Rules of personal hygiene and sanitary food handling were not invented just to make your life difficult.There are good reasons for all of them. Instead of starting this chapter with lists of rules,we first talk about the causes of food-borne diseases.Then,when we get to the rules, you will understand why they are important.This will make them easier to remember and to practice.

The rules presented in this chapter are only basic guidelines. Local health departments have more detailed regulations. All food service operators are responsible for knowing the health department regulations in their own city and state.

The information presented here is practical as well as theoretical. It should not merely be learned but should be put to use systematically. One effective system food service establishments can use to ensure food safety is the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system.This practical program identifies possible danger points and sets up procedures for corrective action. HACCP is introduced later in this chapter.

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