Food Safety Broadcasts


July 10, 2018 - Food Safety Knowledge and Expectations of Inspections

Most foodborne illnesses can be prevented, but foodborne illnesses continue to be a significant problem in the U.S.  Preventing the spread of foodborne illnesses is the primary function of the public health system’s role in regulating food service establishments.

Each year in the U.S. there are approximately 9.4 million illnesses associated with consuming food contaminated with bacteria and viruses, with 55,961 of these illnesses resulting in hospitalizations, and 1,351 resulting in deaths.

Approximately one half of the foodborne disease outbreaks reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) resulted from consuming food from a restaurant or deli.  (Think about where the other 50% of outbreaks come from.)

The next generation of food handlers is in need of food safety education.

Research suggests that older teenagers and college students are at a greater risk of foodborne illness because of their food handling practices.  One study found that less than 50 percent of the recommended practices were followed by students.  The practices include basic hand hygiene, simple steps to prevent cross-contamination, and use of food thermometers.

The public, in general, has an unrealistic expectation of regulations and enforcement by public health authorities.  A study of college students in North Carolina found that students believed that violations of “good retail practices” such as evidence of pests and poor general sanitation warranted immediate closure of a facility.  In contrast, most students felt that inadequate hot holding temperatures at a buffet should result in a follow-up inspection or correction by the next routine inspection.  This suggests that students lack an appreciation of factors that have a direct link in causing foodborne illnesses.

Research revealed that students more frequently supported immediate closure for poor general sanitation issues, evidence of pests, and inadequate hand washing. This suggests students have an excessive expectation of a single food service inspection given the limited amount of time health officials spend conducting inspections.  The priority for health officials is to ensure violations are corrected, preferably during the inspection or in the allowed time period for correction.  Immediate closure is not a viable course of action for a single occurrence of any particular violation, but rather is a response to multiple and chronic rule violations. 

Inspections provide only a brief snapshot of regulatory compliance.  Maintaining food safety is the ultimate responsibility of food service operators and managers, while health officials provide consultation and education to employees and owners at food service facilities.

Sources:       Journal of Environmental Health, July/August 2018
                     Food Safety News, July 9, 2018



June 26, 2018 - Food Safety at Fairs and Festivals

June 12, 2018 - Graduation Party Food Safety

May 22, 2018 - Reusable Grocery Bags

April 24, 2018 - To Glove or Not To Glove

March 27, 2018 - Food Safety for Handling Easter Eggs

March 13, 2018 - Spring Break:  Tips for Dining Out

February 27, 2018 - Delivering Effective Food Safety Education

February 13, 2018 - Take Action to Prevent Salmonella Illness from Contact to Live Poultry

January 23, 2018 - Sally the Salad Robot

December 26, 2017 - Important Hepatitis A Information for Food Managers/Operators

December 12, 2017 - Employee Illness - Preventing Foodborne Illness

November 28, 2017 - Consumer Advisory - Undercooked Meats

November 14, 2017 -  Let's Talk Turkey

October 24, 2017 - Apple Cider

September 26, 2017 - Sponges

September 12, 2017 - Food Safety During Emergencies

August 22, 2017 - Storing Onions and Cut Leafy Greens 

August 8, 2017 - The 5 Second Rule and Double Dipping

July 25, 2017 - Cottage Food Law

July 11, 2017 - Fresh Produce Safety

June 27, 2017 - Dogs on Patios in Food Service Establishments

June 13, 2017 - Graduation Party Food Safety

May 23, 2017 - Date Marking

April 25, 2017 - Food Trucks

April 11, 2017 - Handling Easter Eggs

March 28, 2017 - Norovirus

March 14, 2017 - Corned Beef and Cabbage

February 14, 2017 - Oysters

January 24, 2017 - Arline Food Safety

December 27, 2016 - Food Service Inspections Online

December 13, 2016 - Holiday Parties

November 22, 2016 - Let's Talk Turkey

November 8, 2016 - Hunter Food Safety

October 11, 2016 - Fresh and Frozen Seafood

September 27, 2016 - Tailgating Food Safety

September 13, 2016 - Saginaw County Foodserve Enforcement Program

August 23, 2016 - Food Staff Qualifications and Training

July 29, 2016 - Food Safety at Fairs & Festivals

June 28, 2016 - Eat Safe Fish

June 14, 2016 - Cooking Outdoors and Grilling Food Safely

May 24, 2016 - Graduation Party Food Safety

May 10, 2016 - Raw Milk Food Safety Concerns