Although no one wants to be involved in a foodborne illness outbreak, it is a very good idea for operators to consider what their role might consist of if one were to be connected to their facility. To simplify this task, The Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR) have developed Foodborne Illness Response Guidelines to help owners, operators, and managers of food service establishments take an active and informed role in outbreak response and investigation by identifying areas that need to be improved upon. Additionally, several tools are provided in the guide that can be used during a possible incident or to initiate efforts to help prevent one from happening.
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:
More testimonials can be viewed here:
Happy Food Safety Month!
The CDC has posters available to remind us of the groups that are more likely to get a food borne illness (FBI). These posters provide information that care givers and food safety workers can use to help prevent FBIs . Follow this link for more content: https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/education-month.html
The National Restaurant Association has provided a short Culture of Food Safety Quiz–in both English and Spanish– to test your food safety knowledge in recognition of Week 1 of Food Safety Education Month. Downloadable posters for Week 1 –in both English and Spanish– are also available for your use.
Direct link for Week 1 quiz: https://www.servsafe.com/Landing-Pages/National-Food-Safety-Month/NFSM-Docs/2017-NFSM-Activity-Week-1.aspx
Direct link for Week 1 posters: https://www.servsafe.com/Landing-Pages/National-Food-Safety-Month/NFSM-Docs/2017-NFSM-Poster-Week-1.aspx
MYTH: Only kids eat raw cookie dough and cake batter. If we just keep kids away from the raw products when adults are baking, there won’t be a problem!
FACT: Just a lick can make you sick!
No one of any age should eat raw cookie dough or cake batter because it could contain germs that cause illness. Whether it’s pre-packaged or homemade, the heat from baking is required to kill germs that might be in the raw ingredients. The finished, baked, product is far safer – and tastes even better! So don’t do it! And remember, kids who eat raw cookie dough and cake batter are at greater risk of getting food poisoning than most adults are.
The following are violations cited by inspectors in the field based on the Rules and Regulations for Food Service CHAPTER 290-5-14
Contributed by: Kim Brown, EHS3
Food Service Inspection Item Number 4-2b
Code Provisions: .05(7)(a)1
Observation: Numerous plates, bowls, and utensils stored as clean observed with stuck-on food debris.
Compliance/Corrective Action (CA) Required: All food contact surfaces must be properly cleaned to sight and touch prior to being stored for use.
Corrected on sight during the inspection (COS): Items were removed for cleaning.
Contributed by: Casey Saenz
Food Service Inspection Item Number 6-1A
Code Provisions: .04(6)(f)
Observation: Time/Temperature Controlled for Safety (TCS) foods held above 41 ̊F in that crawfish was 48 ̊F, fish heads 52 ̊F, raw shrimp 48 ̊F while stored in the cook-line refrigerator.
Compliance/Corrective Action (CA) Required: Always cold hold TCS foods at 41 ̊f and below.
Corrected on sight during the inspection (COS): Food items were discarded since believed to have been out of temperature more than 4 hours .
Do you know the top five risks factors contributing to foodborne illness? Click here to take our quiz and find out!