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The only time most people think about food safety is when there is an outbreak of food borne illness in the news, such as when the USDA issues a recall for bagged lettuce or ice cream linked to listeria or the local news identifies a popular restaurant chain as the source of widespread food poisoning.
In the U.S., most food poisoning is caused by food contaminated by a virus or bacteria. Some cases are relatively mild (but unpleasant) stomach bugs, but others, such as salmonella, E.coli, and botulism can cause serious illness and even hospitalization.
In our kitchens, we are vigilant about food safety all the time. Our foodservice professionals serve safe, nutritionally balanced meals to thousands of students every school day.
Every employee who handles food in our cafeteria completes a comprehensive food safety program. This intensive educational and skills-building program focuses on maintaining proper food temperatures (“hot foods hot, cold foods cold”), preventing cross-contamination, and practicing good personal hygiene.
Our cafeteria teams are tested, certified, and periodically retrained to maintain their certification, which is required.
When we renovate or reconfigure our kitchens, or add new vendors or equipment, impact on food safety is a top priority. For example, when we introduced our “grab and go” foodservice carts, we required custom features. Our carts have two hot bays and a cold bay to maintain items at temperatures within the safety zone. Their design also allows for easy and thorough cleaning.
We are committed to protecting the well-being of your children. At home, you can do your part by instilling the habit of washing hands before a meal. This simple practice delivers powerful protection.
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