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The Big 3 in Food Safety
Time-temperature abuse occurs when cooked or raw foods are not held or stored at required temperatures; when food is not cooked or reheated to temperatures that kill microorganisms; and when foods are improperly cooled. Cross contamination occurs when bacteria is transferred among different surfaces and food items. For example, using a cutting board to cut raw meat and then using the same board to slice fresh vegetables can transfer harmful microorganisms. Poor Hygiene. Your staff can transmit diseases through poor hygiene; for example, improper hand-washing, coughing or sneezing around food, handling food after touching open sores or scratches or coming to work when they are sick.

Foods most likely to cause problems:

The FDA identifies several groups of foods that, by their nature, are more likely to become contaminated because of the way they are typically processed and handled during distribution:

  • Milk and milk products
  • Red meat and poultry
  • Fish, shellfish and crustaceans
  • Untreated raw eggs
  • Baked or boiled potatoes
  • Cooked rice and beans
  • Tofu or other soy-protein foods
  • Synthetic ingredients such as textured soy protein in meat alternatives
  • Garlic and oil mixtures
  • Sprouts and sprout seeds
  • Sliced melons

Additional Resources:


Food Safety Education, Big 3 Of Food Safety, Central Restaurant Products

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