Food Safety Glossary

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Glossary of Food Safety Terms

Bacteria - Bacteria are found in all foods. Most are killed by high temperatures, but some form toxins which may or may not be killed by heat.

Calibration - the process of standardizing a temperature monitoring instrument to ensure that it will measure within a specific temperature range in which the instrument is designed to operate.

Chemicals - Chemical food born illnesses are among the most deadly. Chemicals and other “natural” toxins formed in food include agents such as scombrotoxin and ciguatoxin. Store cleaning supplies in a different area away from stored food.

Control (verb) - To take all necessary actions to ensure and maintain compliance with criteria established in the HACCP Plan.

Control (noun) - The state wherein correct procedures are being followed and criteria are being met.

Control Measures - Actions and activities that can be used to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level.

Corrective Actions - Actions to be taken when the results of monitoring at the CCP indicate a loss of control.

Critical Control Point (CCP) - A step at which control can be applied and is essential to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level.

Critical Limit - A criterion which separates acceptability from unacceptability.

Cross-contamination - Cross-contamination is when bacteria spread between food, surfaces or equipment.

Detergent - A chemical used to remove grease, dirt and food, such as washing-up liquid.

Disinfectant - A chemical that kills bacteria. Check that surfaces are clean of grease, dirt and food before you use a disinfectant. Chemicals that kill bacteria are sometimes called germicides, bactericides or biocides.

Employee - Any person working in or for a food service establishment who engages in food preparation or service, who transports food or Food containers, or who comes in contact with any food utensils or equipment.

Equipment- All stoves, ranges, hoods, meat blocks, tables, counters, Refrigerators, freezers, sinks, dishwashing machines, steam tables and similar items, other than utensils, used in the operation of a food service establishments.

Fixed food establishment - A food service establishment which operates at a specific location and is connected to electric utilities, water, and a sewage disposal system.

Food born Illness - A general term often used to describe any disease or illness caused by eating contaminated food or drink.

Food born infections - These occur when “enough” of the live bacterial cells that have reproduced in the food, small intestine,
or both are consumed. The severity of the infection depends on the virulence of the bacteria, resistance of the victim,
and the number of cells that survive digestion.

Food born intoxications - These result from a poison or toxin produced by reproductive bacterial cells in food or in the human body. Bacterial toxins have varying resistance to heat; some can even survive boiling. Other toxins can be a natural part of the food, for example, certain types of mushrooms.

Food born Illness Outbreak - The Centers for Disease Control define an outbreak of food born illness as illness that involves two or more persons who eat a common food, with the food confirmed as the source of the illness by a laboratory analysis. The only exception is that a single case of botulism qualifies as an outbreak.

Food contact surfaces -Surfaces of equipment and utensils with which normally comes in contact, and those surfaces from which food may drain, drip, or splash back onto surfaces normally in contact with Food.

Food poisoning - An illness that occurs when people eat food that has been contaminated with harmful germs (particularly bacteria and viruses) or toxins (poisonous substances).

Food Preparation - The manipulation of foods intended for human consumption by such means as washing, slicing, peeling, chipping, shucking, scooping and/or portioning.

Food Service Establishment - Any facility, where food is prepared and intended for individual portion service, and includes the site at Which individual portions are provided.

HACCP - A system which identifies, evaluates, and controls hazards which are significant for food safety.

HACCP Plan - A document prepared in accordance with the principles of HACCP to ensure control of hazards which are significant for food safety in the segment of the food chain under consideration.

Hazard - A biological, chemical or physical agent or factor with the potential to cause an adverse health effect.

Hazard Analysis - The process of collecting and evaluating information on hazards and conditions leading to their presence to decide which are significant for food safety and therefore should be addressed in the HACCP plan.

Kitchenware - All multi-use utensils, other than tableware (such as pots, pans).

Limited Food Service Establishment - Any establishment with a food operation, so limited by the type and quantity of foods prepared and the equipment utilized, that poses a lesser degree of risk to the public's health, and, for the purpose of fees, requires less time to monitor.

Monitor - The act of conducting a planned sequence of observations or measurements of control parameters to assess whether a CCP is under control.

Parasites - These tiny organisms can cause severe illness. Parasites need nutrients from their host to complete their life cycle. They are always associated with raw or undercooked meat and fish, including pork, bear meat and others.

Pathogen - Any disease producing agent, microorganism or germ.

Perishable Foods - Any food of such type or in such condition as may spoil; provided, that foods which are in hermetically sealed containers processed by heat or other means to prevent spoilage and properly packaged, dehydrated, dry or powered foods so low in moisture content as to retard development of microorganism are not considered readily perishable.

Potentially Hazardous Food - Any perishable food that is capable of supporting rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms.

Safe Temperatures - As applies to potentially hazardous foods, means Temperatures of 41 degrees F or below, or 140 degrees F or above.

Sanitizer - A two-in-one product that acts as a detergent and a disinfectant.

Single-Service Articles - Any cups, containers, closures, plates, straws, place mats, napkins, doilies, spoons, stirrers, paddles, knives, forks, wrapping materials, and all similar articles, which are constructed wholly or in part from paper or paper material, foil, wood, plastic, synthetic or other readily destructible materials, for one time and one person use and then discarded.

Step - A point, procedure, operation or stage in the food chain including raw materials, from primary production to final consumption.

Tableware - Multi-use eating and drinking items, including flatware, knives, forks, spoons, glasses, cups, etc.

Temperature - a critical measurement for ensuring the safety and quality of many food products.

Utensil - Implements such as pots, pans, ladles or food containers used in the preparation, storage, transportation or serving of food.

Verification - The application of methods, procedures, and tests, in addition to those used in monitoring to determine compliance with the HACCP plan, and/or whether the HACCP plan needs modification.

Viruses - Viruses grow or reproduce only on living cells. They are often found in untreated water or sewage-contaminated water, and viruses from human feces on unwashed hands can infect others by passing the virus to food. Normal cooking may lower the risk of illness but may not destroy all viruses


Food Product Recalls

Pesticides and Food - What You and Your Family Need to Know from the Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA)  



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