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Employee health – a contentious issue

By Linda Jackson on 17 September 2016

R962 and Employee Health – what the law says

Note R962 has now been replaced with R638 view more


We all know the requirements of 11 (2) of Regulation R962 of the Foodstuffs, Disinfectants and Cosmetics Act, Act 54 of 1972:

  1. Food, a facility or a container shall not be handled by any person (a) who has on his or her body a suppurating abscess or a sore or a cut or abrasion, unless such abscess, sore, cut or abrasion is covered with a moisture proof dressing which is firmly secured to prevent contamination of the food;
  2. Who is or who is suspected of suffering from or being a carrier of a disease or condition in its contagious stage that can be transmitted by food, unless any such person immediately reports the disease or condition to the person in charge and a certificate by a medical practitioner stating that such person is fit to handle food is submitted;

The practical application

What are some of the practical issues which need to be addressed in the application of R962?

  • Proper first aid facilities must be available
  • Hands must be inspected for cuts and abrasions
  • Employees will have to wear gloves to protect the plaster from dislodging
  • Employees will have to report illness
  • The employee will have to be seen by a medical practitioner
  • A certificate of fitness must be issued to confirm the employee is fit to handle food

 These are just some of the common issues which need to be addressed when you have food workers in your facility. We will be unpacking these issues in future articles, to provide you with more detailed guidelines that will make practical sense.


If you have any challenges which you find particularly frustrating or difficult to overcome, please drop us a line and we will cover those issues too! Share your challenge

Find out more

There is a great guidance document available from the Department of Health: Directorate Food Control Guidelines for employee health


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R638 Regulations Governing General Hygiene Requirements for Food Premises, the Transport of Food and Related Matters

By Food Focus on 27 June 2018

R638 (Regulations Governing General Hygiene Requirements for Food Premises, the Transport of Food and Related Matters) has now been gazetted. This replaced R962....