SafeFood provides food safety information for consumers, educators, and those working in the food service industry. The information in these lessons is based on recommendations found in Food Code 2009. Food Code 2009 represents the most recent science-based information about good food safety practices.
Many people get sick each year from the food they eat. They may have diarrhea, vomiting, an upset stomach, fever, or cramps. They often think they have the flu, but the real problem is foodborne illness caused by bacteria in the food or viruses transmitted to food eaten a few hours or several days ago.
Even though the United States has one of the safest food supplies in the world, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention estimates each year approximately 1 in 6 Americans (48 million people) get sick, are hospitalized, or die of foodborne diseases.
As stated on the CDC website, we live in a world full of microbes, everything from bacteria to viruses. Therefore, there are numerous opportunities for food to become contaminated during production and preparation. The information presented in the following lessons will serve as a guide providing steps to take to ensure the food you serve is safe.
What is foodborne illness?
A foodborne illness is a disease that is transmitted to humans by food. Recent developments in diagnosing and tracking reported illnesses have helped the public become more aware that certain types of illness may be related to the food they ate prior to becoming sick.
The U.S. Public Health Service classifies moist, high-protein, and/or low acid foods as potentially hazardous. High protein foods consist, in whole or in part, of milk or milk products, shell eggs, meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, edible crustacea (shrimp, lobster, crab). Baked or boiled potatoes, tofu and other soy protein foods, plant foods that have been heat-treated, and raw seed sprouts (such as alfalfa or bean sprouts), cut melons, cut leafy greens (iceberg, Romaine, leaf, butter, and baby lettuces, escarole, endive, spring mix, spinach, cabbage, kale, arugula, and chard), cut tomatoes (if not modified to prevent pathogenic microorganism growth or toxin formation) also pose a hazard.
Sources used: FDA BadBug Book