Chapter 1: Providing Safe Food
The Dangers of Foodborne Illness
is a disease carried or transmitted to people by food. The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention define a
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
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
Have neutral or slightly acidic pH
Require time-temperature control to prevent the growth of microorganisms and toxins
Care must be taken to prevent contamination when handling
, 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