Food Safety Training in Corrections

By Li, Benson | Corrections Forum, July/August 2011 | Go to article overview

Food Safety Training in Corrections


Li, Benson, Corrections Forum


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year roughly 1 out of 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.

Approximately 20 percent of the 48 million people who fall ill each year are infected by known pathogens. The rest are made ill by disease-causing micros and chemicals in food that are little known or have not been identified.

In correctional food service operations, we count on our correctional food service professionals to supervise inmate work- ers to perform food preparation tasks. Most correctional food service professionals are certified by an ANSI accredited Food Safety Manager Certification program every five years. The correctional facilities also develop procedures to train inmate workers. State and federal prisons have inmates that are serv- ing a longer term than the county and city jails. Most county and city jails have shortterm workers with little or no prior food service training. In order to avoid a food borne outbreak, inmate food handling training is of the utmost importance.

The responsible physician, in cooperation with the food service manager and the correctional facility administrator, shall develop written procedures for medical screening of inmate food service workers prior to working in the facility kitchen. Additionally, there shall be written procedures for education and ongoing monitoring and cleanliness of these workers in accordance with health and safety standards.

Food safety training will include but not necessarily be restricted to:

a. Food borne illness, including terms associated with food borne illness, microorganisms such as bacteria, virus, parasite and fungi, and toxins that can contaminate food and the illness that can be associated with contamination, definition and recognition of potentially hazardous foods, chemical, biological, and physical contamination of food, and the illnesses that can be associated with food con- tamination, and major contributing factors for food borne illness.

b. The relationship between time and temperature, with respect to food borne illness, including the relationship between time and temperature of microorganisms dur- ing the various food handling, preparation, and serving states, and the type, calibration, and use of thermometers in monitoring food temperatures.

c. The relationship between personal hygiene and food safety, including the association of hand contact, personal habits and behaviors, and food employee health to food borne illness, and the recognition of how policies, pro- cedures, and management contribute to improved food safety practices.

d. Methods of preventing food contamination in all stages of food handling, including terms associated with contamination and potential hazards prior to, during, and after delivery. …

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