The Movie “Contagion” Can Teach Prevention of Food Borne Illness

Republished from a Blog written September 6, 2018.

You should see the movie!

It is a chilling reminder of how rapidly infectious diseases can spread and the devastation that can occur. Now we have Coronovirus COVID-19.

The story is about a virus that spreads across the world killing billions. Food borne epidemics are occurring all the time. Over the last decade, there have been nearly 1000 food borne illness outbreaks in the USA every year. Two thirds of the time we don’t even know what caused the epidemic.

Graph Outbreaks

Usually there is a single source. But it is poor hygiene that spreads the infectious agent.  Without spilling the bottom line, “Contagion” highlights these critical facts.

Two major issues contribute to any kind of disease epidemic:

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Top Food Code Standard – Hands Clean & Properly Washed

The Critical FDA Food Code item #8 that is associated with an increased risk of food borne illness is (failure to keep) hands clean & properly washed. We covered item #9, glove use, in a previous blog post.

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When Good Foods Go Bad: Water, Ice, Fountains


Nutritionists and health enthusiasts alike admonish us to drink lots of fluids especially water. While I agree, water is the “life blood” of our bodies, too much, and contamination risks require us to take a cautious look.

You can drink too much water and then it becomes a poison.

Water intoxication or water poisoning, is potentially fatal when the balance of body electrolytes fall outside safe limits by too much fluid.

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How Good Foods Can Go Bad: Juices

I love my morning orange juice. It is tasty. It is refreshing. I believe it is healthy.

American society is embracing juices by “juicing” nearly everything as evidenced by the rainbow colors of juices we see in grocery stores, food stands and specialty cafe’s. But there is a trend for consumers to drink commercial non-pasteurized juices and that carries an increasing risk of food borne illness.

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The Dangers of Compromised Restaurant Sanitation

By Guest Author Jim Lopolito, Hospitality Consultant.

Two of the most challenging fundamentals that hospitality operators face in maintaining their daily operations are cleanliness and sanitation. In my recent blog; “The Influence of “Clean” in FOH Food Service Operations”, I described dealing only with cleanliness. This blog will describe sanitation aspects of keeping customers safe.

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What do Food Poisoning Epidemics Have in Common?

What do Food Poisoning Epidemics Have in Common?

In my last blog, I discussed restaurant chains that have gained notoriety for their alleged food poisoning outbreaks. Is there a common thread?

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