According to the CDC, roughly 48 million Americans, or one in six people, get sick each year. Moreover, 3,000 actually die because of foodborne illnesses. In order to lower that number, restaurants need to follow proper restaurant health and safety procedures. If food is handled and prepared properly, it is less likely to contain harmful bacteria and diseases. 2011 estimates by the CDC suggest that the most common foodborne illnesses are caused by norovirus and the bacteria Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Clostridium perfringens. The spread of those bacteria, and others, can be greatly reduced if restaurant food safety guidelines are in place and followed. Over time, the types of foodborne diseases that people were prone to receive has changed drastically. In fact, a century ago, problems like typhoid fever, cholera, and tuberculosis were all common illnesses that individuals had to deal with. While those cases might be rare today, other problems are constantly popping up, even if restaurants rules and regulations are utilized. In 1996, Cyclospora appeared suddenly after Guatemalan raspberries became contaminated, and in 1998, a new strain of Vibrio parahemolyticus infected oyster beds in Galveston Bay. Because new viruses and bacteria are constantly developing, restaurant food safety guidelines have to change in order to keep up. In order to make sure that they are accounting for all of the most recent problems, as well as food-related dangers that have been around for a long time, restaurant owners and managers will want to provide their employees with regular health and safety training. The best food safety courses will be regularly updated with new information about food and safety regulations that allow restaurants to stay current, so using them yearly can be quite beneficial. Although food safety rules and regulations are constantly being updated to try to keep up with developing viruses and other problems that arise, there are some questions that are difficult to answer. For instance, understanding how foodborne pathogens spread between animals themselves is difficult to determine, which means stopping that spread is nearly impossible. And measuring how and if restaurant food safety guidelines actually keep consumers healthy is difficult to determine. When it comes to food safety, there is always going to be concerns and questions that are difficult to answer. However, even if there are questions, using proper safety measures is a must for restaurants who want to make sure that their patrons do not get sick.
Restaurant health inspections usually occur 2 to 4 times a year, and are generally unannounced. Do you want to be caught unprepared? For instance, do your employees know that eating and drinking in the kitchen, as paradoxical as it may seem, is a health code violation? or that according to the FDA, all food should be stored at least 6 inches off the floor, to prevent contamination, and some local health codes extend this requirement to over a foot? If you are unsure as to whether or not you are meeting all health code standards and requirements, a food safety certification program can help any restaurant with its food quality management. Food safety courses have made the transition from long traditional lecture settings to being able to be complete online, allowing you and your staff to get your food handling certificate online. Food safety courses cover everything from restaurant food safety to informative information regarding the types of bacteria and food borne illnesses that can be developed as a result of handling food improperly. Benefits to using an online food safety course is the ability to track employee progress and scores, the ability to maintain training procedures, and print food protection certificates. Food handling courses are an important part of working in the food industry and should not be overlooked. Failure to comply can lead to fines, and even the closing of your business doors, so do not skip this process.