Spanish Food Safety Workshops

This past year, Respro started having Spanish food safety workshops. Some would call it a "class," but there are no books, notepads, pencils or tests. It's an honest discussion of food safety topics for Spanish-speaking staff members in restaurants. After a one-hour sit-down discussion, it's common for a tour to be given with the staff and Spanish-speaking food safety professionals in their own restaurant. Open dialogue is had with staff members about their positions, discussing what food safety issues they may be faced with and how to deal with them. Many of our clients have expressed concerns with not having access to enough food safety training materials in Spanish. There are plenty … [Read more...]

Delivery 101: Inspection Tips for Food Safety

One area of food protection and food safety that often gets overlooked is delivery. Food should always be stored properly even when being delivered. All the same protections should be in place such as holding temperature, separating raw from ready-to-eat foods, and using containers that protect the food from insects or rodents. Food is delivered in many ways. Larger organizations have commissaries that produce food and then send it out to other locations using trucks, suppliers deliver large amounts of food to many restaurants all day, and many restaurants deliver meals right to customers' doorsteps. In each of these cases, the deliverer should be taking proper steps to ensure the food is … [Read more...]

Food Safety Report

Food safety stories are always in headlines. Here's information on one with a confirmed outbreak, one with an outbreak but kept anonymous, another banned from serving raw meat, and a restaurant in Wisconsin closed for unsanitary conditions. Margarita's Linked to 200 Norovirus Cases A Michigan restaurant, Margarita's, is suspected in a norovirus outbreak. So far, 200 people who ate at the restaurant have become ill. The Ottowa County Health Department closed the restaurant after confirming the norovirus cases. Health Department Not Disclosing Source of E. coli Outbreak Last April, a restaurant in Orange County, California, was linked to an E. coli outbreak from romaine lettuce. … [Read more...]

Tales of Food Illness: E. Coli & Tuna Scrape

Last June, there were 2 food illness outbreaks that highlighted the complex nature of identifying and tracking food illness outbreaks nationwide. An outbreak relies heavily on each state's foodborne illness surveillance program. Some states are better than others, but as cases grow, it's important to understand there are probably many other unidentified cases not making it on the list, and food safety is at risk with contaminated product still being served. E. Coli O145 Food Illness Outbreak Now at 15 Cases Even though the number of cases is relatively low, what's concerning is that the CDC and state epidemiologists have yet to identify the cause. The cases are spread across 6 states … [Read more...]

USDA Outlaws More Strains of Dangerous E. Coli

There are more than 700 strains of E. coli today. Each one affects the body differently. Most are harmless while others can cause death after a long excruciating fight. The most dangerous E. coli strains are from the Shiga toxin–producing E. coli (STEC), and the most common is O157:H7. Until this week, that was the only strain the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) was requiring testing for in raw beef products. Now, after much debate and petitions, 6 more strains of STEC have been added to the list of banned E. coli. It would seem that all E. coli found in food should be banned but that just isn't the case. It costs too much money to test for all strains. What makes the STEC strains … [Read more...]

Food Safety Starts with Smart Restaurant Kitchen Design

Designing restaurant kitchens can be very complicated. There are many factors to be considered when planning where to put equipment and what materials to use. Health departments require detailed documents showing the site plan, floor plan, equipment layout and plumbing/mechanical/finish schedules even before any construction begins. These plans should be developed with food safety in mind. The information in this post can be used as a general guide to help new restaurateurs understand health regulations when designing their kitchens. Site Plan A site plan should show the facility and surrounding areas such as parking, storm drains and garbage areas. Most operators want the option to spray … [Read more...]

Once Again, Yum! Brands Is Guilty of Food Poisoning

This week an Australian judge found KFC guilty of food poisoning and ordered the company to pay $8.3 million (USD) to the family of a 7-year-old girl who was left brain damaged after eating one of its chicken wraps. In 2005, Monika Samaan, then age 7, shared the chicken wrap with both her parents and brother. All of them became ill with vomiting and diarrhea. Monika, however, fell into a coma for 6 months and became severely brain damaged. The other family members recovered. Stool tests showed that all the family members contracted the same strain of salmonella. A fifth person living with the family, a grandmother, didn't eat any of the wrap and didn't become ill. KFC vigorously fought … [Read more...]