Although the “bucket and rag” method may be the industry standard for cleaning surfaces in restaurants, if not performed properly, these techniques can be ineffective at best. Cleaning and sanitizing with reusable towels requires constant monitoring of the sanitizing solution, the surfaces being cleaned, and the towels themselves.Read More
Recent changes to the U.S. food codes call for the inclusion of a written plan to address body fluid spills. Yet, not all response plans are the same, making it important for you to have a proper plan for bodily fluid accident clean-up. The following response plan outlines a recommended defense against unplanned accidents and spills involving body fluids like vomit, blood and diarrhea.Read More
It’s common knowledge in the foodservice industry that cleaning and sanitizing surfaces, along with proper hand hygiene practices, is one of the best ways to prevent cross-contamination of germs in restaurants. But just because things look clean doesn’t mean they are – kitchen equipment, storage areas, countertops and even cutting boards can hide germs and food soils even after they’ve been cleaned and sanitized. And that’s bad news for your food safety program.Read More
Did you know the CDC estimates that more than 400,000 people in the United States will become ill with infections caused by antibiotic-resistant foodborne bacteria every year? In fact, studies have shown that resistant bacteria can contaminate food from animals, and in turn, cause infections in humans.Read More
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection that is usually transmitted either through person-to-person contact or through consumption of contaminated food or water. It is usually transmitted when an infected person has not properly washed his or her hands after using the restroom or before preparing and eating food.Read More
Food safety - it’s top of mind for all restaurant owners. But with numerous components of a strong food safety program to consider, it can be difficult for restaurant owners and operators to focus on all areas at all times.
We know that surface sanitizing and cleaning is a critical component of a solid and effective food safety program. However, with numerous options on the market today, it can be challenging to select the right surface sanitizing and cleaning product that not only meets the needs of the Food Code, but kills common foodborne pathogens, like Norovirus, and meets the needs of your restaurant’s workers and guests as well.Read More
In the news right now there are widespread reports of Norovirus outbreaks in the United States. While these outbreaks may be affecting schools and healthcare facilities, we all know the impact a Norovirus outbreak can have on a restaurant. Though we first published this post in mid-December, we thought it was especially important to share it again with you now - it's a really good time to take a closer look at your food safety program to make sure you have measures in place to reduce the risk of norovirus. And so...
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 250 different types of foodborne illnesses. Yet, norovirus is among the most common. In fact, norovirus is responsible for over 50 percent of foodborne illnesses in the United States. And looking at foodborne outbreaks over the last few years, foodservice establishments were the main source of these outbreaks, which are often related to an infected employee practicing poor personal hygiene and subsequently handling food. So what can you do to help ensure your restaurant doesn’t fall victim to a norovirus outbreak?
A strong food safety program that takes norovirus into consideration is critical. In the recent bulletin, “The Importance of Norovirus: Why You Should Have a Good Food Safety Program,” I along with Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus and Dr. Elizabeth Bradshaw, both from North Carolina State University, take a closer look at norovirus and the preventive measures, including hand hygiene and surface sanitization, a restaurant can take to help reduce the spread of this foodborne illness.
Download Bulletin - The Importance of Norovirus: Why You Should Have a Good Food Safety Program
Find additional Norovirus information and downloads to help build a strong food safety program.
Norovirus is one of the most common foodborne illnesses and is the leading cause of illness and outbreaks from contaminated food in the United States. Leading health experts recommend hand hygiene and cleaning and disinfecting contaminated surfaces as two measures restaurant workers can take to reduce the transmission of norovirus. Yet, how do we know if the products we are using are effective in killing norovirus?
Laboratory Testing – Cultivating the Virus
In order to test product efficacy against human noroviruses (HuNoVs), we need to cultivate viruses in cells in laboratory conditions. Different from bacteria and fungi that grow in a Petri dish, which contains a medium such as food for their replication, viruses need alive host cells in order to replicate, or make copies of themselves. In some instances, we can keep some of these cells alive outside of the host organism, and under the right conditions, get viruses to infect these cells and replicate in a laboratory. Once this point is reached, it opens up enormous possibilities for research.
The major barrier in research and development of effective interventions for HuNoVs has been the lack of a robust and reproducible in vitro cultivation system. HuNoVs have been difficult to be cultivated in vitro despite numerous efforts over the last 40 years.
The lack of a reproducible culture system for HuNoVs has forced scientists researching norovirus to use surrogates for studies and for testing disinfectants and other products to show efficacy against the Human Norovirus. Many products available in the market today that claim Norovirus efficacy are based on tests using HuNoVs surrogates. However, despite several similarities surrogates have with HuNoVs, they are not the same.
A Breakthrough in Science
The good news, a group of scientists from Baylor College of Medicine have successfully cultured the human norovirus in intestinal cells. This culture system simulates the human intestinal epithelium, permits human host-pathogen studies of previously non-cultivatable pathogens, and allows the assessment of methods to prevent and treat HuNoV infections such as vaccines, therapeutics and other measures to control the virus in humans, including how we manage norovirus transmission. The new methodology has been tested in different research labs thorough the country and has shown reproducibility and viability.
Although it may take some time for the in-vitro methodology to be available at commercial labs, it is a first step towards measuring how effective disinfectants and food processes are in inactivating infectious HuNovs, which can lead to enhanced guidelines for preventing virus spread, and better products that show efficacy against HuNovs.
So what does this breakthrough in science mean to restaurant owners and operators? It means that as science advances so will your surface disinfecting and sanitizing products. Be sure to be aware of claims products make and ask questions about the safety and effectiveness of the products. You want to be certain the product has been tested against common viruses to ensure the safety of your employees and guests.
For more details, read:
Replication of human noroviruses in stem cell–derived human enteroids
BY KHALIL ETTAYEBI, SUE E. CRAWFORD, KOSUKE MURAKAMI, JAMES R. BROUGHMAN, UMESH KARANDIKAR, VICTORIA R. TENGE, FREDERICK H. NEILL, SARAH E. BLUTT, XI-LEI ZENG, LIN QU,BAIJUN KOU, ANTONE R. OPEKUN, DOUGLAS BURRIN, DAVID Y. GRAHAM, SASIREKHA RAMANI,ROBERT L. ATMAR, MARY K. ESTES
PUBLISHED ONLINE25 AUG 2016