Food safety is about handling, preparing and storing food in ways that reduce the risk of foodborne illness and infection. Good food safety practices involve processes and procedures that should be followed on a daily basis to ensure food stays free from harmful bacteria and safe for people to eat.
Food safety consulting is food safety professional or expert advice provided by third-party or internal resources to evaluate and improve food safety practices and operations of food service businesses such as restaurants, supermarkets and food manufacturers.
A food safety regulation is a government standard put in place to ensure the safety of food.
The Food Safety Nation Restaurant Report is a weekly newsletter for restaurants that has current and relevant news and resources regarding restaurant food safety, sustainability, technology and training.
A restaurant food safety plan is a detailed program of action for handling, preparing and storing food in ways that reduce the risk of foodborne illness and infection.
A food safety audit, also called a health inspection, is an examination, evaluation and review of food safety operations and practices within a food service business.
Restaurant crisis management is the process of preparing for and responding to unexpected events that could negatively affect a restaurant’s finances or reputation, with the goal of minimizing damage to the restaurant business.
Foodborne illness, also called food poisoning, is an infection caused by food contaminated with bacteria, viruses or parasites.
A foodborne illness complaint is when a person formally expresses dissatisfaction with or pain from eating food contaminated with bacteria, viruses or parasites.
- Ask the appropriate questions and organize the information in a foodborne illness complaint report; for example: What did the person eat? What time did the person eat? When did the person start feeling symptoms? How long did the symptoms last? Did the person go to the doctor? What did the person eat in the last 72 hours?
- Collect data and documentation from resources such as food temperature logs, sick employee log, inspection reports, and any other foodborne illness complaints.
- Contact food safety experts for advice, if needed.
- Develop a plan of action.
A foodborne illness outbreak is when two or more people become sick from eating contaminated food from the same source.
There are two main ways a restaurant can be identified in a foodborne illness outbreak. The restaurant could receive multiple foodborne illness complaints in a short period of time or the local public health authority could receive multiple complaints on the same restaurant location over a short period of time. In either case, a restaurant should take the following steps in handling a foodborne illness outbreak.
Cooperate with investigations by local public health authorities.
- Stop serving food or close restaurant operations until the source of the food illness is determined and corrected.
- Help victims to receive proper medical attention.
- Clean and sanitize all areas of the restaurant to thoroughly eliminate the source of the bacteria or parasite involved.
- Once the foodborne illness source is identified, take proper steps to ensure that it does not happen again.