Mission Possible - Keeping Your Food Service Safe

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  • Identify three food borne illnesses resulting from improper food handling and sanitation.
  • Identify four areas where good sanitation procedures prevent food borne illnesses
  • Identify strategies to prevent food borne illnesses
  • Apply knowledge to prevent food borne illnesses

Words You Should Know

  • Cross Contamination
  • Danger Zone-temperatures above 41° F and below 135° F
  • Food Contamination
  • Food Service Distribution
  • Foodborne Illness
  • Potentially Hazardous Food (PHF) or
  • Time/Temperature Control§for Safety (TCS) Food

Types of Food Contamination

Biological Contamination


  • Campylobacter
  • Clostridium botulinum
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Salmonella
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • E. Coli


  • Norovirus- formerly known as Norwalk
  • Hepatitis A
  • Norwalk-like viruses

Chemical Contamination

  • Cleaning Agents
  • Glass cleaners
  • Soaps
  • Oven cleaners
  • Insecticides

Physical Contamination

Foreign Objects

  • Finger nails
  • Jewelry
  • Hair
  • Glass
  • Metal shavings from can openers

Other Factors Implicated in Foodborne Illnesses

  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Inadequate cooking and improper holding temperatures
  • Contaminated equipment
  • Unsafe food sources

Pathogenic Microorganisms & Strategies for Control

Source of Contamination Primary Agents of Concern PHF/TCS Control Strategy
Fresh fruits & vegetables E Coli, Salmonella, Norovirus, Hepatitis A virus, Shigella Wash well. Cook to proper temps, Prevention of cross-contamination to§ ready-to-eat foods
Ready-to-eat meat & poultry products Listeria Proper refrigeration during storage
Pasteurized egg products Listeria Proper refrigeration during storage
Ice Norovirus Cleaning & sanitizing internal parts of ice machine
Source of Contamination Primary Agents of Concern PHF/TCS Control Strategy
Eggs, raw or unpasteurized Salmonella Cook to proper temps. Prevention of cross-contamination to ready-to-eat foods
Poultry, raw Campylobacter, salmonella, clostridium perfingens Cook to proper temps. Prevention of cross-contamination to ready-to-eat foods
Meat, raw E coli, Campylobacter, salmonella, clostridium perfingens Cook to proper temps. Prevention of cross-contamination to ready-to-eat foods
Infectious food workers Norovirus, Hepatitis A virus, shigella, salmonella, staphlococcus aureus Exclusion of infectious workers.§Proper hand wash procedures.§Avoid bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.

Prevention of Foodborne Illness

  • Food Handling And Preparation
  • Employee Health
  • Hand washing, Gloves, and Antimicrobial Gel
  • Hair Restraints/
  • Jewelry/ Nail Polish
  • Food receiving and Storage
  • Safe Food Preparation

Food Handling & Preparation

  • Proper food preparation, storage, and handling practices
  • Education, training, and monitoring of all staff and volunteers in food service

Food Distribution Problems/Risks

  • Staff distributing trays without first properly washing their hands
  • Serving food to individuals after collecting soiled plates and food waste, without proper hand washing

Employee Health

  • Employees must be free of communicable disease and infected skin lesions
  • Bare hand contact with cooked/ ready to eat foods is prohibited

Hand Washing, Gloves and Antimicrobial Gel

  • Staff utilize good hygienic practices & techniques
  • Proper hand-washing facilities must be available
  • Antimicrobial gel
  • Appropriate use of gloves, tongs, deli paper, and spatulas

Hair Restraints / Jewelry / Nail Polish

  • Hair restraints must be worn
  • Nails must be clean and neat
  • Wear minimum jewelry

Food Storage

Dry Food Storage

  • Clean dry area free from contaminants
  • Stored at least 6 inches above the floor
  • No storage in§ toilet, dressing, or mechanical rooms
  • Keep dry food products in closed containers
  • No chemical products stored with food items

Refrigerated Storage

  • PHF/TCS foods maintained at or below 41° F.
  • Frozen foods at temp to keep frozen solid
  • Monitor food temps & refrigeration units temps
  • Cool hot foods rapidly
  • Separation of raw 

Safe Food Preparation

  • Prevention of cross contamination
  • Thawing correctly
  • Correct final cooking temperatures
  • Reheating foods correctly
  • Cooling foods properly

Cross Contamination

  • Storage of raw meat
  • Storage of towels/cloths used for wiping
  • Washing & sanitizing cutting boards
  • Cleaning & sanitizing of work surfaces
  • Cleaning & sanitizing of food-contact equipment

Thawing Methods

  • In the refrigerator
  • Under cold running water
  • In the microwave oven
  • As part of a continuous cooking process

Final Cooking§Temperatures

  • Poultry & stuffed foods- 165§ F
  • Ground meat, ground fish, & eggs held for service- at least 155§ F
  • UNPASTEURIZED eggs- soft yolk- 145§ F- for 15 seconds
  • Raw animal foods in the microwave oven- 165§ F
  • Fresh, frozen or canned fruits & vegetables- 135§ F

Reheating Foods

  • Refrigerated foods - RAPIDLY reheated to 165§F for 15 seconds§
  • Ready-to-eat foods that require heating must be heated to at least 135§F
  • Foodborne illnesses often happen when foods are just "warmed up" rather than thoroughly heated


  • Large or dense food items may need interventions to cool quickly
  • Cooled rapidly within 2 hours, from 135§F to 70§ F within 2 hours
  • Within 4 hours to 41§F
  • Total time for cooling from 135§ to 41§ = NO more than 6 hours

Modified Consistency

  • Requires more food handling steps
  • Increases risk for development of food-borne illness
  • Drops into danger zone (135° F)
  • Mechanically altered- MUST be reheated to 165° F for 15 seconds


  • Pooled eggs
  • Crack only enough to use immediately
  • Individuals in nursing facilities= highly susceptible population
  • CAN have soft cooked§whole eggs if using pasteurized in the shell eggs
  • WAIVERS - not acceptable

Food Preparation or Service Area Problems/Risks to Avoid

  • Holding foods in danger zone temperatures which are between 41 degrees F and 135 degrees F
  • Using the steam table to heat food
  • Serving meals on soiled dishware and/or with soiled utensils
  • Handling food with bare hands or improperly handling equipment and utensils.

Food (Snacks) Stored On The Units Problems/Risks

  • Food left on trays or countertops beyond safe time and/or temperature requirements
  • Food left in refrigerators beyond safe "use by" dates
  • Food stored in a manner that allows cross contamination
  • Failure to maintain refrigerated food temperatures at safe levels

Special Events

Facility-sponsored special events, such as cookouts and picnics where food may not be prepared in the facility's kitchen and is served outdoors or in other locations, require the SAME food safety considerations as food served in dining areas.

Ice Problems/Risks

  • Staff who use poor hygiene, fail to wash hands adequately, or handle ice with their bare hands are not following appropriate infection control practices when dispensing water and ice.
  • Unclean equipment, including the internal components of ice machines that are not drained, cleaned, and sanitized as needed and according to manufacturer's specifications.

Methods to Determine Proper Working Order of Refrigerators/Freezers

  • Measure whether the temperature of a PHF/TCS food that has been inside for at least 24 hours is 41 degrees or less
  • Measure the temperature of a PHF/TCS that has a prolonged cooling time
  • Check for situations where potential for§cross-contamination is high
  • Check the firmness of frozen food

Equipment and Utensil Cleaning and Sanitation

  • Machine Washing and Sanitizing
    • High Temp Dishwasher
    • Low Temp Dishwasher
  • Manual Washing and Sanitizing
  • Cleaning Fixed Equipment

Machine Washing and Sanitizing – High Temperature Dishwasher (heat)

  • Wash 150-165 degrees F and
  • Final Rinse 180 degrees F , or
  • 165 degrees F for a stationary rack, single temperature machine

Machine Washing and Sanitizing – Low Temperature Dishwasher (Chemical)

  • Wash 120 degrees F
  • Final Rinse 50 ppm (parts per million) chlorine on dish surface in final rinse

Manual Washing and Sanitizing

  • Wash - hot water and detergent
  • Rinse - hot water
  • Sanitize


    • Hot water (at least 171 degrees F) for 30 seconds,
    • A chemical sanitizing solution used according to manufacturer's instructions

Cleaning Fixed Equipment

  • Removable parts are washed and sanitized
  • Non-removable parts are cleaned with detergent and hot water, rinsed, air-dried and sprayed with a sanitizing solution
  • Equipment is reassembled and any food contact surfaces that may have been contaminated during the process are re-sanitized

Don't Be The Weakest Link

Do YOUR Part To Keep Food Safe


  • State Operations Manual Appendix PP – Guidance to Surveyors for Long-Term Care Facilities
  • Texas Food Establishment Rules 25 TAC §§229.161 – 229.171, 229.173 – 229.175
  • DADS Hotline:§1-800-458-9858