A total of 5,461,731 cases of food borne norovirus were reported in 2011. Of those cases, 14,663 required hospitalization. In New York City alone, the city will receive $48 million from restaurants and other public spaces serving food that were shown to be violating health codes in 2012. This is a staggering number of illnesses for something that could have been easily prevented through proper food and sanitation techniques.
In a commercial kitchen where handling food is an everyday thing, much is done every day to ensure restaurant food safety. However, something more always could be done. Through a food and hygiene course, for example, a restaurant’s staff could better understand how food and sanitation affect each other, and that eating and drinking in a kitchen is a violation of the health code, and that snacks and drinks are better left consumed in a break room where they are not affected by other foods. They additionally could learn through a food handling course that the first in first out rule should apply for food to retain freshness and keep foods safe.
The food service industry is huge and so a lot of knowledge is passed around, with half of all adults working in the industry in some capacity and one third of those adults saying a restaurant was their very first job. They may have learned long ago about proper food and sanitation, but now they need refreshers and perhaps even a food handling certificate to prove their knowledge.
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