Food Safety

Food Science 1st Matt McAllister

Food borne Illness

This term is also referred as "food poisoning", which means any disease that is transmitted to people through contaminated food. An outbreak occurs when it has been confirmed that two or more people have received the same illness from the same food source. There are about 76 million cases of food borne illnesses each year according to the CDC.

The CDC has come up with a list of how food born illness can occur. Food safety is important in this list. Improper cooking temperatures of food, dirty utensils, and poor hygiene is all included to how food borne illness can occur.

Danger Zone

Bacteria can rapidly grow from 41 degrees to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. This range of temperatures is called the Danger Zone. The safe zone for cold foods is 33 degrees to 41 degrees Fahrenheit.

E. coli can double in number every twenty minutes in good bacteria growing conditions. The food might not seem different but it can be harmful. Meat and dairy products, especially, must be outside of the danger zone to be consumable.

Cross Contamination

To prevent cross contamination wash hands thoroughly before and after cooking. Always use a clean plate and clean utensils. Cross contamination can be transferred from other foods, cutting boards, and utensils if not handled the correct way.

Good hand washing is the best way to prevent cross contamination. Wash hands for at least 20 seconds and wash all areas of your hands. Cross contamination can cause food poisoning.


There are several different types of bacteria that can cause food born illness. This includes Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shigella, E. coli, Clostridium Botulinum, Vibrio, Listeria Monocytogenes, and Clostridium Perfringens.

Over 40,000 cases are reported in the U.S. every year from Salmonella. It is transmitted through contaminated food and contact with fecal matter. Raw and under-cooked chicken is one of the main causes of salmonella.

Hand washing Tips

There is a proper hand washing technique to prevent cross contamination and food borne illness. Wet hands and arms with water as hot as you can stand it. Apply soap and scrub hands for at least 20 seconds.

It is important to dry hands and arms with single use paper towels and not a rag or apron. Using a rag or apron could achieve cross contamination.

Health Codes

Health codes are extremely important in preventing food borne illness. Restaurants have to ensure that the food being provided is always fresh and clean. Health inspections are required to protect customers.

The FDA is responsible for setting and regulating policies on foods, dietary supplements, drugs, vaccines, and biological medical products.

Chemical Hazards

The use of chemicals can be extremely dangerous and poisonous in food. Cleaning supplies can end up in food if utensils haven't been washed and dried properly.

Chemicals are present in the environment in which food is grown, harvested, transported, stored, packaged, processed, and consumed. The physical contact of the food with its environment results in its contamination.

Basic Food Safety: Chapter 1 "The Importance of Food Safety" (English)