According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an H5N1 flu pandemic could potentially kill as much as 1 percent of the world’s population or about 65 million people. In the U.S., the CDC says that 90 million people could become infected, resulting in up to 1.9 million deaths.
“Such a worldwide pandemic, if it were to happen, would present challenges unique to nearly any other potential catastrophe,” said Mark S. Allen, president and ceo of IFDA. “The food supply channel is a critical infrastructure in our country and distributors should carefully assess how such an outbreak would affect their business, their customers, their community, and their employees. These guidelines provide distributors with a process to facilitate their company planning and, as a foundation, identify a significant number of challenges that distributors would face during a human flu pandemic.”
The background and recommendations included in the guidelines were prepared during brainstorming discussions conducted with foodservice distribution executives from 15 companies, as well as using government data and other published sources. In addition, work completed by the Alex Lee Company in August 2005 served as an important foundation for these foodservice guidelines.
The document can be accessed at http://www.ifdaonline.org/pdf/Pandemic_Planning_Foodservice.pdf.