Causes of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks in Restaurants

Foodborne Illness

Every year, millions of individuals will contract a foodborne illness. Restaurant operators must be aware of their risk exposure and take active steps to prevent the spread of foodborne illness to their customers.

Inadequate Cooking

Failing to cook certain foods to reach a designated internal temperature creates a higher risk for foodborne illness. If food such as chicken or beef is not thoroughly cooked, bacteria that would otherwise be killed by the heat survives and is consumed.

Unclean Handling

A person working in a kitchen can easily transmit virus germs or bacteria from his or her hands to the food that he or she is preparing. Restaurants need to train staff about practicing good hand hygiene and also post signage reinforcing that handwashing is required.

Uncleaned or Improperly Cleaned Equipment and Utensils

Restaurants need to ensure that all equipment used in the preparation of food is cleaned thoroughly as needed. Failing to clean kitchen items such as pans, grill tops, spatulas, and blenders can cause bacteria to accumulate on them. Each piece of food that an item then comes into contact with could become contaminated.

Ultimately, appropriate strategies to assure that food is fully cooked and effective measures to promote a clean and sanitary environment can reduce the occurrence of foodborne illness in restaurants.