The world is seeking constructive and efficient controls to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus. Our hearts go out to those – both domestically and internationally – who have been infected with this disease, and we applaud the valiant efforts of the devoted medical staff who are treating Ebola Virus Disease patients and battling this outbreak.
During this time of concern, FMI seeks to provide science-based information, culled from authorities across the medical community, to help control the spread of Ebola and quell unnecessary public fears.
FMI has been working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to curate relevant information about Ebola and share food retail community questions directly with CDC officials. It’s important to note that Ebola is not transmitted through food, air or water; it is not similar to the flu. Still, we recognize that your customers will have questions, and your pharmacies and department managers need the facts.
To provide the resources you may need, FMI developed an Ebola resources website page that includes information related to transmission, prevention and in-store food handling, talking points for customers, pharmacy resources, links and other outside resources. The site also includes an embedded form you can use to share with us your own questions.
We strongly recommend deferring to the CDC any media queries related to health that you may receive; CDC is the authority on Ebola and other infectious diseases. If you receive media calls related to trade concerns about commodities, e.g., cocoa, we recommend sharing these inquiries with FMI via the website online form.
The crisis team at FMI is in place. While much about this disease is still unknown, we can prepare, and we strongly encourage you to begin practice drills in your stores and convene your crisis response teams. If you need guidance, please contact Rhett Asher, vice president of asset protection and crisis management; Hilary Thesmar, vice president of food protection; and/or Heather Garlich, director of media and public relations.
We are committed to the safety and security of our food supply and to helping you offer assurances to your customers.
Warm regards, Leslie Sarasin FMI President and Chief Executive Officer