Learn About Food Safety

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has currently reported that more than 200 known diseases are transmitted through food. The causes of foodborne illness include viruses, bacteria, parasites, toxins, metals, and prions, and the symptoms of foodborne illness range from mild gastroenteritis to life-threatening neurologic, hepatic, and renal syndromes. In the United States, foodborne diseases have been estimated to cause 6 million to 81 million illnesses and up to 9,000 deaths each year. However, ongoing changes in the food supply, the identification of new foodborne diseases, and the availability of new surveillance data have made these figures obsolete. New, more accurate estimates are needed to guide prevention efforts and assess the effectiveness of food safety regulations. For more information visit www.cdc.gov.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health relies on the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) recommendations to identify eight (8) critical categories that directly contribute to foodborne illnesses and nine (9) non critical categories that can indirectly contribute to foodborne illnesses. These categories are noted during inspections by Sanitarians statewide.


  1. Food - Condition, Source, Labeling
  2. Food - Time/Temperature
  3. Personnel - Employee Health, Practices
  4. Cross Contamination
  5. Food contact Equipment/Utensils Construction and Sanitization
  6. Toxic Chemicals
  7. Water/Sewage
  8. Insects/Rodents/Animals


  1. Labeling
  2. Food Protection
  3. Utensils/Equipment/Single Service
  4. Personnel, Clothes Hair Restraints
  5. Toilets/Handwash facilities
  6. Garbage/Refuse
  7. Structural/Design/Maintenance/Plumbing
  8. Permits/Plans/Food Safety Certificate
  9. Miscellaneous (linen, wiping cloths, maintenance equipment, laundry facilities, water pressure). 

CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often

Wash your hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling food. Wash your cutting boards, dishes, etc., with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item. Rinse all fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water. There is no need to wash or rinse meat or poultry.  LEARN MORE >>

SEPARATE: Don't cross-contaminate
Separate raw, cooked, and ready-to-eat foods while shopping, preparing, or storing. Never place cooked food on a plate which previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood. LEARN MORE >>

COOK: Cook food to safe internal temperatures
Use a food thermometer to be sure!  LEARN MORE >>

CHILL: Refrigerate food promptly
Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods, and leftovers within 2 hours or sooner.  LEARN MORE >>