This site will give you the most common bacteria and viruses that cause illness. Here are the six most common bacteria and viruses and a few foods associated with each: Salmonella: poultry and contaminated eggs Norovirus (Norwalk virus): produce and shellfish Campylobacter: raw/undercooked poultry and contaminated water E. coli: contaminated undercooked beef and contaminated (raw) milk and juice. Listeria: Ready-to-eat deli meat an hot dogs and raw sprouts Clostridium Perfringens: beef and poultry
Prevention is a key to preventing foodborne illnesses. This site describes several important factors: know the symptoms of the foodborne illnesses, handle food safely by washing hands and cleaning/sanitizing preparation surfaces often. Separate raw meats from other foods. Store, cook, and chill, foods to safe temperatures.
There are many challenges to food safety. Several that this site describes are: food supply is changing, more food is being imported, environmental changes, new bacteria, toxins, antibiotic resistance, consumer preferences, and changes on tests diagnose foodborne illnesses.
Customers base their restaurant choices on several factors; customer service, ambiance, taste, and location. If a restaurant is clean and sanitary, they may be a top choice of the consumer. Two restaurants that were visited were "Restaurant A" and "Restaurant C". Restaurant A had well swept floors and clean tables. When we were handed menus, they were clean and free of food debris. The server handed us our beverages by the bottom of the glass, being careful not to touch the rim. When our food was served, we needed an extra fork. The server handed the fork to me by the handle. We visited Restaurant C. The parking lot of this restaurant had litter and appeared not to have been cleaned in a while. Once inside, we noticed food debris on the floor. There was a spill on one of the aisles. There was no safety sign warning customers/employees of a wet floor. My mashed potatoes were not hot and seemed crusty; almost like they had been sitting under a warmer for awhile. It was obvious that Restaurant A had well-trained employees in safety and sanitation. In contrast, Restaurant C had employees that had not been trained how to serve food in safe/sanitary manner. First impressions are important. Having a parking lot that was not swept and spillage on the floor of Restaurant C was definitely not a great first impression! Restaurant A seemed to care and understand how to please the customer and serve food in a safe environment.