How Do Food Handlers Rate Their Own Food Safety Practices?


Risky food preparation practices were commonly reported by food service workers and reported in a study conducted by Environmental Health Specialists at the State and Federal level.

When asked key hygiene questions, food workers said that at work:

  • 60% did not always wear gloves while touching ready-to-eat (RTE) food.
  • 33% did not change gloves between handling raw meat and RTE food.
  • 23% did not always wash their hands.
  • 53% did not use a thermometer to check food temperatures.
  • 5% had worked while sick with vomiting or diarrhea.

The authors conclude, “This study provides valuable information concerning the prevalence of food preparation practices and factors that may impact those practices. Additional research is needed to better understand those factors.”

This study is very troubling. These are all critical FDA health code violations. Restaurants cited for any of the above could be closed down if they are not corrected.

No wonder 8 people die and 250 are admitted to the hospital every day from food borne illness costing society a projected $70,000,000,000.00 yearly.

When will society demands higher standards?

You can demand higher standards.


Author: Dr. Harlan Stueven, MD

Harlan Stueven M.D. is a Board-Certified Emergency physician with sub-specialization in Environmental Toxicology and Board Certification in Medical Toxicology. Starting his career in the USAF, he served as a Flight Surgeon and Environmental Health Consultant Physician where one of his duties was monitoring food safety. In his nearly 40-year practice, he treated a range of medical, surgical and poisoning emergencies. He has been a Medical Director and/or Chairman of several hospital-based Emergency Medicine Departments, served as the President of Emergency and Environmental Medicine consulting group, a physician group Chief Financial Officer and sat on many national, state and local committees. Dr. Stueven founded Dining Grades and the Dining Safety Alliance to improve food safety by increasing awareness of food borne illness and the formation of partnerships within the food industry. He is a consultant to the Wisconsin Retail Food Establishment Grading Work Group; a Co-investigator in a CDC funded “Evaluation of Health Department Restaurant Inspection Programs” project. He has presented at several National, State and Regional conferences on restaurant grading and food safety. He is an accomplished leader, medical researcher, a champion of process improvement, author, and national and international speaker.

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