Worldwide Food Service Safety Month is observed annually during the month of December and gives us the opportunity to revisit food standards in the foodservice industry and their impact on our health and well-being. Everyone loves delicious dishes and scintillating aromas that have us salivating and craving for more. But more important than the food we eat is the process of cooking and the hygiene observed before, during, and after preparation of the meal, and this month serves as the perfect reminder.
History of Worldwide Food Service Safety Month
Cooking has evolved over the years into endless food combinations and recipes all over the world. Taking root in age-old secret family recipes that have resulted in scrumptious meals filled with love and warmth on the tables of every household, cooking and the preparation of food has moved to inns, restaurants, cafeterias, diners, and grills where anyone can go to satiate their taste buds from the different cuisines available.
Since ancient times, numerous concerns have been raised about food-safety practices, especially on matters surrounding food adulteration and preservation. The ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, and Romans were among the first to preserve food materials by sun-drying and smoking food products. But the first real attempts at food safety, sanitation, and laws started in the 12th and 13th centuries A.D. in England to tackle fraudulent practices and adulteration as the production of food, mostly bread, moved to bakeries and factories.
In the U.S. and across several European countries, concerns regarding cleanliness arose as science began to link dirt with diseases. Towns were instructed to set up health committees and appoint health officers to monitor and enforce sanitation in their communities. This served as the foundation for several other safety regulations that cropped up in the U.S. (and subsequently all over the world) as science began to reveal the existence of infectious diseases rising from microorganisms, and how they can be transferred and transported through food.
Worldwide Food Service Safety Month timeline
Food adulteration is mentioned by Indian philosopher and economist Chanakya in his book “Arthashastra”.
King John of England promulgates the law to increase the quality of bread and ale, and stop adulteration.
An outspread of food-borne diseases and deaths occur, and the first food-safety and labeling regulations are established in the U.S.
National Food Safety Month is set up in 1994 by the National Restaurant Association.
Worldwide Food Service Safety Month FAQs
Where can I find more information about food safety?
Numerous materials abound online about food safety and a quick search will be very educational.
Will reheating leftover food kill bacteria?
Yes, it will. But reheating food under strong heat would bring a higher possibility of totally killing all the bacteria as opposed to low heat. Most bacteria begin to die from 140F upwards.
What do I do if I get food poisoning from a restaurant?
You can report the incident to your local food-safety authority or environmental health official, who will take it up with the necessary parties and conduct an investigation.
How To Observe Worldwide Food Service Safety Month
Maintain proper hygiene
This is a time to retrace your steps and pick up those proper cooking hygienes that have been thrown by the wayside. Always endeavor to wash your hands properly before and after cooking, and make sure to thoroughly wash vegetables and fruits before you eat them.
Learn to store food items properly
Never store cooked food and raw food together to prevent the movement of bacteria from one to the other. Some food materials require being stored in cool places, some require warm storage and some cold storage. Most prepackaged foods contain information on the kind of storage necessary and, if not stated, you can find this information online.
Always clean your cooking equipment and make sure to wash cleaning cloths in hot water.
5 Facts About Food Safety That Will Put You On Your Toes
Food-borne diseases can be deadly
Millions of people get sick from food-borne diseases every year with thousands dying and many others procuring lasting diseases from it.
Freezing doesn’t kill bacteria
Freezing of food materials does not kill bacteria but only stops their growth; cooking is what kills them.
Cross-contamination can occur in the refrigerator
Bacteria can move to other food particles if food is put together inside the refrigerator — it’s best to store cooked foods, raw foods, and fruits separately.
Chopping boards contain more germs than toilets
This is true due to potentially harmful germs hiding in crevices and scratches; wooden boards are safer than other materials and should always be properly washed and dried.
The five-second rule
Contrary to popular belief, bacteria can get attached to food as soon as the food touches the floor.
Why World Food Service Safety Month Is Important
It’s an initiative that saves lives
A lot of food-borne-related illnesses and deaths could have been avoided if the right safety measures had been taken. This is a time to remind us once again how poor hygiene and bad food practices can be debilitating.
It increases productivity
Bacteria have been known to cause quick spoilage of food materials. World Food Service Safety Month seeks to improve productivity and quality of food across the globe.
It allows for economic and social stability
Food-borne diseases have caused a wide outbreak of sickness and deaths in countries around the world, leading to economic and social dilemmas. World Food Service Safety Month aims to prevent a recurrence and enable ease of life for people.
Worldwide Food Service Safety Month dates