Preventing the Flu

January and February mark peak flu season, and public health concerns are top-of-mind for hotel managers, guests, and staff. To ensure your facility is properly equipped to handle a potential outbreak, facility managers need to develop and initiate a comprehensive outbreak prevention plan that will reduce the risk of cross contamination. Use these tips to minimize the havoc that flu season can cause.

1. Systematically sanitize common areas. Make a checklist of high-touch areas where germs can be passed from person to person and create a high-frequency cleaning plan to institute during flu season. The physical removal of organic soil is just as important as sanitization because germs feed on bio matter, extending their life and leading to more contact.

2. Use the right products for the job. Employ the proper cleaning chemicals and sanitizers that are effective against the pathogen you’re facing. And keep in mind that not all chemicals are appropriate for all surfaces. Some may damage sensitive materials if not used properly.


3. Spot the sickies. Train staff to observe signs of potentially sick individuals among employees and guests. Employees can be directed to take appropriate measures in their own care, while rooms and surfaces that are in contact with potentially sick guests can be given added attention to prevent further infection.

4. Go hands on. Get your staff in the habit of regularly washing their hands for at least 20 seconds. For guests, you can outfit all public restrooms with hand wipes and trash cans near doors, and add hand sanitizer stations in high traffic areas. Providing travel-sized hand sanitizers also may be the added touch to your amenities program that signals your increased concern for guests. Combine it with a note about protecting their health and it likely will be remembered.

ISSA is a global trade association for the cleaning industry. For more tips on effective cleaning to protect public health, visit