The United States has the safest food supply in the world. However, 48 million people still get sick each year from eating food. That means 1.5 people get sick from foodborne illness every minute in the US.
According to the CDC, 120,000 people are hospitalized, and 3,000 of them die. This is detrimental to the food service industry because if consumers do not feel safe, they will not eat out.
Why is Food Safety Training so important? 70% of foodborne illness is caused by improper hand washing according to Food Safety News. And, even when handwashing is done properly, harmful pathogens can still reside on hands. This makes the use of food safety gloves extremely important when handling ready-to-eat food.
Food Managers can utilize the following safe food handling top 10 to ensure proper procedures are followed.
Safe Food Handling Top 10
- When you are sick, don't work with food: wait 24 hours from last symptom before returning to work
- When in doubt, wash your hands: scrub hands with soap for a minimum 10-15 seconds
- Don't touch ready to eat foods with your bare hands: use tongs, scoops or wear gloves
- Always hold foods at a safe holding temperature: Keep Hot Food at 135°F or higher and Cold food at 41°F or lower
- Cook foods to proper temperatures before serving: chicken 165°F, Ground Meat 155 °F, and roasts and Fish 145 °F
- Cool hot food as quickly as possible to 41 Degrees F: cool food from 135°F to 70°F in two hours or less and from 70°F to 41°F in 4 hours or less
- Keep raw meat away from other foods: Prepare raw meat with separate equipment and utensils then those used to prepare ready-to-eat foods.
- Wash - Rinse - Sanitize - Air Dry: Wash dishes using these 4 steps in order
- Keep food prep area and utensils clean and sanitized: cutting boards, counters, utensils, or any items that have been touched by raw food.
- Always ask your person in charge any questions you have on food safety.