CDC Press Release: CDC releases new findings and prevention tools to improve food safety in restaurantsCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent this bulletin at 12/02/2013 06:11 PM EST
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CDC releases new findings and prevention tools to improve food safety in restaurantsIncreased awareness and implementation of proper food safety in restaurants and delis may help prevent many of the foodborne illness outbreaks reported each year in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers identified gaps in the education of restaurant workers as well as public health surveillance, two critical tools necessary in preventing a very common and costly public health problem.
The research identifies food preparation and handling practices, worker health policies, and hand-washing practices among the underlying environmental factors that often are not reported during foodborne outbreaks, even though nearly half of all the foodborne outbreaks that are reported each year are associated with restaurants or delis. Forty-eight million people become ill and 3,000 die in the United States.
"Inspectors have not had a formal system to capture and report the underlying factors that likely contribute to foodborne outbreaks or a way to inform prevention strategies and implement routine corrective measures in restaurants, delis and schools to prevent future outbreaks," said Carol Selman, head of CDC's Environmental Health Specialists Network team at the National Center for Environmental Health.
Four articles published today in the Journal of Food Protection focus on actions steps to prevent foodborne illness outbreaks related to ground beef, chicken, and leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach. The articles also focus on specific food safety practices, such as ill workers not working while they are sick, as a key prevention strategy.