What is Worldwide Food Service Safety Month?
Worldwide Food Service Safety Month was started in 1994 to increase the awareness of food safety education, especially in the food service industry.
Did You Know?
… more than 200 diseases are spread through food alone? Every year, an estimated one in six Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from eating contaminated food.
… reducing foodborne illness by just one percent would keep 500,000 Americans from getting sick each year.
… a large percentage of food poisoning cases could be eliminated if staff properly washed their hands when preparing and handling food.
…. the Food and Drug Administration estimates that about two to three percent of all food poisoning cases lead to secondary long-term illnesses.
… certain groups of people are more susceptible to becoming sick and having more serious side effects. These groups include:
- Children younger than 5
- Adults that are 65 or older
- Pregnant women
- People with a weakened immune system
- People with chronic illnesses, including diabetes, kidney disease, and some cancer patients
How You Can Observe Food Safety Month
- Before and after handling food, wash hands with warm water and soap.
- Before you handle food, cuts on your fingers, hands, or wrists should be covered with bandages.
- Wash fruits and vegetables with clean, warm water before use.
- Keep cooked foods separate from raw foods to avoid cross-contamination.
- During preparation, when switching from raw meat to other food, use fresh utensils.
- Use labels and toss out expired or compromised food.
- Hold hot foods above 135°F and cold foods below 41° F.
- Regularly wash kitchen dishcloths and towels using hot water.
- Always use a thermometer so you never undercook your meat.
- Audit your Food Safety Supplies to ensure you’re complying with relevant national and regional food safety and hygiene regulations.
When Preparing & Handling Food – Follow these Four Steps
- CLEAN: Always wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces often when you cook.
- SEPARATE: Raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can spread germs. Separate them from cooked food and fresh produce.
- COOK: Use a food thermometer to make sure foods are cooked to an internal temperature that kills germs.
- CHILL: Refrigerate perishable foods and leftovers within two hours. Chill within one hour if it’s above 90°.
Worldwide Food Service Safety Month is one of many opportunities throughout the year to audit current best practices and take food safety to the next level. Even if you have the basics down, there’s always something more we can do to ensure the safety and comfort of your students and staff.
It’s Better to be Safe Than Sorry
Let us assist you with complying with all relevant national and regional food safety and hygiene regulations. We have experts on hand to help you get started. Contact us today.