CFAES Give Today
CFI

Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention

CFAES

Prevention

Food safety is a shared responsibility.  From farm to fork to physician plays an important role in preventing foodborne illness.

Government can:

  • Ensure that food production and service facilities adopt proven preventive measures and enforce food safety laws and regulations, including requirements for eggs, meat, poultry, and processed and imported foods;
  • Increase and improve inspections in the US and abroad;
  • Develop and implement safety standards for food;
  • Develop new, and improve existing, prevention strategies based on what is learned from outbreaks, inspections, and monitoring systems;
  • Track trends, report progress, and make sure policies aimed at reducing infections work;
  • Fund state and community efforts to identify and report sicknesses and catch outbreaks faster;
  • Investigate outbreaks thoroughly to identify sources and improve control strategies;
  • Develop new tools to find sources of contamination and characterize germs faster.

Farmers, grocery stores, and places that make, sell, or serve food can:

  • Use good management practices to reduce contamination when raising livestock or food animals;
  • Adopt proven preventive measures for food safety plans in all food production and service facilities;
  • Follow the US Food and Drug Administration Model Food Code in restaurants and other places that serve food;
  • Keep good records of food and food ingredients origins;
  • Train and certify managers in food safety in all restaurants.

Health care providers can:

  • Diagnose and treat infections by using best practices and report them rapidly;
  • Talk to high-risk patients about food safety;
  • Report suspected outbreaks to your local health department.

Everyone can:

  • Use safe food and water.  Be aware of food recalls and know the risks;
  • Wash hands, cutting boards, utensils, and countertops;
  • Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from ready-to-eat foods;
  • Use a digital food thermometer to ensure that foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature: 145°F for whole meats (allowing the meat to rest for 3 minutes before carving or consuming), 160°F for ground meats, and 165°F for all poultry;
  • Keep your refrigerator below 40°F and refrigerate food that will spoil;
  • Report suspected illness from food to your local health department;
  • Don't prepare food for others if you have diarrhea or vomiting;
  • Be especially careful preparing food for children, pregnant women, those in poor health, and older adults.