Current Issues in Food Sanitation

Presented to University Safety Council April 18, 2007 Curt Speaker, EHS

Foodborne Illness 

from eating food contaminated with bacteria (or their toxins) or other disease-causing diseaseorganisms such as parasites or viruses. range from upset stomach to diarrhea, fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and dehydration. 


Foodborne Illness - statistics 

foodborne illnesses are undiagnosed and unreported 


estimates that every year about 76 million people in the US become ill from pathogens in food. these, about 5,000 die 


tofu and other soy-protein soyfoods. raw heatseed sprouts .Foods of Concern  Any food can be a vehicle for fooodborne illness  High protein foods are most often responsible for foodborne illness  Includes milk & milk products. heat-treated plant foods. shellfish. meats. crustaceans). eggs. cooked potatoes. seafood (fish. poultry.

Foodborne Illness Outbreaks  In the past. most outbreaks were associated with improper food processing. coli ± Peanut butter .Salmonella . preparation or storage  Recently. outbreaks have been associated with contamination at the source ± Green onions ± Hepatitis A ± Spinach ± E.

The Food Safety Thermometer .

Trends ³nationalization´ of food distribution has made widespread outbreaks of foodborne illness much more likely  Locally grown produce is not likely to be safer than national brands due to limited processing and cleaning  Food irradiation is still meeting with resistance from some consumer groups  The .

Prevention Clean Separate Chill Cook .

Current Topics in Food Sanitation  Produce Cleanliness  Food Irradiation  Food Preparation and Process Engineering  What PSU is doing  Take Home Lessons .

Cleaning Produce  Produce may be contaminated: ± Physically (dirt) ± Chemically (pesticides) ± Biologically (bacteria. viruses) A 1996 report by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that pesticides are consumed at such low levels that they pose little threat to human health  The benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables far outweigh any pesticidepesticiderelated risks  .

they are not food-grade foodand may cause more harm than good  Wash produce under cold running water to remove residual dirt  Firm fruits and vegetables can be scrubbed with a brush if additional cleaning is needed .Cleaning Produce  Bleach. detergent or soaps should not be used.

apples and oranges  No evidence to suggest that organic produce is any safer. such as cucumbers. same risk of microbial contamination .Cleaning Produce  Specially made fruit and vegetable washes may be of some value in removing dirt and pesticide residues from items that are purposely waxed.

Food Irradiation  Food Irradiation is not a new phenomena ± Wheat flour was first approved for irradiation in 1963 to control mold growth ± Potatoes were approved in 1964 to prevent sprouting ± Spices have been irradiated since 1986 to sterilize them .

Typical Food Irradiator .

Benefits of Food Irradiation  Disease-causing Disease- germs are reduced or eliminated  Food does not become radioactive  Dangerous substances do not appear in the foods  The nutritional value of the food is essentially unchanged .

Disadvantages of Food Irradiation  Not all pathogens are eliminated  Not particularly effective against viruses (at current doses)  Some high risk foods do not irradiate well ± Some fresh produce becomes mushy ± (Live) shellfish are killed by irradiation ± Egg whites become milky  Slight reduction in vitamin content .

Food Irradiation Symbol .

Food Preparation and Process Engineering  Servesafe is a food sanitation program based on HACCP (Hazard (H Analysis of Critical Control Points)  HACCP was originally developed by NASA to prevent foodborne illness in astronauts while in space  Looks at food preparation as a process with essential steps where sanitation must be controlled .

sustainability and integrated pest management on the farm . picking and processing of produce and other agricultural materials which emphasizes personal hygiene & sanitation.Moving Forward  Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) is an extension of the HACCP idea into the growing. food security.

closed trucks) .What PSU is Doing  All fullfull-time food service employees (managers. dishwashers) are trained in SERVESAFE and recertify every 5 years  Has specifications for produce providers ± Certain countries excluded due to use of pesticides and/or handling practices ± Transportation requirements (no cocoshipment with chemicals. refrigeration temperatures. cooks.

What PSU is Doing  Food Science Dept. and Extension provide numerous SERVESAFE courses throughout the state  Also have numerous publications on proper handling of game meats. home canning and preservation  EHS-lead foodborne illness EHScommittee established to evaluate allegations of illness from PSU eateries and dining halls .

What PSU is Doing  University Policy AD-26 limits ADstudent food sales event to: ± Materials prepared by PSU HFS ± Products that do not require refrigeration ± Foods that are prepackaged for resale  List of approved caterers for University events (at all locations) that have adequate liability insurance .

Take Home Lessons  Keep temperature requirements in mind for pot lucks and food events ± Crock pots or chaffing dishes for hot foods ± Ice baths or coolers for cold foods  Do not keep foods at room temperature for more than 2 hours  Even properly prepared foods will go bad if mishandled .

Take Home Lessons  Make sure that food purchased for College or Departmental functions (either from PSU Food Services or from a caterer) is handled appropriately ± Have appropriate equipment to maintain hot or cold foods at the appropriate temperature(s) .

follow appropriate cleaning and dressing practices with game . fruits and vegetables ± Adjust salt and acid levels as needed  Purge your fridge of leftovers on a periodic basis  When in doubt.Take Home Lessons  At home. follow proper procedures when canning meats. throw it out!  For hunters.

Current Events current pet food poisoning incident represents a slightly different aspect of this problem  Foreign materials found in cat and dog food include aminopterin (a rat poison and cancer treatment drug) and melamine (a material used in the manufacture of plastics)  Foodborne illness is not just a people problem!  The .

Current Events  In September of 2006. several individuals in Georgia and Florida came down with foodborne botulism from unrefrigerated carrot juice ± Juice not heat-processed heat± Has low acidity (pH~6) ± Low salt  Conditions listed above coupled with warm temperatures allowed bacteria to grow and produce botulism toxin .

The Bottom Line« food supply in the United States is very safe  Proper handling and storage of foodstuffs can further reduce the risk of potential foodborne illness  More control and inspection of at-risk atfoods throughout production and distribution can also help  The .

What if« .

«it Happened to a Hollywood Icon? .

The End Questions? .

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