About Restaurant Food Safety

Key points

  • Certain practices and policies increase or decrease risk of outbreaks in restaurants.
  • Learn what you can do promote restaurant food safety.

More Information

Waitresses holding plates.

Fast facts

  • CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.1
  • Foodborne illnesses cost the U.S. about $17.6 billion per year.2
  • Many of these illnesses occur as part of a foodborne illness outbreak; 841 foodborne illness outbreaks were reported to CDC in 2017.3
  • More than half of all foodborne illness outbreaks in the United States are associated with restaurants, delis, banquet facilities, schools, and other institutions.3

What CDC is doing

Practice-based research

  • The Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net) connects environmental health specialists, epidemiologists, and lab professionals from CDC, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture, and 8 state and local health departments.
  • Since 2000, CDC has funded state and local health departments for more than 20 retail food safety studies, leading to 52 publications.

Prevention tools and guidance

What you can do

Restaurant managers are in a key position to influence the policies and practices in their restaurant that affect food safety.