As a Food Handler or Manager, you constantly hear about the importance of following the correct food safety procedures to prevent foodborne illnesses. But at some point, you may have wondered why it is so important to prevent foodborne illnesses.
Here are the basics to understanding the impact of foodborne illnesses and why we put such an emphasis on food safety.
According to the World Health Organization, foodborne illnesses are diseases caused by eating food contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemicals.
There are over 200 identified foodborne diseases, but the most common are known as the Big 6—Salmonella, Typhoid, E. coli, Norovirus, and Hepatitis A.
Food can be contaminated at any stage of production, delivery, or consumption.
Foodborne illnesses can be prevented by implementing safe food handling practices, which is why food safety training is so important for everyone working in the food industry.
The CDC estimates that 48 million people contract a foodborne illness each year in the United States, with 128,000 hospitalized and 3,000 deaths.
Anyone can get a foodborne illness, but the most at-risk groups include:
Symptoms vary between different foodborne illnesses, but here are the most common symptoms:
Most foodborne illnesses just take time. However, you should see a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
Remember, prevention is best when it comes to tackling foodborne illnesses. Learn more about preventing foodborne illnesses by taking our Food Handler and Food Protection Manager training.