March 24, 2018

CDC: New Tools to Improve Food Safety in Restaurants

cdc_logo1Almost half of all foodborne illness outbreaks that occur every year in the U.S. are associated with restaurants and delis. The CDC has released new findings and prevention tools to improve food safety in restaurants. Public health officials say that increased awareness and implementation of proper food safety in restaurants and delis may prevent many of the foodborne illness outbreaks reported every year in the U.S.

Education of restaurant workers and public health surveillance are two critical tools necessary in preventing these illnesses. Food preparation and handling practices, worker health policies, and hand-washing practices are some of the factors that are not reported during outbreaks. Carol Selman, head of the CDC’s Environmental Health Specialists Network team said, “inspectors have not had a formal system to capture and report the underlying factors that likely contribute to foodborne outbreaks or a way to inform prevention strategies and implement routine corrective measures to prevent future outbreaks.”

The Journal of Food Protection published four articles today that focus on actions to prevent outbreaks related to ground beef, chicken, and green leafy vegetables. Since 2000, the CDC has worked with state and local health departments to develop new surveillance and training tools. Selman said, “we are taking a key step forward in capturing critical data that will allow us to assemble a big picture view of the environmental causes of foodborne outbreaks.”

The CDC is creating the National Voluntary Environmental Assessment Information System (NVEAIS), which will help local authorities that inspect and regulate restaurants and other food venus. In addition, a free interactive e-course available to the public will help those departments investigate foodborne illness outbreaks, identify environmental causes, and recommend control measures.


  1. Where do the other better than fifty percent food borne illnesses occur?

    • Linda Larsen says:

      From food sold in stores, such as the current Foster Farms Salmonella outbreak and the Trader Joe’s E. coli outbreak.

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