Food safety is a worldwide concern
With more and more people around the world eating meals away from home at restaurants, hotels, resorts, schools and hospitals, the number of cases of food poisoning and other foodborne illness has continued to skyrocket.
The World Health Organisation estimates that hundreds of millions of people worldwide suffer from diseases caused by contaminated food. In the United States alone, food poisoning outbreaks cause the deaths of up to 3,900 people each year and make hundreds of thousands more individuals seriously ill.
That's why in country after country, from the U.S. to Asia, Europe and Latin America, governments and foodservice operators themselves are making food safety a top priority.
Why food safety is important to you
Food safety affects everyone - you, your employees, and your customers. It also affects the financial health of your foodservice operation. Just one case of food poisoning traced back to your facility can seriously damage your reputation, drive customers away, hurt your profitability, and in some instances result in costly litigation and business closings.
Why is "foodborne illness" anyhow?
Foodborne illness is an illness that is carried in the food. People who eat food contaminated by bacteria and other foodborne germs can become sick and in some extreme cases die. Two of the most common foodborne illnesses are caused by the E-Coli and Salmonella bacteria. These bacteria are smaller than the eye can see but they multiply quickly, especially in high protein foods such as meat and poultry.
Common causes of foodborne illness
There are several common causes of foodborne illness. Because the bacteria that cause foodborne illness exist almost everywhere, it is important that everyone who handles food take the necessary food safety precautions. Here are the most frequently cited reasons food becomes contaminated:
- Poor general sanitation in critical areas
- Dishes and tableware inadequately washed & sanitized
- Employees who don't wash their hand properly
- Contaminated cutting boards, countertops and equipment
- Failure to cook food to a high enough temperature
- Failure to cool food properly during storage
- Raw food mixed with food that has already been cooked
- Leftover food not reheated to the proper temperature