Food Safety Education Month Closes with a Quiz!

As Food Safety Education Month wraps up, try this short Food Safety Quiz for reminders of some of the main principles shared along the way.  Feel free to share it with friends, family, and co-workers. 

And, remember to always think Food Safety!

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SAFE COOKING TEMPERATURES

A recent increase in reports of undercooked meat and poultry received by our Environmental Health Office prompts this reminder about the importance of cooking these foods to their correct minimum food temperatures.  Food borne illnesses that can result from undercooking these foods (such as Salmonella and E. coli O157) can be very serious—even life threatening.  Not only is proper temperature monitoring important, but you must take into consideration any change in the portion size of the food that is being cooked.  Additionally, kitchen equipment that is being used to cook food and monitor temperatures should be properly maintained and calibrated to assure that they are working properly.

For instance, if the size of the hamburger patty received from the supplier has increased, the cooking time and heat settings on equipment will normally need to be adjusted in order to meet the minimum cooking temperatures required for food safety.  Food service operators and consumers can check out the FoodSafety.gov guide to Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures to review the minimum safe cook temperatures for a variety of foods that can support the growth of bacteria if mishandled.

Foodborne Illness Testimonials

by Casey Saenz, Environmental Health Specialist 3

Recently, at a monthly staff meeting, our Food Program Manager Karen Gulley played for us a video testimonial regarding a case of food poisoning that led to a fatality.  After the video, she said something that was very important for all of us to hear.  She mentioned that sometimes, we, as inspectors, forget the importance of the risk factors for foodborne illness that are assessed during inspections.  Since we check various food service facilities on a daily basis, it is important that we don’t minimize the importance of what we do to help prevent foodborne illness by allowing what we do to become too routine.  This is as important—if not more important– for operators of food service facilities to keep in mind.

Since September is Food Safety Education Month, I thought this would be a good opportunity to share a few foodborne illness testimonial videos to help remind all of us about those that count on us to keep their food safe and the importance of food safety.

Foodborne Illness Testimonial Videos Link:

https://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/ucm608193.htm 

More testimonials can be viewed here:

https://goo.gl/XVm6AX

Happy Food Safety Month!

Keep It Clean!

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

During a recent study in our food service establishments of the common factors that cause foodborne illness, two areas identified as needing more attention were handwashing and keeping food & food contact surfaces protected and clean. Foodsafety.gov has provided a good summary of tips and facts to assist with gaining knowledge and training in this area.  The Clean principle covers:

  • When and how to wash your hands
  • When and how to wash food contact surfaces
  • Where and how to wash fruits & vegetables (but not meat or poultry)

Plus, there’s a short summary video to tie it all together!

Let’s keep it clean!

 

Be Prepared for Severe Storms and Hurricanes!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Recent reports of hurricanes along the East Coast prompts a reminder to check your preparedness status regarding food safety during emergencies.  Whether you’re a consumer or a food service operator, please check out the following:

A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms & Hurricanes provided by the US Department of Agriculture

Home Emergency Preparedness from the College of Family and Consumer Sciences of the University of Georgia

Be Prepared Georgia! brochure from the University of Georgia Extension

IT’S FOOD SAFETY EDUCATION MONTH: New Partnership Panel and Employee Health Campaign Launch!

Check out Episode #14 of our Food Safety Partnership Panel where we discuss The Risk Factor Challenge.  You will also be introduced to our Employee Health Achievers Campaign and receive the results of our recent Risk Factor Study.   Operators that successfully participate in the campaign will receive certificates of achievement and their establishment names will be posted on our website (click here to learn more).

Each of our Food Safety Partnership Panels (covering a variety of topics) is available on the Environmental Health Food Service section of our website and is about 30 minutes in length.  These can be used for review and training as applicable.  They are also shown regularly on Cobb TV and DCTV23.