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FAT TOM is a mnemonic device used in the food service industry to describe the six favorable conditions required for the growth of foodborne pathogens. Understanding the optimal conditions for bacterial growth can potentially help you reduce your risk for bacterial infections and food poisoning.
Following good food safety habits can help protect you and your family from food illness. To keep your family safe from food illness, follow these four simple steps: clean, separate, cook, and chill:
Pork requires the safe preparation, cooking temperature, and proper storage of leftovers in order to prevent food illness. The USDA recommends cooking pork to a minimum cooking temperature of 145°F - as measured with a food thermometer - in order to kill any pathogens.
Biological food hazards are biological agents that can pose a threat to human health and include bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Bacteria and viruses are responsible for most foodborne illnesses and are the biggest threat to food safety. The most common result of infections from biological agents is gastroenteritis - inflammation of the stomach and small intestine. Also called the “stomach flu”, gastroenteritis is generally acquired through consumption of contaminated food or water, or through direct contact with an object, surface, or person - as a result of poor sanitation and/or hygiene.
Foodborne illness is a common – yet preventable – public health problem. Ensuring food safety is increasingly more important as food trends change along with the globalization of our food supply. To prevent foodborne illness, it is necessary to understand how food becomes unsafe to eat and what proactive measures can be taken.