It’s the Noro season y’all

Laughter is the best medicine! Unless you have norovirus – vomiting is better medicine in that case. 🙂

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WHAT IS NOROVIRUS?

Typical season for the “stomach flu” “winter bug” occurs from November through April. We see illnesses occur outside of this timeframe with 80% of the outbreaks occurring between November and April. Norovirus infection causes acute gastroenteritis: nausea, frequent, sudden and occasionally violent vomiting, and/or diarrhea. Other symptoms include low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle ache and fatigue. Symptom onset can be as soon as 12 hours after exposure, but more often 24 to 48 hours after ingesting the virus. The illness usually lasts one to two days. Most cases, recovery occurs without further complications unless the person is dehydrated.

  • Virus – very small in size and simple structure
  • Can NOT survive outside of a host
  • Human norovirus can’t be cultivated in labs
  • Virus surrogates are used for studies in labs and they do NOT always behave as Human Norovirus
  • Leading cause of Acute Gastroenteritis (worldwide)
  • 20 Mil cases in USA (per year)
  • 2/3 are from PERSON-TO-PERSON transmission, 1/3 are from FOODBORNE transmission
  • High Prevalence – Low Mortality
  • $65 Billion – Global cost
  • 5.5 Million cases per year in USA – Foodborne
  • Low infectious dose (100 or less particles required for illness)
  • High shedding rate – Million to Billion/gm (stool) and shedding may continue up to 2 weeks after symptoms

WHERE IS NORO?

  • Infected food handlers are responsible for 70% of reported outbreaks (cause is found)
  • Workers are using bare hands for Ready-to-eat foods – 50% of illnesses
  • Mainly at restaurants (64%) and catering/banquet events (17%)

WHY IS IT CHALLENGING?

  • After symptoms disappear, person can shed at a lower level for up to 2 weeks
  • Infected person can shed 1-8 million virus via vomit
  • Virus can be airborne several days beyond an incident or outbreak
  • Virus stays on infected and exposed person’s hands for several days
  • Stays on surfaces for days/week at room temp
  • Refrigeration/Freezing for weeks/months/years will not effect
  • Easily transferred – depends on moisture, type of surface, pressure
  • Highly infectious, Rapid and efficient spreading
  • Resistant to sanitizers, disinfectants, technology

WHAT DO YOU NEED?

  • Having a written plan and related tools, kits ready in your facility
  • Written and implanted employee health and illness policy – specific to the operation and easy to execute
  • Post incidence SOP in place – what to do when this happens?
  • All team members trained

Do you have a plan? Have you created and implemented a strong and executable employee health policy? What are you waiting for? Hopefully, not an outbreak from your facility…

BE WELL. (and if you are down with Noro; and work in a food facility – STAY HOME)

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FBI Risk Factors and Intervention Strategies – FDA Study

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released findings today from the initial phase of a 10-year study that is evaluating trends in food preparation practices and employee behaviors that contribute to foodborne illness outbreaks in the retail setting.

You can read the 84-page document (link provided below) or read a quick summary here.

Background:

Foodborne illness remains a major public health concern in the United States. Foodborne diseases cause ~48 million illnesses and ~3000 deaths each year. Economic burden due to foodborne illness is estimated at $77 billion dollars (Scharff, 2012).

Restaurant industry is a major driver of food service and consumer demand for food away from home has led to increased spending in both fast food and full-service restaurants, with more than one million restaurant locations employing 14 million people. Per CDC studies, more than half of foodborne illness outbreaks that occur each year are associated with food from restaurants. Activities related to food handling and preparation practices were the most commonly reported contributing factors within restaurant-associated outbreaks by CDC.

Most regulatory food inspection programs monitor the following risk factors while conducting routine food safety inspections, and each factor necessitates specific food safety behaviors and practices.

  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Improper food holding/time and temperature
  • Contaminated equipment/protection from contamination
  • Inadequate cooking
  • Food obtained from unsafe sources

FDA specialists collected inspection data in 2013-2014 for research – to be used as baseline for better intervention strategies, food safety practices – moving forward. This data collection period combined with current 2017-2018 and future (2021-2022) will be useful for identifying relationship between Food Safety Management System (FSMS) and Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM), and how these risk factors and food safety behaviors are associated with foodborne illness in restaurants.

FSMS refers to a specific set of actions (procedures, training, and monitoring) to help achieve Active Managerial Control (AMC). Non-existent or inadequate FSMS are thought to contribute to the worldwide burden of foodborne disease.

CFPM is an individual who has shown proficiency in food safety and possess an accredited certificate, as required by most regulatory agencies. Research has shown that the presence of a CFPM is associated with improved inspection scores (Hedberg et al., 2007; Brown et al., 2014)

Food Code emphasizes the need for risk-based preventive controls and daily AMC of the risk factors contributing to foodborne illness. AMC is “the purposeful incorporation of specific actions or procedures by industry management into the operation of their business to attain control over foodborne illness risk factors” (FDA, 2013). AMC involves the continuous identification and proactive prevention of food safety hazards. Two strategies supporting AMC efforts in food establishments that have received growing attention are presence of a CFPM and an effective FSMS.

Research and results:

Data items that were included in FDA’s studies included:

  • proper handwashing practice
  • no bare hand contact of ready-to-eat foods
  • protection from cross contamination (during storage, preparation, and display)
  • food contact surfaces properly cleaned and sanitized
  • TCS foods are held at proper temperature
  • displayed or stored hot foods are held at proper temperature
  • foods are cooled properly
  • TCS RTE foods are properly date marked/discarded within 7 days
  • raw animal foods are cooked to required temperatures
  • foods are reheated to required temperatures

From food safety behaviors/practices that were investigated in this FDA study, we see that restaurants had better control over no bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods and making sure that raw animal foods are cooked to their required internal temperatures. But, there remains a huge need to gain better control over food employee’s handwashing habits and controlling temperatures of TCS foods.

Some results are very alarming: For full service restaurants, more than 2/3 of visited facilities did not date-mark their TCS foods properly; more than 2/3 did not cool their hot foods properly before storing it; almost 2/3 had dirty food contact surfaces; and 1/3 failed to reheat foods to proper temps. For fast food restaurants, 1/2 of visited facilities failed to cool foods properly; 40% had dirty food contact surfaces; 1/3 did not date-mark their TCS foods properly; and more than 1/3 failed to prevent cross-contamination of foods.

Also,

  • Fast food restaurants that are multi-unit operation showed 2.65 out-of-compliance items compared with the ones that are not a chain operation, who showed 4.51 out-of-compliance items. CHAIN RESTAURANTS PEFORMED BETTER.
  • The difference in mean number of out-of-compliance items for graded inspection was extremely minor. The difference was also minor for jurisdictions that required public disclosure of inspection report. The difference where food handler training is mandatory or not was equally minimal. This was true for fast food and full-service restaurants. GRADING OR PUBLIC DISCLOSURE DOES NOT IMPACT COMPLIANCE.
  • Fast food restaurants with a CFPM present and in charge had a significantly lower number of data items out-of-compliance than those with no CFPM. 2.88 vs 3.46 – HAVING A CFPM MEANS BETTER COMPLIANCE.
  • Full-service restaurants that are multi-unit operation showed 4.66 out-of-compliance items compared with the ones that are not a chain operation, who showed 5.30 out-of-compliance items. CHAIN RESTAURANTS PEFORMED BETTER.
  • Full-service restaurants with a CFPM present and in charge had a significantly lower number of data items out-of-compliance than those with no CFPM. 4.73 vs 5.69 – HAVING A CFPM MEANS BETTER COMPLIANCE.
  • FSMS were the strongest predictor of items being out-of-compliance in both fast food and full-service restaurants: those with well-developed FSMS had significantly less food safety behaviors/practices out-of-compliance than those with less developed systems. HAVE AN EFFICIENT AND PROPERLY IMPLEMENTED FSMS.
  • Restaurants with a CFPM present at the time of data collection were associated with fewer out-of-compliance food safety behaviors/practices.
  • Simply having a CFPM employed without that individual being present does not materially improve the restaurant’s compliance. The correlations between CFPM and out-of-compliance become non-significant, indicating that FSMS (not the presence of a CFPM) predicts better compliance with food safety behaviors/practices.

What do we learn from this?

It is extremely important to have your own FSMS. Documents can sit in a binder and collect dust but unless you have provided adequate and proper training, all tools and ways to resolve discrepancies, it is absolutely of no use. Train all team members, requiring mandatory accredited certification and provide all necessary tools for them.

It is not complicated y’all!

_______

Read all 84 pages (including checklist used) from FDA publication here.

Some reference material used in FDA’s publication:

Cates, S.C., Muth, M.K., Karns, S.A., Penne, M.A., Stone, C.N., Harrison, J.E., and Radke, V.J. (2008). Certified Kitchen Managers: Do They Improve Restaurant Inspection Outcomes? Journal of Food Protection, (72)2, 384-391.
Hedberg, C.W., Smith, S.J., Kirkland, E., Radke, V., Jones, T.F., Selman, C.A., and EHS-Net Working Group (2006). Systematic Environmental Evaluations to Identify Food Safety Differences between Outbreak and Nonoutbreak Restaurants. Journal of Food Protection, (69)11, 2697-2702.
Leinwand, S.E., Glanz, K., Keenan, B.T., and Branas, C. C. (2017). Inspection Frequency, Sociodemographic Factors, and Food Safety Violations in Chain and Nonchain Restaurants, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2013-2014. Public Health Reports, 10,1-8.
Luning, P.A., Marcelis, W.J., Rovira, J., Van der Spiegal, M., Uyttendaela, M., and Jacxsens, L. (2009). Systematic Assessment of Core Assurance Activities in a Company-specific Food Safety Management System. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 20(6), 300-312.

 

Picnic vs Pathogens – Food Safety P’s

As you and your family, friends gather for Memorial Day backyard indulgence with the P’s – Pools, Puppies, People and Playgrounds, do not forget about the other P’s like Pathogens, Puke, Poop, Pain!

Some simple Precautions can provide you with a Pleasant experience in the outdoor world.

  1. Mom always told you — wash your hands.
    Be sure to wash hands (not just pretend to) during food preparation, when switching from handling raw meat to chopping raw vegetables for a salad. Hand sanitizer is not good enough. Note: When you are in a situation without any running water, soap – ok to use hand sanitizer (at least 60% Alcohol), wipe hands with paper towels and apply the sanitizer again.
  2. Keep it clean!
    Clean and sanitize coolers, grills, grilling knives, tongs, serving utensils, baskets and bags because they can be a mecca for pathogenic growth. Do this before heading out to a remote site if not at your own home.
  3. Keep it Cold or Keep it Hot!
    Never allow your foods to stay between 40°F and 135°F for more than 2-3 hours. Keep and use ice chests, coolers with ice, plugged in camping equipment – as needed. Keep coolers in the shaded area – when outdoor. Pack water bottles that are frozen – the night before – for extra precaution and place them in coolers.
  4. Separate, separate, separate!
    Keep raw meats, poultry, and seafood separate from other ready-to-eat foods. Use separate cooler for raw meats and poultry and another for foods such as fruits, vegetables, cheese, and desserts. Take two sets of plates and utensils for handling raw meats and for serving cooked foods to limit the chances of cross-contamination.
  5. Thermometer is better than your eyes and fingers!
    Cook all meats to safe internal temperature and a food thermometer is the only way to make sure that food has reached this temperature. Cook fish (seafood) and hot dogs to at least 145°F, ground meat to 155°F and poultry items to 165°F.
  6. When in doubt, Toss it out!
    If the meats and perishable items have been out on the serving table for more than 90-120 minutes, it goes in the trash bin. Hotter the weather, smaller window you have to make sure that everyone eats before jumping in the pool. Don’t take any chances.
  7. Uninvited guests (insects) – keep them out!
    Fruit flies, houseflies are annoying, unwanted, and not welcome at outdoor events. Not just fly barf and poop have been associated with human illness. footprints are just as, if not more, dangerous.
  8. Don’t forget these:
    Chips, cut fruits, mayo, salsa and other foods can also become cross contaminated if hands are not washed after swimming, or being in ponds, lakes. Norovirus, E. coli is present everywhere. Making sand castles on beach, fishing in ponds, playing with domestic and farm animals are all a risk with wherever your festivities take you. Another P, that cold potato salad deserves cold storage too!

Simply put – keep unwanted pathogenic bullies from crashing your outdoor party and have fun! 

Ten Commandments – Food Safety Plan

Ten Commandments – Food Safety Management

You have seen the ten commandments in your spiritual life but what about the food ten_commandments_hebrew_stonesafety life?

 

As we all know, the DoJ has stepped into the food industry and they can seek to prosecute cases where illnesses have occurred – restaurant companies, manufacturers, etc. Our consumers are demanding “cleaner” products as they eat out or purchase their food. With the science of genome sequencing, it’s possible to link illnesses from years earlier to their source, meaning a past incident can come back to haunt a company – long after the event.

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) – based regulations are here. The first impression that restaurants and grocery stores would not be impacted is now becoming clear that the ripple effect of FSMA will increase the food safety demands on them as well. FDA has written the rules for some flexibility – which is causing significant confusion and it carries the risk of many in the industry getting something wrong and placing considerable and unnecessary strain on already overburdened QA professionals.

Therefore, the food safety professionals cannot manage food safety program in the same old way. There has never been a more important time to stop, take a critical and unbiased view of the food safety management systems and processes, and emulate best practices being used in the industry.

Follow these 10 simple commandments:

  1. Senior Leadership Team on your side

Senior leadership want to know: ROI, key issues and plans to address those, business trending, strategies employed to move the business in the right direction, and how the quality and food safety strategies support business strategies and objectives. These strategies are always focused on the customer.

Be clear with the senior leaders’ group about the investment required in food safety, and the benefits gained through the investment. As we all know, the investment is significantly less costly than the problems. Provide simple but impactful food safety training to the senior leaders. This will highlight that effective food safety training is provided for every team member in the company.

  1. Suppliers audited

Regularly audit all suppliers, especially prior to their first delivery of items. Must review supplier’s track record so it can be established that appropriate systems and processes exist. The audits need to be structured so that all of the elements supporting the supplier’s ability to reliably meet all the quality and food safety requirements are checked, and where deficiencies are found, formal corrective actions are established. There are a number of good auditing schemes in widespread use, accredited under the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

Best practice in this area: Obtain full copy of every audit, review the audit outcomes to establish that risks are effectively identified and managed; and ensure that corrective actions requested by the auditor are resolved in a timely manner.

  1. Supplier Specifications

To ensure consistency of the items you are using in your restaurant, specification is required for most items.

The specification should include the chemical, physical, and biological parameters the supplier has promised to comply with to ensure the item is safe. The specification should also contain a full ingredient list of the product, including the presence or otherwise of any allergens. This is essential to enable rapid investigation of the presence of a particular ingredient of concern that may be subject of a wider recall.

  1. Supplier Performance

Supplier audit is merely a point-in-time assessment, and may or may not reflect the typical week-to-week performance of a given supplier. Be sure to include conformance to specifications, the number and rate of corrective actions and timely responses to measure performance. The best industry practice is to keep your dialogue and communication with the suppliers – – fact based; transparently providing comments to the supplier on their actual performance.

  1. Risk Assessment and Preventative Controls

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is used on a voluntary basis by few operators, though not currently required. The HACCP process identifies all hazards that may exist and clarifies the point at which the hazard can be managed or controlled. This process prevents the hazard: a) from entering the food, b) eliminating it in product, or c) reducing it to acceptable levels.

FSMA’s requires for the supplier to identify particular hazard, if not controlled by their process. In this case, they must advise users of their non-compliance in writing.

Restaurants must acknowledge that items such as raw meats, fresh produce, and many other items contain hazards, and take on the responsibility for controlling specific hazard. Implement HACCP (if possible) to ensure that the hazard is effectively controlled.

  1. Validate | Monitor | Document |

The validation step determines that the control measures put in place are scientifically sound and will control the identified hazard. Managers and team members are required to “monitor” the control measures to ensure the hazard is eliminated/controlled.

The best way to verify a restaurant’s plan is being followed is to document the evidence. One can also include a review of the execution and evidence for corrective actions being taken when control measures are out of compliance. Verification is providing proof that you are doing what you said you needed to.

  1. Corrective Actions

Organize workflow, take prompt and timely corrective action when something fails and always follow-up. Documentation of all the required communication of the details between the parties is very important. Train and re-train as necessary.

  1. Documentation

An arduous food safety management system ensures that everything is documented—a challenging task in today’s dynamic work environment because of pressure on new product development, constant change in the supplier world, pressure on value engineering, and staff turnover. For documentation to be truly effective, each element of data needs to be dated, and each action must be trackable. Thankfully, technology has changed, and in this cloud-based computing age and with the right software, data can be available to anyone who is authorized, from any device, at any time and from any location.

  1. Complaints and Social Media

While employee empowerment is a great approach to resolve complaints at the point of receipt, there must also be an entrenched process of identifying and resolving common causes. Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) being used by the masses – can’t be ignored and must be effectively monitored and managed.

  1. Professional FTE

One must have a food safety professional on staff – company’s growth and future plans must include a FTE, if not already! Consultants can help and assist you and your team as well – but there are limitations to this.

In short: Almost 60% of all food borne illnesses in the US is caused by food consumed from a food service facility, the business must take every possible step to ensure brand protection and that all food served is safe to eat.

Image: via leewoof.org

Win Super Bowl – Food Safety Defense

Defense wins Championship

As you get ready to serve food to your guests in a restaurant or your loved one, follow these simple FOOD SAFETY DEFENSE rules to avoid food safety penalties during fast-paced Super Bowl celebratiosb51_game_ball_front_1ns.

Personal foul

That hand towel on your oven or hanging from your belt is a 15-yard penalty. Not sanitizing food-contact surfaces before, during, and after prepping raw vegetables and meat is going to
create challenges for your coaching staff. Disposable sanitizing wipes are convenient, fast, and effective at home to prevent cross-contamination that may cause foodborne illnesses.

Illegal formation

Two hours is the maximum time foods should be kept at room temperature. Just one bacterium, doubling every 20 minutes, could grow to over 2 million bacteria in seven hours! Don’t hesitate – refrigerate at 41°F or colder. Meat, poultry, fish and dairy products, pasta, rice, beans and cooked vegetables should be consumed in 2 hours or place them in refrigerator. Refrigerate salads with meat/fish/chicken/seafood, fresh-cut fruits until used.

Clock management

Pre-moistened sanitizer wipes are the smartest way to maintain clean and sanitary hands and surfaces when every second counts.

Unnecessary roughness

Refrigerate take-out
foods right away if you won’t be eating them within two hours after buying. For large quantities, divide food into loosely covered shallow containers before refrigerating and then cover tightly when cool. If you leave your pizza and other perishable foods at room temperature for more than two hours, you will be moving back 15 yards.

Delay of game

Plan to eat take-out foods and leftovers within a day (Monday) for greater safety and quality.

Illegal substitution

Don’t reheat take-out food in its original container in the microwave, unless the container is described as safe for microwave use. Reheat all foods to 165°F. Use a food thermometer and proper utensils.

Illegal use of hands

Provide hand sanitizing wipes before, during, and after preparing or handling food. Wash your hands as many times as you can when preparing/handling food items – especially ready to eat food items.

Neutral-Zone infraction

You can’t see, smell, or taste bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. It takes from half an hour to two or more weeks before you get sick from contaminated food. Sometimes it’s hard to know if food has been handled safely. If you are not sure, throw it away. No delays allowed.

Hike – Wash, Wipe, Refrigerate, Toss, OMAHA Hut!

Notes: A cooler well packed with ice or frozen gel packs is a practical alternative to a refrigerator. Keep the cooler in the shade. After food comes out of the cooler, remember the two-hour rule. Keep it at 41°F or below. Use a chafing dish, warming tray, steam table, slow cooking pot or a place on the side of the cooking grill. Keep it at 140°F or higher. 

ENJOY THE BIG GAME!

Super Bowl LI is in Houston!

Football photo: courtesy Wilson.com

 

Let’s make American TV Food Shows “Food Safe” now!

If I made a dollar every time someone brings up a celebrity chef and talks about what he or she viewed on a televised program and not follow safe food handling protocols, I would have a lot more money in my bank account.

I know what you are thinking “if a celebrity chef can do it on TV, why can’t I?”

We all know that Gordon Ramsay’s primary responsibility when filming “Hell’s Kitchen” isn’t food safety, its entertainment. The same applies for the filming of “Top Chef” or “Jamie’s Kitchen” or “Paula’s Home Cooking” or “30 Minute Meals” or “Throw down with Bobby” or “Guy’s Big Bite” or “Restaurant: Impossible” or “Bar Rescue” or insert your own favorite show here >.

Remember that Martha Stewart was confined to bed for several days after becoming ill with salmonella few years back? She had made her rounds on the daytime talk shows, preparing turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday. I remember telling my family, “I wish they would show Martha washing her hands to prevent cross contamination.” Apparently, she did not wash her hands well and became ill. Yes, celebrities get sick, too.

I remember that Giada De Laurentiis was on “The Today Show” and preparing ready-to-eat foods with her bare hands while having a bandage on her finger. Where were the single-use disposable gloves? Does the producer or network not know these simple rules?

Foodborne illness continues to be a significant health concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year 9.4 million episodes of foodborne illness, resulting in 55,961 hospitalizations, 1,351 deaths and an economic burden of approximately $78 billion annually occur in the U.S.  Foodborne illnesses such as Hepatitis A and Norovirus can spread rapidly via improper personal hygiene such as not properly washing one’s hands or washing improperly. Wearing single-use gloves and preventing cross-contamination are very critical to prevent the spread of illness.

We all know that the food you see celebrity chefs preparing isn’t what the audiences are consuming, but viewers assume it is. Don’t you think that the chefs can include a bit more information and demonstration about food safety? Those few seconds they show the chef licking their fingers can be easily replaced by showing them washing their hands and adding a graphic that you must wash your hands properly.

Imitating positive behavior of a role model may impact the adoption of safe-handling practices. While role modeling has been shown to be an effective mode for behavior change in the nursing and medical arena, the concept has not been applied to food-safety education. Effective role modeling involves exposure, reinforcement, accountability, and repeating positive behavior. We need to start role modeling in food safety world NOW.

From a recent analysis* of 60 TV episodes revealed most common food-handling errors:

  • 98% of episodes (almost every show) failed to wash hands prior to beginning food preparation. However, 46% mentioned handwashing (or showed it), but did not mention that it is recommended 20 seconds.

  • Hosts were shown licking their fingers 5% of the time and touching their head, face, or hair 7% of the time.

  • With respect to cross-contamination, ready-to-eat food or kitchen items were touched after handling raw meat without reference to or actual washing of hands prior to touching the items 27% of times.

  • Cutting boards were used without washing or mention of washing in 69% of the episodes.

  • The host wiped his/her hands with a cloth towel or clothing in 35% of episodes.

  • 52% of the shows, chefs added ingredients to their dish with unwashed hands, and in 11% of the episodes the host was shown sampling food with their hands rather than utensils.

  • 25% of the episodes, the chefs handled the finished dish with their hands instead of utensils, and in 8% of the shows utensils were not washed between being used for raw and ready-to-eat foods.

  • In 45% of the shows, chefs tested meat for doneness without using a thermometer, and 8% mentioned an incorrect cooking temperature.

  • 8% episodes exhibited temperature abuse or recommended serving food at an incorrect temperature.

Who was the most obvious? Bobby Flay’s Boy Meets Grill averaged the most errors per show, at 5.7, while Paula’s Home Cooking averaged the fewest errors, at 4.0 errors per show. Fieri’s Big Bite and Ray’s 30 Minute Meals averaged of 4.1 and 4.2 errors per episode, respectively.

Rachael Ray mentioned on her show that it was OK to leave meatballs out at room temperature and snack on them throughout the night. 27% consumers agreed with her. Yea, sure! Insert your hashtag here > #___

Guy Fieri, while cooking burgers on his show did not use a thermometer, and only used the recipe cooking time. 52% of surveyed consumers agreed that if Guy Fieri did that, they would do the same.

I am not a celebrity chef but a food safety professional and next time you are watching your favorite food show on TV, please remember a few food safety tips:

  1. Always wash your hands with hot, soapy water and rubbing between fingers for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. Use a paper towel.
  2. Thaw frozen food items in the refrigerator. Never defrost food at room temperature on the counter top or in the sink. It is acceptable to thaw frozen food under running water at a temperature of 70°F or below.
  3. Wash cutting boards and knives with hot, soapy water after food preparation, especially after cutting raw meat, poultry or seafood. Clean utensils and cutting boards between uses when meat has been on them.
  4. Never place food on the same plate or cutting board that previously held raw meat, poultry or seafood unless the cutting board has been thoroughly washed and rinsed.
  5. Refrigerate or freeze prepared foods and leftovers within two to three hours. Do not leave them sitting out at room temperature.

I am not familiar with any celebrity chef’s food-safety trailblazer ranking. Let’s let the food-safety professionals execute the educating and the chefs prepare the meals. As for the celebrity chefs — let’s hope that the TV networks and producer spend a few dollars and hire a consultant so that some key information about food safety is shown and implemented on the shows.

TV celebrity chefs are ideal role models for food safety messaging because of their popularity; therefore, they could serve as important resources for consumer food safety education.

 

* Published in Food Protection Trends (Volume 36, Number 6) and work supported by National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2012-68003-30155. Author: Rachelle D. Woods and Christine M. Bruhn

12 days of Christmas – Inspection

12 Days of Christmas and MY INSPECTION

 

  1. On the 1st day of MY INSPECTION, my inspector gave to me: light shields for all my light fixtures.
  2. On the 2nd day of MY INSPECTION, my inspector gave to me: food container covers for all my stored food items, and light shields for all my light fixtures.
  3. On the 3rd day of MY INSPECTION, my inspector gave to me: proper food storage hierarchy, food container covers for all my stored food items, and light shields for all my light fixtures.
  4. On the 4th day of MY INSPECTION, my inspector gave to me: no expired (out of date) food items, proper food storage hierarchy, food container covers for all my stored food items, and light shields for all my light fixtures.
  5. On the 5th day of MY INSPECTION, my inspector gave to me: proper labeled and stored chemicals, no expired (out of date) food items, proper food storage hierarchy, food container covers for all my stored food items, and light shields for all my light fixtures.
  6. On the 6th day of MY INSPECTION, my inspector gave to me: all utensils stored properly, proper labeled and stored chemicals, no expired (out of date) food items, proper food storage hierarchy, food container covers for all my stored food items, and light shields for all my light fixtures.
  7. On the 7th day of MY INSPECTION, my inspector gave to me: no wet nesting, all utensils stored properly, proper labeled and stored chemicals, no expired (out of date) food items, proper food storage hierarchy, food container covers for all my stored food items, and light shields for all my light fixtures.
  8. On the 8th day of MY INSPECTION, my inspector gave to me: all utensils in good repair and not rusty or chipped, no wet nesting, all utensils stored properly, proper labeled and stored chemicals, no expired (out of date) food items, proper food storage hierarchy, food container covers for all my stored food items, and light shields for all my light fixtures.
  9. On the 9th day of MY INSPECTION, my inspector gave to me: clean gaskets and shelves in my restaurant, all utensils in good repair and not rusty or chipped, no wet nesting, all utensils stored properly, proper labeled and stored chemicals, no expired (out of date) food items, proper food storage hierarchy, food container covers for all my stored food items, and light shields for all my light fixtures.
  10. On the 10th day of MY INSPECTION, my inspector gave to me: all gaskets in good repair, clean gaskets and shelves in my restaurant, all utensils in good repair and not rusty or chipped, no wet nesting, all utensils stored properly, proper labeled and stored chemicals, no expired (out of date) food items, proper food storage hierarchy, food container covers for all my stored food items, and light shields for all my light fixtures.
  11. On the 11th day of MY INSPECTION, my inspector gave to me: all foods stored at 41°F or below, all gaskets in good repair, clean gaskets and shelves in my restaurant, all utensils in good repair and not rusty or chipped, no wet nesting, all utensils stored properly, proper labeled and stored chemicals, no expired (out of date) food items, proper food storage hierarchy, food container covers for all my stored food items, and light shields for all my light fixtures.
  12. On the 12th day of MY INSPECTION, my inspector gave to me: clean ice machine/bar-gun holder/dishes/utensils/cutting boards, all foods stored at 41°F or below, all gaskets in good repair, clean gaskets and shelves in my restaurant, all utensils in good repair and not rusty or chipped, no wet nesting, all utensils stored properly, proper labeled and stored chemicals, no expired (out of date) food items, proper food storage hierarchy, food container covers for all my stored food items, and light shields for all my light fixtures.

  

On the 13th day of my MY INSPECTION, my inspector gave to me: a perfect 100% score and I celebrated so much that I became sick from foodborne happiness!