SERVSAFE - Chapter 1 Providing Safe Food The Dangers of...

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Chapter 1: Providing Safe Food The Dangers of Foodborne Illness A foodborne illness is a disease carried or transmitted to people by food. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define a foodborne illness as an incident in which two or more people experience the same illness after eating the same food. The Costs of Foodborne Illness Foodborne illness costs the United States billions of dollars each year in lost productivity, hospitalization, long-term disability claims, and even death. Under the federal Uniform Commercial Code, a plaintiff bringing about a lawsuit must prove all of the following: The food was unfit to be served The food caused the plaintiff harm The establishment violated the warranty of sale , which are the rules stating how the food must be handled. If an establishment has a food-safety management system in place, however, it can use a reasonable care defense , a defense requiring proof that the establishment did everything to ensure that the food served was safe. Preventing Foodborne Illness Populations at high risk for foodborne illness include: Infants and pre-school age children Pregnant women Elderly people People taking certain medications People who are seriously ill In all cases, these high risk guests should be informed of any potentially hazardous food or ingredients that are raw or not fully cooked. Food Most Likely to Become Unsafe Potentially hazardous foods are foods that support the rapid growth of microorganisms. They typically: o Contain moisture o Contain protein o Have neutral or slightly acidic pH o Require time-temperature control to prevent the growth of microorganisms and toxins Care must be taken to prevent contamination when handling ready-to-eat food , which is food that is edible without further washing or cooking. Some potentially hazardous foods include milk and milk products, meat (beef pork lamb), eggs, raw sprouts, shellfish and crustaceans, cooked rice, beans and vegetables, fish, poultry, baked potatoes, tofu, sliced melons, untreated garlic and oil mixtures, and synthetic ingredients such as textured soy. Potential Hazards to Food Safety
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Contamination refers to the presence of harmful substances in the food. Food safety hazards are divided into three categories: Biological hazards include certain bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi Chemical hazards include pesticides, food additives, and preservatives, cleaning supplies, and toxic metals from cookware and equipment Physical hazards include foreign objects that accidentally get into food like hair, dirt, broken glass, etc. Biological hazards pose the greatest threat to food safety. How Food Becomes Unsafe The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has identified some common factors responsible for foodborne illness: Purchasing food from unsafe sources Failing to cook food adequately Holding food at improper temperatures Using contaminated equipment Poor personal hygiene
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