7 Common Food Safety Errors

As we celebrate our 100th year in business in 2015, we embark on another century of commitment to our policyholders. Our mission is to protect the livelihoods of our policyholders, and, as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In keeping with that theme, we’ll celebrate our 100th year in business with 100 important tips to help identify, evaluate and prevent dangers that could result in financial loss or injury in a year-long “Safe with Society” blog series.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases each year. As a professional in the food service industry, you have the opportunity to prevent food-related illness and reduce food safety liability by avoiding a few common food safety errors.

  1. Cooked food is safe only after it has been cooked to a temperature that will kill harmful bacteria. Use a reliable Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures chart and a food thermometer.
  2. Harmful germs can multiply rapidly at room temperature. Thaw food safely in the refrigerator, in cold water or in the microwave, and always marinate meat or seafood in the refrigerator.
  3. You can’t taste (or smell or see) the bacteria that cause food poisoning. Ingesting only a tiny amount can cause serious illness. Check the Safe Storage Times chart and be sure to date, rotate, and throw food out before harmful bacteria grows.
  4. Germs from raw meat can easily spread to the cooked meat. Use separate plates for raw meat, poultry, or seafood and cooked meat, poultry, or seafood.
  5. Washing raw meat or poultry can spread harmful bacteria to your sink, countertops, and other surfaces in your kitchen. Don’t wash meat, poultry, or eggs.
  6. Dangerous bacteria can grow in perishable foods within two hours unless you refrigerate them. Refrigerate perishable foods within two hours (or within one hour if the temperature is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit).
  7. Germs on your hands can contaminate the food that you or others eat. Always wash hands the right way, which is defined as at least 20 seconds with warm, soapy water.

Click here for a helpful handout on preventing foodborne illness to share with your employees.

Find more information on how cleanliness and temperature are crucial in preventing foodborne illness in this whitepaper or download a pdf here.

Our risk control team is available to help facilitate your safety and health efforts. Learn more about this collaborative and consultative partnership, as well as the exclusive safety resources developed to keep your workplace safe and profitable.

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