“Count On Me NC” addresses restaurant & lodging safety, consumer confidence

May 19, 2020 0 By administrator

Raleigh, NC – The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) has joined forces with industry leaders, academic partners, and state officials on an innovative public health initiative for safely reopening restaurants and other businesses while addressing consumers’ need for trustworthy standards. Called Count On Me NC , the program provides specific guidance to restaurants, hotels, and other businesses on best practices on protecting guests for the phased reopening after Gov. Cooper’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order.

Count On Me NC centers on an evidence-based training program that provides specific guidance to restaurants, hotels, attractions and other businesses on best practices for North Carolina’s phased reopening after the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. A companion public relations component will encourage consumers to join the effort to keep everyone safe with a Guest Pledge . The campaign will also direct consumers to look for certificates and Count on Me NC logos for assurance that a business has completed the voluntary, no-cost training.

photo by Sandra Seitamaa

“Count On Me NC conveys a sense of mutual responsibility as we welcome guests back into our dining rooms and other establishments,” said Lynn Minges, NCRLA’s president and CEO. “Customers will appreciate the commitment of our restaurants, hotels and other businesses to protect their health, the health of other patrons, and the health of our employees by following the guidance of top medical experts in cleaning and sanitizing public spaces. At the same time, the presence of hand sanitizer and other cues will remind them to do their part to limit risk to their companions, fellow consumers and the people serving them.”

Count On Me NC is a public-private partnership conceived by the NCRLA Foundation and developed with the NC Department of Health and Human Services , NC State Extension and Visit North Carolina. As a leader in hospitality and education training with direct access to thousands of hospitality businesses statewide, NCRLA’s foundation is uniquely positioned to spearhead the effort to develop this collaborative partnership.

Training will be available to restaurants beginning today with courses for other businesses to follow. NCRLA asked NC State Extension to develop the training modules using its renowned team of experts in food safety training and adult education. NC State Extension responded quickly by anchoring the program on its existing system for delivering adult education online. “The training incorporates the best available science,” said Dr. Ben Chapman, professor and food safety specialist at NC State University.

“Our team combined federal agency recommendations with NC-specific guidance and supplemented with data in the peer-reviewed literature to build this foundational program. All training s and materials follow a rigorous content development and review process.”…

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