Preventing Food Borne Illnesses

Food-borne illness in restaurants was very common a century ago.  Improvements have been made, but it still causes harm to this day. The CDC states that 76 million of these diseases are caused by salmonella and campylobacter. These bacteria have caused 80 percent of food borne illnesses and 75 percent of deaths. They are caused by meat and poultry, but seafood is the leading cause of food poison.

4b9d813a-9fa5-4d59-a8b8-ccf642ad0fa6Treat your poultry and seafood properly. Just a little food safety know-how and you can decrease chances of food contamination. Always check for color, odor and texture When buying chicken, its color should be pinkish, not yellow or gray. Fish should always be shiny and firm, It should also have a fresh mild smell. Always check your packages.  If it looks like its been thawed and refroze don’t buy it. Check your sell by dates avoid anything that has dents or tears in packaging material. If your food has ice covering the package on the inside, more than likely that food is bad.

Avoid cross contamination. Never use the same cutting board or knife for meats and vegetables. Always keep your hands clean with anti bacterial soaps when handling raw meat. Keep your meats stored at the right temperature. They should always be stored at 40 degrees. Cook your poultry at 170 degrees. A whole chicken or turkey should be cooked at 180 degrees. All ground meat, like hamburger or turkey, should be cooked at 165 degrees. This keeps the bacteria from multiplying. Always make sure, when storing your food, that you wash the containers very well. This will also prevent cross-contamination.

Most restaurants will have a dishwasher that will wash the dishes in very hot water and rinse them as well. Never dry a dish with a cloth when working in food service because this also will cause bacteria to be on your dishes and food. Taking a few precautions can go a long ways in preventing illnesses through food contamination.