Unfortunately, more than 3,000 people die each year as a result of choking. If a choking emergency occurred at your foodservice establishment, would you be prepared? Know the basic steps to help a choking victim and prevent choking emergencies.
Understand the Causes
Everyday activities can create a choking emergency at your foodservice establishment, including:
- Swallowing large pieces of food
- Drinking alcohol before meals
- Wearing dentures
- Eating while talking or laughing
- Consuming food too quickly
- Walking or running with food in mouth
Look for Clues
Stay observant and look for signs that patrons may be choking, including:
- Coughing or gagging
- Hand signals
- Sudden inability to speak
- Turning blue in the face
- Passing out
Know How to Respond
Choking is a serious, life-threatening emergency and needs to be treated immediately.
- As soon as you believe a person is choking, call 911 immediately for help.
- Do not attempt to drive the victim to the hospital yourself.
- Keep your staff updated on the latest safety response methods, like the Heimlich maneuver, and other safety protocol to successfully help a choking victim.
- Keep diagrams and instructions on how to help a choking victim at the ready for staff members.
For more information, contact your local emergency response personnel.