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Critical steps to take in a foodborne illness crisis

To help guide restaurants and other establishments with food service operations through a potential foodborne illness crisis, Steritech has developed 4 critical steps for facilities to follow during this highly stressful situation.

1. Collect information

Dates of the reported illness, symptoms, names and contact information of those who are ill, and foods that were consumed are just some of the information you will need to gather. Having a pre-established form to guide the collection of this information is a must.

2. Prepare for a health department visit

It is important to have information ready for a health department investigation, including customer count and menu mix for the day of the incident. Also have preparation information and any reported employee illnesses, along with a range of food safety and procedural information.

3. Verify food safety systems

Following a potential foodborne illness incident, a review of food safety systems is essential. This may include, but is not limited to, calibrating testing thermometers, documenting hot and cold holding temperatures, inspecting coolers and freezers, and reviewing previous health inspection reports.

4. Know who to contact

Every organization should have a predetermined list of key contacts for foodborne illness events. This should include corporate quality assurance and risk management teams, public relations personnel, and the local health department, among others.

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