National Food Safety Month was created in 1994 to heighten the awareness of food safety education. Each year, we feature a new theme and create free training activities and posters for the restaurant and food service industry to help reinforce proper food safety practices and procedures.
Viruses are carried by human beings and animals. They need a living host to grow. Viruses do not grow in food, but can be transferred through food and still remain infectious in food.
People can get viruses from food, water, or any contaminated surface. Foodborne illnesses from viruses typically occur through fecal-oral routes. Norovirus is one of the leading causes of foodborne illness. Norovirus is usually transmitted
through airborne vomit particles.
Typically viruses are not destroyed by cooking. So, it’s important to practice good personal hygiene, such as correct handwashing, when handling food or when touching food-contact surfaces. The quick removal and cleanup of vomit is also important to prevent the spread of Norovirus.
It’s important to understand how to prevent viruses--specifically foodborne viruses--from making your family and guests sick. The most common foodborne viruses are Norovirus and Hepatitis A.
NOROVIRUS is often transferred to food when infected food handlers touch food or equipment with fingers that have feces on them. Food handlers who are sick with NOROVIRUS are a risk to others because they handle the food and drinks that other people will ingest. Washing your hands is key to preventing the spread of NOROVIRUS
According to the CDC, the amount of people who get sick from HEPATITIS A is decreasing largely due to a vaccine. But, it is still a concern in the restaurant and foodservice industry. In 2013, about 3500 people were diagnosed with HEPATITIS A
, so while the numbers are decreasing, they are still high. HEPATITIS Abis a highly contagious disease that causes the liver to become inflamed.
EPATITIS A is mainly found in the feces of people infected with it. The virus is often transferred to food when infected food handlers touch food, utensels or equipment with fingers that have feces on them. Washing your hands is key to preventing the spread of HEPATITIS A.
Similar to Norovirus, eating only a small amount of the HEPATITIS A virus can make a person sick. An infected person may not show symptoms for weeks but can be very contagious.
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