Please read the following paragraphs carefully. They are similar to the types of training material you'll be using if you were to join our team. Afterward, you'll be asked to take a brief exam based on what you've read.
You, your co-workers, and your customers could get sick if you don't follow proper food safety practices. The location at which you are working could close, and you could lose your job.
Fortunately, you can follow practices to help ensure that the food you prepare and serve to your customers is safe.
A foodborne illness a disease that is transmitted to people by food.
Most foodborne illnesses are caused by microorganisms. Microorganisms are tiny forms of life that are so small you can't see, taste or smell them. They include bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. Bacteria are the biggest threat to food safetyl. Once bacteria begin to grow on food, it's like a rapid chain reaction. And if someone eats that food, an illness can develop.
Foods that allow microorganisms to grow are called potentially hazardous foods. These foods are high in protein, neutral or slightly acidic, and high in moisture. Examples are chili, beans, spaghetti, milk, cheese, chicken and hamburger.
There are four factors that directly cause food to become unsafe: time-temperature abuse; cross-contamination; poor personal hygiene; and improper cleaning and sanitizing.
Food has been time-temperature abused whenever it has been allowed to remain in the temperature danger zone. The danger zone exists whenever the temperature of a potentially hazardous food falls between 41 degrees and 135 degrees. Food cannot remain in the dangerous range for more than four hours.
Cross-contamination occurs when microorganisms are transferred from one food or surface to another, carried by utensils, hands, or other foods. There are several ways to prevent cross-contamination, including hand washing, proper cleaning and sanitizing, and properly storing raw food below ready-to-eat food.
The biggest cause of foodborne illness is poor personal hygiene. People who don't wash their hands properly, or often enough, are the biggest risks to food safety. Other poor hygiene practices include not covering cuts, burns, or sores;touching body parts; and wearing jewelry.