As part of our ongoing educational tips for our Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapist Assistants, Speech Language Pathologists and Speech Language Pathologist Assistants Preferred Healthcare Registry sends out a newsletter every other month with facts and tips pertaining to different topics you might encounter. So here are a couple of tips from our latest topic “Worksite Food Safety”. As more and more of us bring our lunch to work and store it in the fridge here are a few things to think about:
WHAT IS FOODBORNE DISEASE?
Food borne disease is caused by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. Many different disease-causing microbes, or pathogens, can contaminate foods, so there are many different food borne infections.
LEADING CAUSES OF FOODBORNE ILLNESS
- Failure to cool food properly
- Food not hot enough
- Infected food handler
- Preparation a day or more ahead of time
- Raw food mixed with cooked food
- Food left in the DANGER ZONE (41 to 140 F)
Just when you thought the office refrigerator was safe here is something to think about. “About 70 percent of Americans now eat lunch at their desks, which means increased health dangers from office workers using the bacteria-ridden fridge. Some 44 percent of office refrigerators are cleaned on a monthly basis and 22 percent get cleaned just once or twice a year, according to a study by the American Dietetic Association and Con Agra Foods. Foods that are most likely to make your office fridge smell and look like the town dump are casseroles, cold cuts, poultry, sour cream and yogurt.”
And for you good citizens that are willing to roll up your sleeves to clean out the mess left behind by your well meaning co-workers? Consider this, “last year at an AT&T call center in California. When an employee decided to clean out the office fridge and opened it, poisonous fumes sent seven other employees to the hospital and the building was evacuated. Men in hazmat gear eventually went in to clean up the disaster.”
So before we have to make that call to Hazmat, remember that a little maintenance goes a long way! We hope these tips have been helpful, for a copy of the complete newsletter call Preferred Healthcare Registry at 800-767-6787!