Select the first letter of the word from the list above to jump to appropriate
section of the glossary. If the term you are looking for starts with a
digit or symbol, choose the '#' link.
- A substance with a pH below 7.0. Acidic substances include lemons
(pH 2.4) and mayonnaise (pH 3.0).
- Needs oxygen to grow.
- Absence of oxygen.
- Tiny, one-celled microorganisms found in the environment. Bacteria
multiply rapidly in food under the right conditions, and some bacteria
can cause foodborne illness. Helpful bacteria can be used to make yogurt,
vinegar and some cheeses.
A substance with a pH above 7.0. Substances with a base pH include
soap(pH 10.0) and ammonia (pH 11.2).
Exposure to food by disease-causing microorganisms or toxins that are
found in some plants and fish.
Toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum.
Pathogenic microorganism that causes foodborne illness.
Substances such as cleaning solutions and sanitizers.
Free of visible soil.
Consumer Control Points
Points in the process of food preparation when harmful microorganisms
can contaminate the food. When conditions such as time, temperature
or moisture may encourage the growth of microorganisms. Food
handling practices that prevent foodborne illness are critical at these
The unintended presence of harmful substances or microorganisms in
A Consumer Control Point to reminds consumers that thorough cooking
will destroy harmful bacteria.
The transfer of harmful bacteria from one food to another. Harmful
bacteria can not only be transferred from food to food, but also from
hands to food.
A one-celled animal (protozoa) that can cause foodborne illness.
The range of temperatures at which most bacteria multiply rapidly,
between 41° F and 140° F.
Escherichia coli 0157:H7
Strain of enteropathic E. coli found in ground beef, raw milk, chicken.
- An illness caused by pathogenic bacteria that is carried or transmitted
to humans by food.
A Consumer Control Point to remind consumers that proper care of remaining
food that has been served will help ensure the food's quality and safety.
An individual with an existing disease or weakened physical condition
who may be more susceptible to becoming ill from foodborne illness.
Infection with Listeria monocytogenes usually
found in vegetables, milk, cheese, meat, seafood.
A general term for bacteria, molds, fungus, or viruses, that can be
seen only with a microscope.
The amount of water in food.
A substance with a pH of 7.0. Substances with a pH rating close to
neutral include meats and milk products (pH 6.4).
Virus that contaminates raw oysters/shellfish, water and ice, salads,
frosting, person-to-person contact.
Symbol for degree of acidity or alkalinity of a substance, measured
on a scale from 0 to 14.0.
A disease-causing microorganism.
Subject to decay or spoilage unless properly stored.
The way a person maintains their health, appearance and cleanliness.
The presence of foreign particles, like glassor metal, in foods.
Potentially hazardous food
Moist, high-protein, low acid foods that consist, in whole or in part,
of milk or milk products, shell eggs, meats, poultry, fish, shellfish,
baked or boiled potatoes, tofu and other soy-protein foods, plant foods
that have been heat-treated, raw seed sprouts, or synthetic ingredients.
A Consumer Control Point to remind consumers that food can cause foodborne
illness when conditions in the environment encourage bacterial growth.
Maintain quality and safety of food by removing moisture and/or air
A Consumer Control Point to remind consumers that they can control
food safety from the moment they put food in their grocery cart.
Free of harmful levels of disease-causing microorganisms and other
potentially harmful contaminants.
One tablespoon chlorine bleach in one gallon clean water.
Dates used by retailers to guide rotation of shelf stock.
Infection with Salmonella species. Found
in meat, poultry, egg or milk products.
A Consumer Control Point to remind consumers to choose a serving style
which will allow food to be served as quickly as possible, while maintaining
desirable temperatures (between 40° and 140°).
Toxin produced by certain strains of Staphylococcus aureus; often found in custard or
cream-filled baked goods, ham, poultry, eggs, potato salad, cream sauces,
A Consumer Control Point to remind consumers that peoper storage maintains
the quality of food and helps prevent contamination.
Parasitic infection caused by contamination from rat, rodent or bird
feces; litter boxes.
The amount of water that is available for bacterial growth. Water activity
( Aw ) is the amount of water available for deterioration
reactions and is measured on a scale of 0 to 1.0. Bacteria, yeast, and
mold multiply rapidly at a high water activity--above 0.86. Meat, produce
and soft cheeses have Aw in this range (between 0.86 and
Infection with Yersinia enterocolitica in
raw milk, chocolate milk, water, pork, other raw meats.