Norovirus is a problem for restaurants

– The virus can be introduced into a site by ill patrons or food handlers and can remain on surface for weeks. foodsafetyinfosheet-2-19-13
– Proper handwashing, excluding ill staff (for at least two days after disappearance of symptoms), and properly cleaning and sanitizing after vomit events can reduce risk.
– Two 2010 outbreaks of norovirus were linked to an Auckland, New Zealand caterer and eventually traced to one food handler. The individual had been ill with norovirus and prepared meals soon after recovering from symptoms.

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Over 50 norovirus illnesses linked to ill food handlers

Food Safety Infosheet Highlights:

– Mankato, MN civic center catering company linked to virus outbreak at two separate events

– Investigators trace outbreak to multiple food handlers who were ill

– Don’t handle food while ill; especially if you have symptoms like diarrhea (when transmission is likely) or vomiting (as virus particles may be spread to hands, clothes and other surfaces).

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Holiday meal food safety

Food Safety Infosheet Highlights: Holiday meals have been linked to outbreaks of many pathogens including Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium perfringens and Staphylococcus aureus. Cooking for a crowd larger than normal, whether in the home or in a community kitchen, can lead to mistakes at the expense of food safety.

– Clean and sanitize utensils and work surfaces after preparing raw turkey for roasting.

– Color is not an indicator of safety or doneness.

– Turkey should be cooled to 41°F quickly.

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Bathing birds is a food safety mess

Food Safety Infosheet Highlights:
– UK Food Standard Agency has recently reported the results of a study demonstrating spray of bacteria up to 3 feet from the kitchen sink after poultry was washed.
– Clean and sanitize utensils and work surfaces after preparing raw poultry.
– Wash and dry hands after handling and preparing poultry as well as following dishwashing.

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Cantaloupes linked to Salmonella outbreak

– Outbreak has led to 2 deaths and 178 illnesses and is associated with cantaloupes sold by Chamberlin Farms, located in Owensville IN.

– Chamberlin Farms has announced a recall; the investigation is continuing as it is possible that there are other sources of illnesses.

– Refrigerate cantaloupes quickly after slicing. Bacteria such as Salmonella and Listeria can grow quickly on the orange flesh of the fruit when held above 41°F.

– Due to the roughness of the rind, it is difficult to wash away much of the bacteria.

– Using a scrub brush under running water (especially at the cut point) can reduce the risk of pathogen introduction.
 

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Cantaloupes linked to Salmonella outbreak

– 2 deaths and 141 illnesses are associated with cantaloupes grown in Indiana.
– Refrigerate cantaloupes quickly after slicing. Bacteria such as Salmonella and Listeria can grow quickly on the orange flesh of the fruit when held above 41°F.
– Due to the roughness of the rind, it is difficult to wash away much of the bacteria.
– Using a scrub brush under running water (especially at the cut point) can reduce the risk of pathogen introduction.

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Home-canned beets in Oregon linked to three botulism hospitalizations

Food Safety Infosheet Highlights:
– Storing low-acid foods in a jar and sealing them without either acidifying or processing using pressure creates the ideal conditions for toxin formation.
– Tested recipes and directions for safe canning can be found at the National Center for Home Food Preservation:
nchfp.uga.edu.
– In 1977, 59 patrons of a Detroit Mexican restaurant became ill with botulism after consuming improperly canned peppers after restaurant staff put lightly-cooked peppers and water in jars and sealed them.
– Low acid foods (pH greater than 4.6) like beets cannot be safely canned using a boiling water bath unless acidified according to a tested recipe.

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Norovirus outbreak at California Pizza Kitchen linked to ill food handlers

Food Safety Infosheet Highlights:

– Over 20 customers of a California pizza kitchen restaurant were ill with vomitting, diarrhea, cramps and nausea.
– Three food handlers were also part of the outbreak.
– Don’t handle food while ill; especially if you have symptoms like diarrhea (when tranmission is likely) or vomiting (as virus particles may be spread to hands, clothes and other surfaces).

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Cross-contamination factor in outbreak; 88 Salmonella Paratyphi B illnesses linked to unpasteurized tempeh

– Unless noted on packaging, treat tempeh as a raw food.
– Knives, cutting boards and other food contact surfaces must be cleaned and sanitized between preparation and use with ready-to-eat foods.
– Salmonella and other pathogens can grow during the tempeh production process.
– Wash hands after handling any potentially contaminated food or packaging (especially those that are leaking).
 

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