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Friday, December 13, 2013

Stomach-churning CDC report on restaurant food safety

Today's post was shared by FairWarning and comes from www.sfgate.com

Improper handling of chicken is the deadliest among four major causes of food-borne illness. Photo: Penni Gladstone, SFC
Improper handling of chicken is the deadliest among four major causes of food-borne illness. Photo: Penni Gladstone, SFC

If you feel a little queasy after last night's dinner out, you're probably not alone.

About 48 million people a year in the United States come down with food-borne illnesses, and more than half of those illnesses can be traced to food from restaurants, delis, banquet halls and schools, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC experts observed kitchen practices and interviewed managers and workers at several hundred restaurants across nine states, including California. They zeroed in on four major causes of food-borne illness: storage and preparation of ground beef, chicken and leafy greens and the hygiene practices of food workers.

Many of their findings were alarming. Many restaurants did not enforce hand-washing policies for kitchen workers or designate certain cutting boards for raw poultry, they reported. More than half didn't regularly cook with meat thermometers. And a surprising number of workers admitted to coming to work ill, often because they didn't want to risk losing their jobs or leave the restaurant short staffed.

Restaurants fared better with leafy greens. Ninety-three percent kept purchasing records so they could trace where their greens came from in case of an illness-related recall, and 65 percent reported rejecting shipments if greens looked decomposed. However, a majority of greens delivered to...

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