In the 2015 (most recent data) Annual Report from the CDC, published August 2017, there were 902 food borne illness outbreaks in the USA with Norovirus being the most confirmed, single cause. Sixty (60%) percent were traced to restaurants. Sit-down dining establishments accounted for nearly half of the restaurant sources.
The most common cause identified was related to improper cooking with “poor temperature control”, “insufficient time or temperature while cooking or heating”, “improper holding temperatures”, “eating contaminated raw, undercooked or under processed foods”; ‘cross contamination’ or ‘inadequate food preparation causing proliferation of the pathogen’.
• I layman’s terms for the consumer to reduce your chances of getting sick, don’t eat the food unless it is properly cooked and served at the right temperature.
• For the food preparer and server to reduce the chances of getting your guest sick, be cautious about cross contamination and use a food thermometer for cooking and holding.
Unfortunately, this latest report reminds us that restaurants continue to contribute the vast majority of food borne illness outbreaks.
in a “Dirty Dining. Have Reservations? You will now” report using data from 1990 to 2006 “41% of food borne illness outbreaks can be traced to restaurant food”. Center for Science in the Public Interest June 2008.
In a report using CDC data from1998 to 2007, “All Over the Map”, restaurants and other food establishments were the most common location for solved outbreaks to occur (44% of outbreaks). Center for Science in the Public Interest January 2011.
In a presentation September 2011 entitled: Understanding The Causes Of Foodborne Illness Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net) by Carol Selman, Senior Environmental Health Officer of the CDC, “Restaurants and Delis were the location of food consumption outbreaks attributed to the following pathogens: Salmonella e. 49%, Norovirus 41%, E Coli 28%.”
The good news is that, we know historically WHERE we can have the greatest impact on the food borne illness epidemics – the sit-down restaurant. And we know historically WHAT to fundamentally address – cross contamination and proper cooking
DiningGrades.com has extensively analyzed millions of inspections monitoring trends in inspection violations. Addressing those dynamic trends can reduce the risk of food borne illness and save a corporate brand image.