Sanitation Challenges

Learn how to keep food safe to eat.

Predict Before starting the section, read headings, bold terms, and photo captions to browse the content. Think about how they can help you predict the information in the section.

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Content Vocabulary

Key Concepts

• sanitary

• pathogens

• Describe the sources of food

• contaminated

• bacteria


• direct

• viruses

• Identify sources of chemical food


• parasite


• cross-

• fungi

• Illustrate how to manage pests in


• mold

a kitchen setting.

• sanitation

• cleaning

Main Idea

• hazard

• sanitizing

• toxin

Academic Vocabulary

Food becomes contaminated by exposure to harmful microorganisms or chemical substances. Insects and • result • transmit rodents can also physically contaminate food.

Graphic Organizer

There are three types of hazards that can cause contamination in a kitchen. Use this problem-solution chart to identify each type of hazard, and then list the sources of contamination for each type of hazard. Finally, provide solutions to prevent that contamination.




/¡M Graphic Organizer Go to this book's Online Learning Center at for a printable graphic organizer.


NCTM Number and Operations Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems.


NSESC Develop an understanding of the behavior of organisms.

Social Studies

NCSS II BTime, Continuity, and Change

Explain, analyze, and show connections among patterns of historical change and continuity.

NCTE National Council of Teachers of English NCTM National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

NSES National Science Education

Standards NCSS National Council for the Social Studies

Foodborne illnesses kill thousands of people each year and make many more people sick. For this reason, foodservice professionals need to know how to create a clean, safe, disease-free place that can be used for food preparation. They also need to know how to prevent and properly respond to foodborne illness outbreaks.

When consumers eat out, they expect the food to be prepared and served in a sanitary environment. Sanitary means clean. When harmful microorganisms or substances are present in food, the food is contaminated. Contaminated food is food that is unfit to be eaten. Eating contaminated food can make you sick and may even cause death.

Food can be directly contaminated or cross-contaminated:

• Direct contamination happens when raw foods, or the plants or animals from which they come, are exposed to harmful microorganisms. For example, harmful microorganisms found in soil that is used to grow grains could contaminate the grain and any products produced from the grain.

• Cross-contamination is the movement of harmful microorganisms from one place to another. People cause most cases of cross-contamination. For example, food handlers can transfer organisms or substances when they prepare or serve foods. Foodservice workers must consider direct contamination and cross-contamination. They must practice proper sanitation techniques. The word sanitation means healthy or clean and whole. In the workplace, sanitation means healthy and sanitary conditions. Foodservice workers have a responsibility to prepare food in a sanitary environment. Federal, state, and local health departments have created regulations to protect consumers from foodborne diseases.

In the foodservice industry, workers need to know the different types of food hazards.

A hazard is a source of danger. These hazards are biological, chemical, and physical. Any of these hazards can result, or have an outcome, in contaminated food.

Biological Hazards

Biological hazards come from microorganisms such as bacteria. Other types of biological hazards include viruses, parasites, and fungi. Certain plants and fish can also carry harmful toxins. A toxin is a harmful organism or substance. However, disease-causing microorganisms called pathogens cause the majority of foodborne illnesses. For detailed information on specific foodborne illnesses, see Figure 1.3 on page 15.

Foodborne Illness

Microorganisms can grow in and on food when it is not handled properly. Other conditions that can lead to foodborne illness outbreaks are cross-contamination, poor personal hygiene, and food handler illness. For example, uncooked meats that are stored above cooked meats in the refrigerator can cause cross-contamination because the uncooked meat may drip onto the cooked meat.

Each year the number of incidents of food-borne illness grows. Children, the elderly, and pregnant women have the highest risk to catch a foodborne illness. People who are chronically ill or who have weakened immune systems also are at risk. The good news is, conditions that cause foodborne illness can be prevented. Follow industry safety standards to help lower the threat of foodborne illness.

Bacteria Tiny, single-celled microorganisms are called bacteria (bak-'tir-e-s). Some forms of bacteria can make people very sick if they are eaten. People who have a bacterial illness may have symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. Other symptoms include dizziness, chills, and headache.

Bacteria multiply very quickly under the right conditions. The acronym FATTOM can help you remember these conditions:

y figure 1.3 Foodborne Illnesses

Food Contamination There are several forms of bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause customers to become sick. How can you prevent foodborne illnesses?



Foods Involved

Salmonellosis— Bacteria

Cramps, nausea, headache, fever, diarrhea, vomiting.

Poultry and poultry products, eggs, meat and meat products, fish, dairy products, protein foods, fresh produce.

Campylobacter jejuni—Bacteria

Nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, and muscle pain

Meats and poultry, unpasteurized milk and dairy products

Hepatitis A— Virus

Fatigue, discomfort, fever, headache, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice

Water, ice, salads, cold cuts, sandwiches, shellfish, fruit, fruit juices, milk and milk products, vegetables

Norwalk— Virus

Cramps, nausea, headache, fever, vomiting

Water, raw vegetables, fresh fruit, salads, shellfish

Trichinosis— Parasite

Abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, fever, swelling around eyes, thirst, sweating, chills, fatigue, hemorrhaging

Pork, nonpork sausages, wild game

Shigellosis— Bacteria

Abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, dehydration

Protein salads, lettuce, raw vegetables, poultry, shrimp, milk and milk products

Listeriosis— Bacteria

Headache, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, backache, meningitis, encephalitis

Ice cream, frozen yogurt, unpasteurized milk and cheese, raw vegetables, poultry, meat, seafood

Rotavirus— Virus

Abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, mild fever

Water, ice, salads, fruit, hors d'oeuvres

Anisakiasis— Parasite

Tingling in throat, abdominal pain, coughing up worms, cramping, vomiting, nausea

Fish, seafood

Giardiasis— Parasite

Cramps, nausea, intestinal gas, fatigue, loss of weight

Water, ice, salads

Botulism— Bacteria

Constipation and diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, vertigo, double vision, dry mouth, paralysis, death

Underprocessed foods, canned low-acid foods, sauteed onions in butter sauce, baked potatoes, untreated garlic and oil products

E. Coli— Bacteria

Severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, mild fever, kidney failure

Raw ground beef, undercooked meat, unpasteurized milk and apple cider or juice, mayonnaise, lettuce, melons, fish from contaminated water

Staphylococcus aureus—Bacteria

Nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea

Handmade items that do not require cooking, such as sliced meats, puddings, and sandwiches

• F=Food Bacteria need food for energy to grow.

• A=Acidity Bacteria generally do not grow well in acidic environments.

• T=Temperature Bacteria can thrive in temperatures between 41°F (5°C) and 135°F (57°C). Some bacteria can survive freezing and cooking.

• T=Time Although some bacteria multiply more quickly than others, it does take time for them to grow.

• O=Oxygen Many bacteria need oxygen to live. However, some bacteria do not need oxygen to grow.

• M=Moisture Bacteria prefer foods that are high in protein and moisture.

Viruses Simple organisms that cause many food-related illnesses are called viruses. Viruses need a host, or another living cell, to grow. A host can be a person, animal, or plant. Once inside the host, the virus can multiply. Like bacteria, viruses can survive freezing and cooking. It is easy to transmit, or spread, viruses from person to person. They usually contaminate food when a foodservice worker uses poor hygiene. Poor hygiene may include sneezing on food or not washing your hands after going to the bathroom. Salads, sandwiches, milk, and other unheated foods are especially susceptible to viruses.

Parasites A parasite ('par-s-sTt) is an organism that must live in or on a host to survive. Parasites are larger than bacteria and viruses. Parasites are often found in poultry, fish, and meats. Some common parasites found in food include protozoa, roundworms, and flatworms.

Parasites can be eliminated from food by following proper cooking methods. Freezing the food product for a number of days also

Q^J Bacterial Illness Salmonella bacteria is one of the leading causes of foodborne illness. How could you help prevent the spread of salmonella in a foodservice operation?

can destroy parasites. Poultry, fish, and meat should be cooked until the minimum internal temperature is reached. These foods, when uncooked, should not come into contact with other foods. Carefully check the food in several different spots to be sure that the safe temperature has been reached throughout the food. If the parasites are not eliminated, they can infect anyone who eats the contaminated food.

Fungi Spore-producing organisms found in soil, plants, animals, water, and in the air are called fungi ('fsn-gT). Fungi also are naturally present in some foods. Some fungi can be large, such as mushrooms. Some fungi can be eaten, while others cannot. Eating some fungi can cause stomach problems, or even death.

Molds A mold is a form of fungus. The fuzzy-looking spores produced by molds can be seen with the naked eye. Molds can grow at nearly any temperature. Even if only part of a food has mold, the whole thing should be thrown away, although some cheeses can be saved.

Yeast Another form of fungus is yeast. Yeast is most often associated with bread and the baking process. In this case, yeast is helpful. However, if yeast is present in other foods, such as sauerkraut, honey, and jelly, it can cause those foods to spoil.

Continue reading here: Sanitation Check

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