Blog posts of '2021' 'April'

Dress for Success: How Clothing Affects Food Safety

Looking clean and presentable is not just about making a good impression on customers.

We know that cross-contamination can be caused by not sanitizing surfaces or not washing your hands, but did you know that cross-contamination can also occur by transferring bacteria from dirty clothing?

Although it’s still important to maintain a good appearance for customers, being clean and presentable also prevents spreading pathogenic bacteria onto the food you are preparing.

Here is how you should handle clothing in order to maintain personal hygiene standards and dress for (food safety) success!

Wear Clean, Undamaged Clothing

Wear clean uniforms at the beginning of each shift and change if necessary. Do not wear damaged garments.

Wash Uniforms After Use

Dirty uniforms should be washed after they are used, before they are used again. Be sure to store dirty uniforms separately from clean ones.

Keep Aprons and Uniforms in Food Prep Area

When leaving the food prep area, leave your apron or uniform to prevent contaminating it with outside bacteria. There should be a designated spot for this.

In addition, outside clothing should be kept out of the food prep area. Again, there should be a designated area for this purpose.

Change Single-Use Disposable Gloves Frequently

When wearing single-use disposable gloves, change them frequently. For example, change them between tasks and when leaving the food prep area.

Don’t Wear Jewelry and Nail Polish

Don’t wearing jewelry while handling food. Bacteria can be hiding under the jewelry and make its way into the food. The exception is a plain band.

Nail polish is not allowed, as it can chip off and get into the food you are preparing. Acrylic nails are not permitted as well.

Wear Proper Head Coverings

Wear a clean hat or other hair covering. Hair coverings ensure that loose hair does not fall into the food. Long hair should be tied or put back to avoid hair falling out.

Want to learn more ways to prevent cross-contamination in your restaurant? Check out our Food Protection Manager training course.

Symptoms of Food Poisoning: How to Spot a Foodborne Illness

Each year, an estimated 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, with 128,000 hospitalized and 3,000 deaths. This is why, as food handlers, being knowledgeable about food safety is so important—it can save lives.

Knowing the symptoms of a foodborne illness is just as important to food safety as knowing how to prevent them. Learn what these symptoms are, as well as what to do if you get food poisoning.

Common Symptoms of Foodborne Illnesses

There are over 250 identified foodborne diseases, and although they are all different, they tend to have similar symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. These include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever

There are six main foodborne illnesses, known as the Big 6. Learn about what they are and more specific symptoms.

Signs to See a Doctor

Foodborne illnesses can have serious symptoms. The CDC says to seek medical attention if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • High fever (over 102°F)
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days.

If You Are Experiencing Foodborne Illness Symptoms

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, do the following:

Stay hydrated

Diarrhea and vomiting can cause dehydration. Be sure to slowly be drinking fluids to prevent this from happening.

Don’t come into work

Food handlers should not go to work if they are experiencing these symptoms. You can risk passing a foodborne illness along to your customers through the food you are preparing for them.

Report foodborne illness

If you contract a foodborne illness, even if you are not sure where it came from, report it to your local health department. Reporting it can help identify a foodborne illness outbreak and keep others from getting sick.

Learn more about foodborne illnesses and how to prevent them by taking out Food Handler training.