box 16082
Lansing, MI 48091
Telephone (517) 243-8895
Fax (517) 373-3333
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