A listing of best practices that we hope will assist you as a volunteer for The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries. Download the Volunteer Guide here.
Food Keeper Brochure - download here.
Food Safety Facts and Information: Did You Know?
While we prepare food for others with such love, we also want to prepare it with the safest methods possible.
Food borne illness is caused by three factors. The most common is microorganisms which include bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi. The second and much less common cause of illness in the USA is chemical which includes fish, shellfish, allergens and man-made chemical contamination. The third cause which is the least common is physical hazards which are contaminates that have entered the food like glass or metal shards, human hair and blood, jewelry or band aids etc.
Microorganisms include bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi. Thousands of types of them are naturally present in our environment and not all of them cause disease in humans. For example, some bacteria are used beneficially in making cheese and yogurt and some fungi are edible such as mushrooms or help make medicine.
· Bacteria that cause disease are called pathogens and are the main cause of all food borne illness. Most of these illnesses can be prevented by proper handling of food such as clean hands and food contact surfaces.
· Viruses are the second most common cause of all food borne illness and can also be prevented by proper handling of food such as clean hands and proper coughing techniques.
· Parasites are usually killed by proper cooking.
· Fungi illness can usually be prevented by obtaining food supplies from reputable suppliers.
Chemical contaminates can also be controlled by how we handle food.
· Fish & shellfish illness can usually be prevented by obtaining food supplies from reputable suppliers.
· Allergen illness can usually be prevented by proper handling of foods, such as labeling and warnings.
· Man-made chemical contamination can usually be prevented by proper handling of foods such as not placing cleaners near food storage and preparation areas.
Physical contamination of foods can usually be prevented by general kitchen safety such as keeping can openers sharp, throwing out all food that has been exposed when a glass breaks, and proper containment of our own selves.
Most of these illnesses can be prevented by proper purchasing, storage, handling, processing, cooking and re-storage. In other words - we have control. We have the ability to prevent almost all food borne illness in our own kitchens. According to the CDC, the single most important thing we can do is to wash our hands thoroughly and often.