Spring has long been the time of year for annual cleaning projects around our homes. However, when it comes to safe food handling, everything that comes in contact with food must be kept clean all year long. Food that is mishandled can lead to foodborne illness.
- Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often.
- Separate: Don’t cross-contaminate.
- Cook: Cook to proper temperatures.
- Chill: Refrigerate promptly.
Cleanliness is a major factor in preventing foodborne illness. Even with food safety inspection and monitoring at Federal, State, and local government facilities, the consumer’s role is to make sure food is handled safely after it is purchased. Everything that touches food should be clean. Listed below are steps we can take to help prevent foodborne illness by safely handling food in the home:
- Wash hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds:
- before and after handling food
- after using the bathroom
- after changing a diaper
- after handling pets
- after tending to a sick person
- after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- after handling uncooked eggs or raw meat, poultry, or fish and their juices.
- If your hands have any kind of skin abrasion or infection, always use clean disposable gloves. Wash hands (gloved or not) with warm, soapy water.
- Thoroughly wash with hot, soapy water all surfaces that come in contact with raw meat, poultry, fish, and eggs before moving on to the next step in food preparation. Consider using paper towels to clean kitchen surfaces. If you use dishcloths, wash them often in the hot cycle of your washing machine. Keep other surfaces, such as faucets and counter tops, clean by washing with hot, soapy water.
- To keep cutting boards clean, wash them in hot, soapy water after each use; then rinse and air or pat dry with clean paper towels. Cutting boards can be sanitized with a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Flood the surface with the bleach solution and allow it to stand for several minutes; then rinse and air or pat dry with clean paper towels. Non-porous acrylic, plastic, glass, and solid wood boards can be washed in a dishwasher (laminated boards may crack and split). Even plastic boards wear out over time. Once cutting boards become excessively worn or develop hard-to-clean grooves, replace them.
- Don’t use the same platter and utensils that held the raw product to serve the cooked product. Any bacteria present in the raw meat or juices can contaminate the safely cooked product. Serve cooked products on clean plates, using clean utensils and clean hands.
- When using a food thermometer, it is important to wash the probe after each use with hot, soapy water before reinserting it into a food.
- Keep pets, household cleaners, and other chemicals away from food and surfaces used for food.
- When picnicking or cooking outdoors, take plenty of clean utensils. Pack clean, dry, and wet and soapy cloths for cleaning surfaces and hands.
Because bacteria are everywhere, cleanliness is a major factor in preventing foodborne illness. By keeping everything clean that comes in contact with food, consumers can be assured they are helping to do their part to Be Food Safe,
- 1 What are the 4 steps to reduce foodborne illness?
- 2 What is a foodborne illness in food safety?
- 2.1 Why is it important to prevent foodborne illness?
- 2.2 What are the top 5 most common food borne illnesses?
What are the 4 steps to reduce foodborne illness?
Do you know how to keep food safe at home? The easy lessons of “Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill” will help protect you and your family from foodborne illness. Foodborne illness is a serious public health threat and all of us are susceptible. Consider the numbers: Each year, approximately 48 million cases of foodborne illness occur in the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of those cases of foodborne illness, more than 128,000 people are hospitalized and approximately 3,000 people die. That is why it is critical that people understand the dangers of foodborne bacteria. While everyone is at risk for foodborne illness, there are those that face a higher risk if they consume unsafe food.
At-risk persons include the very young, older adults, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems. These food safety steps are especially important for them, and the messages of the Be Food Safe campaign can be a life saver. But the last line of defense against foodborne illness is in our own kitchens.
Clean! Wash hands and utensils to avoid spreading bacteria when preparing food. Find out how to prepare food in a sanitary way, Separate! Use different cutting boards for meat, poultry, seafood, and veggies. Learn more about the importance of separating foods during preparation, Cook! You can’t tell it’s done by how it looks! Use a food thermometer. Find out how to ensure your food is cooked thoroughly, Chill! Keep the fridge at 40 °F or below to keep bacteria from growing. Learn more about proper chilling,
What is a foodborne illness in food safety?
What Is Foodborne Illness? – Foodborne illness is a preventable public health challenge that causes an estimated 48 million illnesses and 3,000 deaths each year in the United States. It is an illness that comes from eating contaminated food. The onset of symptoms may occur within minutes to weeks and often presents itself as flu-like symptoms, as the ill person may experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever.
Because the symptoms are often flu-like, many people may not recognize that the illness is caused by harmful bacteria or other pathogens in food. Everyone is at risk for getting a foodborne illness. However, some people are at greater risk for experiencing a more serious illness or even death should they get a foodborne illness.
Those at greater risk are infants, young children, pregnant women and their unborn babies, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems (such as those with HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, and transplant patients.) Some people may become ill after ingesting only a few harmful bacteria; others may remain symptom free after ingesting thousands.
What are 5 things you can do to prevent foodborne illness?
What can you do to protect yourself and your family from food poisoning? – Follow these steps to prevent foodborne illness: clean, separate, cook, chill, and report. Clean: Germs can survive in your hand, utensils, and cutting boards.
often with soap and water for 20 seconds, scrubbing the back of your hands, between fingers, and under nails. To prevent cross contamination, make sure to wash your hands each and every time after handling raw meat. Wash surfaces and utensils with soap and hot water after each use. Wash fruits and vegetables before you peel or cut them. Do not wash meat or poultry. This can cause bacteria from the raw meat and poultry juices to splash and spread to other foods, utensils, and surfaces.
Separate: Germs are spread by cross-contamination.
Use separate cutting boards, plates, and utensils for uncooked produce (e.g., vegetables, fruits) and uncooked meat, poultry, and seafood. Separate meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from other foods in your shopping cart at the grocery store. Separate meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from all other foods in your refrigerator.
Cook: Cook to the right temperature.
Use a food thermometer to make sure food is cooked to the right temperature. Internal temperatures: whole meats at 145°F; ground meats at 160°F; and, poultry at 165°F.
Chill: Refrigerate promptly and properly.
Refrigerate perishable food within two hours.
Report: Call your healthcare professional if you think you have food poisoning.
Call 911 if it’s an emergency. Contact your local health department if you think you or someone you know became ill from eating a certain food from a restaurant.
Additional resources : Preventing foodborne illness – APIC
What activity would best prevent contamination?
The easiest way to prevent cross contamination is by properly washing hands before cooking and in between tasks and by keeping raw foods and ready to eat foods separated. Use separate equipment for each type of food.
Why is it important to prevent foodborne illness?
CDC and Food Safety Foodborne illness is common, costly, and preventable. CDC estimates that each year 1 in 6 Americans get sick from contaminated food or beverages and 3,000 die from foodborne illness. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that foodborne illnesses cost the United States more than $15.6 billion each year.
What are the top 5 most common food borne illnesses?
The top five germs that cause illnesses from food eaten in the United States are norovirus, Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter and Staphylococcus aureus, aka staph. Some other germs don’t cause as many illnesses, but when they do, the diseases are more likely to lead to hospitalization. Many different disease-causing germs can contaminate foods and there are many foodborne infections. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year 48 million people in the United States get sick from a foodborne illness.
- Of those, 128,000 require hospitalization and 3,000 die.
- Researchers have identified more than 250 foodborne diseases.
- Most of them result in infections, caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses and parasites.
- Harmful toxins and chemicals also can contaminate foods and cause foodborne illness.
- Do I have food poisoning? Common symptoms of foodborne diseases are nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea.
However, symptoms vary among the different types of foodborne illnesses and among different individuals. Symptoms can sometimes be severe, and some foodborne illnesses can even be life-threatening. Although anyone can get a foodborne illness, some people are more likely to develop one with serious implications.
Young children; Older adults; Pregnant women; and People with immune systems weakened from medical conditions, such as diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, organ transplants, HIV/AIDS, or from receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
Most people with a foodborne illness get better without medical treatment, but people with severe symptoms should see their doctor. Anyone can get sick from eating contaminated food. Practice the four simple food safety steps – clean, separate, cook, and chill – to lower your chance of food poisoning and to protect yourself and your loved ones.
What is one way to avoid biological contamination?
When preparing food: – Keep it clean:
Wash hands and surfaces often. Harmful bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get onto cutting boards, utensils, and counter tops. To prevent this: Wash hands with soap and hot water before and after handling food, and after using the bathroom, changing diapers; or handling pets. Use hot, soapy water and paper towels or clean cloths to wipe up kitchen surfaces or spills. Wash cloths often in the hot cycle of your washing machine. Wash cutting boards, dishes, and counter tops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next item.
Always use a clean cutting board. If possible, use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Once cutting boards become excessively worn or develop hard-to-clean grooves, you should replace them.
Always marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Sauce that is used to marinate raw meat, poultry, or seafood should not be used on cooked foods, unless it is boiled just before using.
Fruits and vegetables:
Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables in running tap water to remove visible dirt and grime. Remove and discard the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage. Because bacteria can grow well on the cut surface of fruit or vegetables, be careful not to contaminate these foods while slicing them up on the cutting board, and avoid leaving cut produce at room temperature for many hours.
Why is preventing foodborne illnesses important?
Multistate Foodborne Disease Outbreaks by Year, United States, 1998–2018* – Most foodborne illnesses are not associated with recognized outbreaks. Public health officials are using outbreak and other data to make of the major food sources for all illnesses caused by priority pathogens.
They are also evaluating methods to combine WGS data on isolates from ill people, foods, and animals with epidemiologic data to predict the most likely foods responsible for particular illnesses. Analyses of the major sources for all illness caused by a particular bacterium can help public health officials, regulators, industry, and consumers know which foods should be targeted for additional prevention efforts.
Foods we love and rely on for good health sometimes contain bacteria and other germs that can make us sick. These illnesses are deadly for some people. More prevention efforts that focus on the foods and germs responsible for the most illnesses are needed to reduce foodborne illness in the United States.
Changes in food production and our food supply, including central processing and widespread distribution, which mean a single contaminated food can make people sick in different parts of the country or even the world. New and emerging antimicrobial resistance. Unexpected sources of foodborne illness, such as flour and onions.