PREVENTION

 

Food safety is a shared responsibility.  Everyone from farm to fork to physician plays an important role in preventing foodborne illness.

 

Government can:

Implement policies and regulations

•  Ensure that food production and service facilities adopt proven preventive measures and enforce food safety laws and regulations, including requirements for eggs, meat, poultry, and processed and imported foods.

•  Increase and improve inspections in the US and abroad.

• Develop and implement safety standards for food.

• Develop new and improve existing prevention strategies based on what is learned from outbreaks, inspections, and monitoring systems.

Track and investigate illness

•  Track trends, report progress, and make sure policies aimed at reducing infections work.

•  Fund state and community efforts to identify and report sicknesses and catch outbreaks faster.

•  Investigate outbreaks thoroughly to identify sources and improve control strategies.

•  Develop new tools to find sources of contamination and characterize germs faster.

 

Farmers, grocery stores, and places that make, sell, or serve food can:

•  Use good management practices to reduce contamination when raising livestock or food animals.

•  Adopt proven preventive measures for food safety plans in all food production and service facilities.

•  Follow the US Food and Drug Administration Model Food Code in restaurants and other places that serve food.

•  Keep good records of where foods and food ingredients come from.

•  Train and certify managers in food safety in all restaurants.

 

Health care providers can:

•  Diagnose and treat infections by using best practices and report them rapidly.

•  Talk to high-risk patients about food safety.

•  Report suspected outbreaks to your local health department.

 

Everyone can:

•  Use safe food and water.  Be aware of recalls and know the risks.

•  Clean. Wash hands, cutting boards, utensils, and countertops.

•  Separate. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from ready-to-eat foods.

•  Cook. Use a digital food thermometer to ensure that foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature: 145°F for whole meats (allowing the meat to rest for 3 minutes before carving or consuming), 160°F for ground meats, and 165°F for all poultry.

•  Chill. Keep your refrigerator below 40°F and refrigerate food that will spoil.

•  Report suspected illness from food to your local health department.

•  Don't prepare food for others if you have diarrhea or vomiting.

•  Be especially careful preparing food for children, pregnant women, those in poor health, and older adults.

 

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THE CENTER FOR FOODBORNE ILLNESS RESEARCH & PREVENTION  |  cfi@foodborneillness.org