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Ecosure food safety monitor
march 2019

The EcoSure Food Safety Monitor is a free monthly newsletter written by EcoSure Food Safety & Public Health experts. EcoSure is a division of Ecolab.

Why are some foodborne illness outbreaks never solved?

Most people understand foodborne illness outbreaks are serious and lead to investigations. But a lot of people do not know getting to the root cause of a foodborne illness requires different kinds of data. Check out this great Infographic from the CDC explaining the 3 types of data used to link illnesses to contaminated foods and solve outbreaks.

The 1st World Food Safety Day is set for June 7th, 2019. Implemented by the 73rd UN General Assembly, it encourages countries to promote food safety approaches, relating the messages to the realistic challenges each of them face.

Knowing which foodborne pathogens are causing the biggest problems in which parts of the world can generate targeted action by the public, governments, and the food industry, as stated by the World Health Organization.

So what is the #1 cause of foodborne illness in the United States and much of the developed world? Norovirus.

What is Norovirus?

First identified in 1968 in Norwalk, OH after an outbreak in a school, it was called "Norwalk Virus". Now referred to as "Norovirus", it exhibits strong winter seasonality with the most outbreaks occurring from November to April

It can be prevented by effective hand-washing and limiting contact with people showing symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. People with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea should not prepare food.
The economic impact can be between
$8k – $2.6 million.  Annually,  it contributes to 50,000+ hospitalizations and 500+ deaths, mostly among young children and older adults.


What happens in a 2019 Internet Minute?

News travels fast. Consider the effects a positive guest experience through the lens of food safety and sanitation.

So what does a positive guest experience at a restaurant look like?

  • Pest and Odor Free Environment: Clean drains and floors regularly to eliminate pesky, dirty fruit flies and odors. Install door sweeps and repair holes to eliminate areas for rodent entry. Keep outside dumpsters closed and the area clean so rodents, birds and flies are not attracted to the area. Have a pest control program in place.
  • Clean Dining Room and Bar Area: Showcase sparkling clean glassware and silverware and bright, clean windows, mirrors and lights. Dust chairs and baseboards regularly to avoid a dingy looking dining room. Properly clean and sanitize tables. Clean and dry floors for a fresh scent and to reduce slip hazards.
  • Clean Restrooms:Keep floors, walls, ceilings, fixtures, toilets, partitions, lights and counters sparkling clean and odor free. Providing an accessible hand sink fully stocked with soap and paper towels is a must.
  • Guest Service: Uniforms and aprons are typically front and center when greeting a table; keep them sharp and clean.Servers, bussers, bartenders and manager should wash hands properly and at the right times, especially after bussing tables and before putting on gloves. Proper handwashing is the #1 way to prevent the spread of disease. No one should be working with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
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The EcoSure Food Safety Monitor is a free monthly newsletter covering federal and state regulatory updates, current research, seasonal food safety issues, "hot" topics in food safety and more. The newsletter is written by EcoSure Food Safety and Public Health Manager Mandy Sedlak.


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