Food Safety Study Findings in Plain Language

Read food safety study findings and recommendations from our Environmental Health Specialists Network.

We seek to improve public health and industry policies and practices to reduce foodborne illness in restaurants, banquet facilities, schools, and other institutions.

Priority Areas
Our three priority study areas are sick workers, hand hygiene, and certification. According to CDC’s Prevention Status Reports, these areas are especially important in reducing norovirus and other causes of illness in restaurants and other retail food establishments.

Study Findings on Priority Areas of Sick Workers, Hand Hygiene, and Certification

Sick Workers
Food handling by an infected person or pathogen carrier (an ill worker) contributes to nearly half of all restaurant-related outbreaks.

NEW! You may also be interested in Can Restaurant Managers Talk with Sick Workers? 3 Things Restaurant Managers Need To Know.

Kitchen staff person washing hands at sink.

Hand Hygiene
Bare hand contact by a food worker is a contributing factor in about 1 of every 3 restaurant-related outbreaks.

Certification
CDC and FDA research support that certified kitchen managers increase food safety. Restaurants with certified managers were less likely to be linked with outbreaks, were more likely to comply with FDA Food Code regulations, and had better food safety practices.

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Page last reviewed: June 10, 2019