ServSafe Guideline for Food safety and Foodborne Illness

Below are the ServSafe Guidelines about Food Safety and Foodborne Illness.

ServSafe Guideline for Food safety and Foodborne Illness
Proper Handwashing Procedure

What is Food Safety?

  • Food Safety refers to the proper handling, preparing and storing foods to prevent food contamination.  Food Safety means preventing the occurrence of foodborne illness.

What is a Foodborne Illness?

  • Foodborne Illness is also known as Foodborne Disease.  Eating contaminated food that passed onto people may result to Foodborne Illness.

What are the Causes of Foodborne Illness?

1.  Improper food handling

  • Preparing meals in an infected working station, unsanitized kitchen tools, and equipment.  Overall, keeping unhygienic attitude when working with foods.

2.  Irregular hand washing

  • Irregular washing of hands once done with specific food preparation or kitchen activity.

3.  Natural toxic substances in food

  • Natural toxic substances found in food such as poisonous mushroom or root crop.

4.  Pesticides in food

  • The dangerous chemicals used in growing fruits and vegetables.

5.  Unhygienic food handlers

  • The unsanitary working ethics or working practices of food handlers. Common examples are the following: Working without gloves when plating ready to eat foods. Using inappropriate chopping board and knife when preparing food. Wearing dirty uniform when working inside the kitchen.

What are the 5 bacteria that cause food poisoning?

1.  E. Coli  is a bacteria found in beef, leafy greens and sprouts

2.  Listeria is a bacteria found in deli meats and soft cheeses

3.  Norovirus is a virus found in ready to eat foods and shellfish

4.  Parasite Disease is a parasite found in ready to eat fruits and vegetables and seafood

5.  Salmonella is a bacteria found in raw poultry and eggs

What are the 6 Symptoms of Foodborne Illness?

1.  Abdominal Cramps

  • It is the common aching of the abdominal area of the body, specifically between the chest and pelvis.
  • Common symptoms of abdominal cramps are bloody stools, burning sensation, constipation, difficulty breathing, high fever, loss of appetite, vomiting and yellowish skin or eyes.

2.  Dehydration

  • It occurs when the body starts to lose more fluid than the person’s fluid intake. Losing too much water can affect the function of every cell, tissue or organ of a person.
  • Common symptoms of dehydration are constipation, decreased urination, dizziness, dry mouth, dry skin, fever, headache, increased thirst, less tear production, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, sleepiness and sunken eyes.

3.  Diarrhea

  • Characterized by loose and watery stool.
  • Common symptoms of diarrhea are abdominal pain, bloating, bloody stool, cramping, dehydration, fever, a large volume of stool and nausea.

4.  Fever

  • Also known as Hyperthermia or Pyrexia. Characterized by higher than normal body temperature.
  • Common symptoms of fever are dehydration, headache, loss of appetite, muscle aches, shivering, skin rashes, sweating, throat swelling, vomiting, and weakness.

5.  Nausea

  • It refers to a serious stomach discomfort with that feeling of wanting to vomit.
  • Common symptoms of nausea are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, ear infection, heart attack, intestinal blockage, liver cancer, meningitis, and migraine.

6.  Vomiting

  • It refers to the involuntary reflex of forcefully throw what’s inside the stomach.
  • Common symptoms of vomiting are abdominal pain, chest pain, dry mouth, fainting, rapid pulse, and sweating.
Proper Cooking of Raw Meat

How to Avoid Foodborne Illness?

1.  Food must be at the right temperature.

  • Maintaining the right temperature will prevent the rapid growth of bacteria.

2.  Food must be bought from an approved supplier.

  • Only buy food items from a reputable store which offers highly graded food products.

3.  Food must be properly cooked.

  • Cooks may only serve raw foods upon the request of the customer. Like for example when serving medium rare steaks or over easy eggs.

4.  Food must be separated from raw food to cooked foods.

  • Both cooked foods and raw foods require separate compartment or a separate fridge.

5.  Food must be stored properly.

  • The growth of bacteria may lessen by keeping food items in a sealed bag or covered container. Maintaining the proper temperature of the refrigerator can control the growth of bacteria in food items. The proper labeling of food includes both the production date and expiration date of the particular food item.

6.  Food handlers must follow good cleaning and sanitizing procedures.

  • Regular cleaning and sanitizing of the working area may lessen the chance of transferring bacteria from one food item to another food item.  Therefore, it is important to clean the working area and provide clean kitchen utensils after doing one task.

7.  Food handlers must practice good personal hygiene.

  • Personnel who have direct access to food items must maintain their good personal hygiene. Maintaining personal hygiene is more than just taking a regular bath, brushing of teeth, wearing clean uniforms, etc., but also the washing of hands during the service.  To avoid contaminating the food items, food handlers must always practice to wash their hands after handling food items.

What are the Disadvantages of Foodborne Illness in a Company?

1.  Loss of Company Revenue

  • Loss of earnings is a result of the loss of company’s loyal customers. Once the outbreak becomes a headline, it may result in a continuous loss for the company.  Affected customers may also receive compensations.

2.  Loss of Customers

  • Loss future revenue since customers started to look for another company who can provide a high quality of service in exchange for their money.

3.  Loss of Reputation

  • The company lost its credibility to offer a high quality of service to its customers.  As a result, customers might choose to find another company to provide them with their needs.

4.  More Salaries and Wages

  • Salaries and Wages may increase for the reason that the company needs to employ more people to bring the business back on its track. In some instances, the company may require the help of experts too.

5.  More Work for the Staff

  • Company staff needs to exert extra efforts to bring back the company’s good reputation. Efforts may involve performing intensive cleaning and attend health-related training.
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