Why You Should Care About Food Safety

Food safety is something that many of us take for granted. Yet, it affects us all in our daily lives and poses a global health problem. According to the World Health Organization, contaminated food can cause more than 200 diseases. Foodborne and waterborne diseases that cause diarrhea are estimated to kill a million people each year worldwide. Disease outbreaks hurt restaurants the hardest economically. The most common pathogens are Campylobacter, Listeria Monocytogenes, Norovirus, and Salmonella Enteritica. In Canada and the United States, many thousands of consumers are affected yearly by disease outbreaks which are preventable. Though we have education in hand with various courses from FoodSafe to ServeSafe, and inspections of food establishments, consumers are still faced with sloppy foodhandling techniques which cause them inconvenience, loss of work time and income and medical problems when travelling. Symptoms of foodborne illness tend to mimic the flu so many cases go unreported. As food poisoning occurs on a daily basis, all of us can make an effort to reduce the risk. Drinking unpasteurized milk increases your risk but consuming pasteurized milk is fine. Cross-contaminating raw chicken blood with cooked chicken will cause illness, but using separate cutting boards and/or sanitizing between uses prevents this. We all should care about food safety because it affects us in our daily lives and we can take simple steps to prevent illnesses from occurring.

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ENVIRO-FOOD CONSULTING is a foodservice consulting business run by Sally de la Rue Browne, Certified Public Health Inspector and Food Safety Specialist.

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