General Food Safety Competencies
- Define the term "foodborne disease outbreak."
- Outline how a foodborne disease outbreak is investigated.
- Identify current foodborne disease statistics including estimated number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths that occur annually in the U.S.
- Describe why there is a difference between the number of reported cases of foodborne disease and the number of estimated cases.
- Differentiate between the major types of foodborne diseases -- infection, intoxication, and toxin-mediated infection.
- Describe population groups that are at high risk for foodborne disease.
- Name three categories of hazards that can make a food unsafe.
- Define "microorganism."
- Define "potentially hazardous food."
- Identify what microorganisms grow in potentially hazardous food.
- Identify the three major groups of microorganism that cause foodborne disease.
- Define and describe the difference between pathogens and spoilage microorganisms.
- Describe the different ways that food spoils.
- Define "bacteria."
- Describe the conditions favorable to the growth of bacteria in food.
- Explain what pH is and how it relates to bacterial growth.
- Describe how temperature affects the rate of bacterial growth.
- Explain what water activity is and how it relates to bacterial growth.
- Explain how the presence or absence of oxygen can affect bacterial growth.
- Define "parasite."
- Explain how parasites contaminate food.
- Describe how to eliminate or reduce the number of parasites in food.
- Define "virus."
- Explain how viruses contaminate food.
- Describe how to eliminate viruses from food.
- Describe how to prevent viruses from contaminating food.
- Define "mold."
- Explain how mold contaminates food.
- Describe how to prevent mold growth in food.
- Describe how to eliminate mold from food.
- Define "yeast."
- Explain how yeast contaminates food.
- Describe how to prevent yeast growth in food.
- Describe how to eliminate yeast from food.
- Describe why food spoils.
- Describe characteristics of spoiled and potentially unsafe food.
Chemical and Physical Hazards
- Identify common chemical hazards associated with foodborne illness and the means to prevent them .
- Identify common physical hazards associated with foodborne illness and the means to prevent them.
- Describe the relationship between the personal hygiene of a food handler and the risk for foodborne illness.
- List the communicable diseases that are most likely transmitted to a food when an ill food handler does not properly wash his/her hands.
- Describe how to properly wash hands.
- Explain the difference between plain soap and antibacterial soap.
- Describe the efficacy of different hand sanitizing agents.
- Identify situations when handwashing is not necessary.
- Define "shelf-stable."
- Identify credible sources for determining the shelf-life of food.
- Explain how dates that appear on packages of food relate to food safety.
- Identify how long potentially hazardous food can be exposed to the temperature danger zone.
- Explain the potential hazards involved in eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, and fish.
- Explain the differences among food thermometers.
- Describe how to properly use a food thermometer.
- Describe how to properly check the accuracy of a food thermometer.
Food Processing Technologies
- Describe irradiation.
- Describe pasteurization.
- Describe how pests can be a source of contamination.
- Describe how to control and/or eliminate pests from the food environment.