1: Poor personal hygiene Wash those hands! Use soap and warm water, rinse and dry with a disposable paper towel. When soap and water are not available, carry and use hand sanitizers, the next best thing.
2: Improper holding temperatures Bacteria find it easier to grow between 41°F and 135°F. This is otherwise known as the “Danger Zone”. You can use a thermometer to check for proper temperature ranges. Placing ice packs on top of food in an ice chest or inside insulated containers will keep food out of the Danger Zone. See the image to the right to learn more.
3: Contaminated equipment or surfaces Dirty surfaces transfer germs! Proper care must be taken to prevent cross contamination. Any equipment or surface that contacts food must be cleaned and sanitized using appropriate procedures.
4: Food from unapproved sources A basic and essential component for food safety is knowing where the food comes from. Not only can it affect the overall safety and quality of the food, but also the Good Samaritan laws do not apply if the food comes from an unapproved source, such as a personal household. What are the “approved sources” donated food may come from? Restaurants, markets and churches with a health permit, schools, and special events that have been catered from a licensed food vendor.
5: Inadequate cooking and cooling Take a look at the chart below for proper cooking temperatures. *temperature should be maintained for a minimum of 15 seconds to kill harmful bacteria* 135°F 145°F 155°F 165°F Hot held foods Eggs, pork, whole pieces of beef and lamb Ground beef and pork Anything cooked in a microwave oven, raw poultry
6: Physical and chemical hazards Keep pesticides, cleaners, degreasers, and other harmful chemical agents separate from food during storage, transportation, and preparation. If you suspect food has come in contact with chemicals, discard the food. Physical hazards that come in contact with food can also be a danger. Inedible objects such as bandages, rags, and foliage cannot be in ready-to-eat food. Remove the physical hazard and clean the product if possible.