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Extension > Food > Food Safety > For Foodservice Industry > Foodborne Illness and Allergies > What's your clean-up plan for vomit and diarrhea?

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Foodborne Illness and Allergies

What's your clean-up plan for vomit and diarrhea?

Kathy Brandt

Do you have a plan for how you’ll handle vomiting or diarrhea that may occur in your establishment? Since vomit and diarrhea can carry Norovirus, correct clean up can prevent other people and food from contamination. Think about how you will handle this type of clean up. Do protection items need to be worn (i.e. gloves, respirator)? How will you contain liquid and airborne substances and remove them? What equipment is needed? How will it be cleaned and disinfected after use? How will you train your staff to properly handle this kind of clean up?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following. After either vomit or diarrhea incidence immediately clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces. Use a chlorine bleach solution with a concentration of 1000-5000 ppm (5-25 tablespoons of household bleach [5.25%] per gallon of water) or other disinfectant registered as effective against Norovirus by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Use caution when handling chlorine mixed at this high concentration.

Be prepared by downloading information with CDC recommendations. There are two posters, so review both and print the one best suited to your situation.


Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 2012. "Preventing Norovirus Infection." Retrieved September 28, 2012.

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Reviewed by Suzanne Driessen 2016

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