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Know the Food Service Safety Code

Food service employees must take extra care

when working with food because harmful bacteria can spread to food and make people sick when the food is eaten. Remember: One person working in a foodservice establishment can infect multiple people if he or she doesn’t follow safe food-handling practices, especially proper handwashing. Everyone plays a role in keeping our food safe.

Here are TIPS from the FDA’s Food Code for people working in food service:

  • Don’t go to work if you’re not feeling well. Sick food workers can transmit diseases to food — and other people. Those experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice, fever, or sore throat with fever should be kept away from food preparation and clean items that touch food.
  • Prepare food with clean equipment, dishes, and utensils. Store food in clean containers and use clean utensils.
  • Use deli tissue, spatulas, tongs, dispensing equipment, or single-use gloves to help keep potentially-contaminated bare hands from touching ready-to-eat foods.
  • Provide a proper barrier to cover any skin lesions, open wounds, boils, or infected wounds on your hands and arms.
  • Don’t wear artificial fingernails and jewelry when preparing food.
  • Don’t sneeze or cough into foods. If you sneeze or cough, wash your hands again with hot, soapy water right away.
  • To prevent the growth of bacteria, clean and sanitize receiving, storage, cutting, checkout, and display areas regularly.

4 “Super” Facts

  • During the 1940s, the establishment of supermarkets was on the rise across the United States.
  • Consumers rank food safety as a high concern, and nearly 75% are confident that the goods in their supermarket are safe.
  • A clean, neat store was one of the top 3 features that customers deemed important when choosing a primary supermarket.
  • Does your supermarket use paper or plastic bags when packing groceries? On April 25, 1882, William B. Purvis, an African American from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, patented a machine that made paper bags.

A Frequently-Asked Question

“What food safety precautions should I take when shopping at the supermarket?”

While shopping, you should keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from ready-to-eat foods in your grocery shopping cart and your grocery bags. Consider placing these raw foods inside plastic bags to keep the juices contained. Also, transport food home right away and refrigerate perishables immediately to prevent any bacteria from rapidly multiplying in the food. When the weather’s hot, place the groceries in the air-conditioned compartment of your car rather than the hot trunk.

Point To Remember

If you, as a consumer, see any of these or other food safety and handling rules being violated, please make the food establishment or shopping center aware of the problem. The answer may be as simple as providing additional training to the offending employees.

See also: An Ounce Of Prevention: Keep The Germs Away, Stopping Germs at Home, Work and School, , and Safe Food Preparation Temperatures and Practices.

Used with permission of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

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