Bringing You Food Safety Trends and Information in the New Year!

Bringing You Food Safety Trends and Information in the New Year!

We're committed to the continued delivery of timely and relevant information on food safety best practices and insights on foodborne illnesses, and look forward to providing more of the latest topics and trends impacting the foodservice industry throughout 2018.

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Lessons Learned: Using Television Cooking Shows to Teach about Food Safety

Turn on your television at any time during the day, and you are bound to find a cooking show on one of the channels. Whether it's a show dedicated to offering up helpful hints and recipes or a cooking competition, it is clear the concept of food is something that draws viewers in.

Yet, in between all the slicing and dicing and sautéing, are the chefs and professionals on your favorite shows following the best food safety practices?

A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that many of these programs miss the opportunity to model proper safety measures. Yes, this can be seen as a challenge to many, but researchers also took their learnings as an opportunity to identify steps toward improvements these shows should take. These included: food safety training, safe food handling practices and using food safety as a judging criteria. 

While this study may pertain to the home cook, there are some valuable takeaways that you can apply to your restaurant. These include:

  1. Ensure a food safety training course is in place. Also, offer follow-up training to answer any questions and to make sure that food safety best practices are being followed.
  2. Demonstrate and educate on safe food handling practices. This includes following proper cooking instructions and implementing processes to avoid cross contamination.
  3. Follow up with employees and make sure they are following proper hand hygiene practices and washing hands at key moments.

Food safety is critical to the success of your restaurant. Use these tips to enhance your food safety program so your restaurant can set the standard for food safety.

September is Food Safety Month - Get the Facts

Every year since 2009, the non-profit Partnership for Food Safety Education has addressed food safety myths that people commonly hold and share with others. Over time, more than two dozen myths have been debunked with the FACTS that consumers need to know to help reduce their risk of foodborne illness.

All foods -- regardless of the way they were produced -- need to be handled and stored properly to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illness.

Home Food Safety Mythbusters challenges ideas consumers often have about types of food and preparing and handling food at home -- things like:

“A hamburger that is brown in the middle is safe to eat.”

“A vegetarian is not at risk for foodborne illness.”

“Microwaves kill foodborne pathogens.”

This September for National Food Safety Education Month, the Partnership is highlighting “Top Ten Home Food Safety Myths and Facts.” 

How many of these “Top 10” have you believed over the years? Do you rinse your chicken (not a safety step), but you don’t rinse your melon? The Partnership invites you to take a look at food handling habits, and see if there are any that could be improved. 

The consistent practice of four core home food safety steps -- Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill – including the practice of good hand hygiene before, during and after preparing your favorite meals, can reduce your risk of foodborne illness. And, importantly, it might help you set better and more consistent handling practices that reduce risk to other people in your household, like young children, an elderly relative or an immune-compromised family member. These people are at greater risk for getting sick – and for being hospitalized for a foodborne illness.
About Partnership for Food Safety Education:
The Partnership for Food Safety Education delivers trusted, science-based behavioral health messaging and a network of resources that support consumers and health educators. Get free consumer education downloads and register for events at


Don’t Let Customers Leave with Salmonella

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Salmonella is one of the most common causes of food poisoning. In fact, this bacterium is responsible for an estimated one million foodborne illnesses and 380 deaths each year in the United States alone.[1]

People become infected with Salmonella by either eating contaminated food that has not been properly cooked or that has been contaminated after preparation.[2] Salmonella is often found in raw food products that come from animals such as eggs, meat, and unpasteurized milk and dairy products.[3]

Because of the significant impact Salmonella has on employee and guest safety, this bacteria cannot be ignored by restaurant owners and operators. So, where does Salmonella come from? And what practices can you put in place to avoid Salmonella contamination in your restaurant? 

GOJO Microbiologist Dave Shumaker discusses the origin of a Salmonella outbreak and the preventive measures you can take to reduce the risk of contamination in your restaurant. 

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Salmonella. Retrieved May 23, 2016, from
[2] Vermont Department of Health. Salmonella. Retrieved May 23, 2016, from
[3] Vermont Department of Health. Salmonella. Retrieved May 23, 2016, from

Food Safety Starts with Being Prepared

When a foodborne illness outbreak happens, many restaurant owners and operators might ask themselves “what can I do so this doesn’t happen at my restaurant?” And while they may receive a variety of answers, or even be assured by some that something like this could never happen to them, there is only one answer to that question, and it is quite simple. Be prepared.

In the spirit of college basketball’s March Madness, your best defense against foodborne illness is a strong offense. For the food service industry, your best defense against a possible foodborne illness outbreak is taking a proactive approach and having a proper food safety program in place for your restaurant to help reduce your risk. It also means taking the time now to evaluate your current program and take a closer look at how you could enhance it, especially when you consider that, according to a recent survey, 74% of restaurant guests think fast food restaurants should monitor food safety more closely. 

First and foremost, for any food safety program to be successful, the employees need to understand why food safety procedures are important. This means a focus on education and openly discussing the importance of food safety practices and addressing any concerns is a must.  

The training needs to be engaging, and it is important to find new ways to introduce the basic concepts of food safety. For example, maybe it is time to refresh a hand hygiene video or make more of the training interactive. But what should you be teaching workers? The following are some key elements to have in place in your Food Safety Program:

  • Have workers not come in while ill;
  • Wash hands at key moments;
  • Provide an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for guests to use when they enter the restaurant;
  • Keep restrooms visibly and hygienically clean;
  • Ensure that cold foods are kept below 41 degrees Fahrenheit and hot foods are kept at temperatures above 135 degrees Fahrenheit;
  • Follow proper cooking instructions, for example make sure food is cooked to its recommended and safe internal temperature; and
  • Implement processes to avoid cross contamination.

What other components have you included in your food safety program?