Food Safety is Everyone’s Business
The responsibility of providing safe food to the consumer is shared by many people in every stage in the production of food, including consumers, themselves. Since most consumers receive their food from retail and food service establishments, a significant share of the responsibility for providing safe food to the consumer rests with these facilities. Working together with their regulatory authorities, operators of retail and food service establishments can make the greatest impact on food safety.
In the latest yearly FDA and CDC statistics there are 48 million gastrointestinal illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths that are caused by foodborne illnesses. These stats include food prepared in the home and also foods consumed away from the home.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Surveillance Report for 1993-1997, “Surveillance for Foodborne-Disease Outbreaks – United States,” identifies the most significant contributing factors to foodborne illness. Five of these broad categories of contributing factors directly relate to food safety concerns within retail and food service establishments. These five categories are:
- Food from Unsafe Sources
- Inadequate Cooking
- Improper Holding Temperatures
- Contaminated Equipment
- Poor Personal Hygiene
As an industry it’s imperative that we work together to address these problems and make the preparation, storage and serving of food a safe and reliable experience for everyone involved.
Elara’s Commitment to Food Safety
Elara is fully committed to providing you with not only products that meet the most stringent food safety standards, but also information and resources to help everyone in the industry raise the bar for food safety. We adhere to the adage that a rising tide lifts all boats. To that end, Elara’s contributing editors will be providing you with the most current food safety information here as well as in our Foodservice & Community Blog and articles around the web. Food safety topics will include:
- hand hygiene
- hand washing
- reporting employee illnesses
- no bare-hand-contact with ready-to-eat foods
- among other food safety topics
Doris Rittenmeyer CP – FS, Food Safety Consultant, and Food Safety Advisor to Elara
Rittenmeyer has more than 25 years of experience in the food safety field. She was Director of Safety Management Services at FoodHandler Inc. from 1999 through 2010. Prior to FoodHandler, Rittenmeyer was employed by the State of Iowa, Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, as the Training Officer for the Food and Consumer Safety Bureau for 13 years. Rittenmeyer is currently a certified master instructor with the Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association.
This information is provided as a general guideline and is not intended to be, nor does it, constitute legal or regulatory advice. Additional Federal regulations may apply to your particular circumstances. State, regional and local laws, ordinances and regulations may also apply.