The Lord's Diner Food Safety Quiz
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What should I know about food-borne illness?

People can get sick if they eat food contaminated with harmful bacteria or other pathogens. Symptoms of food-borne illness include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, sore throat with fever, and chills. Each year on average:

•          48 million people are affected by food-borne illness

•          128,000 people are hospitalized due to food-borne illness

•          3,000 people die from food-borne illness

Question: Which of the following is NOT a typical symptom of food-borne illness?


Can food-borne illness happen in a volunteer food setting?

Yes. Food-borne illness can happen anywhere and can spread quickly and easily in settings where large batches of food are being prepared and served. Also, many of the people being served may not have easy access to medical care. Workers and volunteers must take food safety precautions when serving in these settings.

Question: Where can food-borne illness occur?


Do not work sick. If you are sick, you may spread your germs onto anything you touch: food, dishes, and other people. Do not work if you have diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice, or sore throat with a fever.

Question: If you are sick, you should work in your volunteer food setting or event.


Hair must be restrained to prevent coming in contact with food and clean dishes or equipment. Hair can be restrained with hats, hairnets, braids, or a ponytail. Some organizations have a specific requirement for how volunteers are to restrain their hair.

Question: If your hair falls into your face when you are working with food or clean equipment, it should be restrained.


Frequent hand washing is very important to prevent bacteria from being spread to food or clean dishes. Most bacteria are transmitted to food by your hands. Hands must be washed before handling food, before putting on gloves, after handling raw meats, after handling chemicals or taking out the trash, and after using the restroom. Hands should also be washed after handling or touching money, cell phones/telephones, and your skin, face, or hair.

Fecal/oral-transmitted illness such as Shigella and Hepatitis-A are spread by not washing hands after using the restroom.

Can anything take the place of hand washing? No. Not sanitizers, wipes, nor gloves. Nothing can replace proper, thorough hand washing.

Question: What is an acceptable substitute for hand washing when you cannot get to a hand sink?


How to wash hands:

First, use a hand sink, not a dish sink or food prep sink. Use soap and warm water to wash hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. Wash all surfaces including the back of your hands, your wrists, and under your fingernails. Rinse well and then dry your hands with a paper towel. Tum off the faucet with the paper towels.

Question: What is the proper method to wash hands?


Eating, drinking, and smoking are not allowed in food preparation areas. You could contaminate the food when you touch your mouth and then touch food. Drinks may be kept nearby if they are in a cup (not a bottle) with a lid that does not have to be opened or removed to take a drink.

Drinks must be stored properly: below and away from food, equipment, and linens. 

Question: Which of the following drinks may an employee or volunteer have in the kitchen?


In Kansas, ready-to-eat food may not be touched with bare hands. Ready-to-eat foods include anything that is already cooked or does not need to be cooked prior to eating. Avoiding bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods help to prevent bacteria from spreading to food. Bare hand contact should be avoided by using utensils such as scoops, spoons, or tongs, deli tissues, or gloves.

Gloves can be worn to prevent bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods. The gloves must be single-use and disposable. Hands must be washed before gloves are put on. Gloves should not be washed or rinsed, and must be changed in between tasks and after being interrupted. For example, if you stop serving food to check your phone, scratch your face, or touch a doorknob, you must wash hands and put on clean gloves before returning to serving food.

Question: Single-use gloves can be used to prevent bare hand contact with food. You should always:


Foods that require Temperature Control for Safety are called TCS foods. Bacteria can easily grow on TCS foods, so these foods must be kept at a specific temperature or disposed of if not kept at the proper temperature for more than 4 hours. TCS foods must be kept either hot or cold. Examples include raw or cooked meats, dairy products, eggs, cut melons and leafy green vegetables, and cooked or canned vegetables, beans, rice, and pasta.

Foods that do not require Temperature Control for Safety are called non-TCS foods. Bacteria do not grow easily on these kinds of foods. These foods do not need to be kept hot or cold.

Examples include bread, crackers, commercial mayonnaise, and ice. 

Question: Which food is NOT a TCS food?


TCS foods require temperature control. These foods must kept hot (at least 135°F) or cold (41°F or below) to prevent the growth of bacteria.

What is the "Danger Zone"?

Bacteria need time, temperature, protein-rich food, and moisture to grow. Bacteria do not grow well if the temperature of the food is colder than 41°For hotter than 135°F. The temperatures in between 41°F and 135°F are called the Danger Zone.

When perishable foods are in the Danger Zone, bacteria can grow fast and produce poisons that can make people sick.

Remember: If food is left in the Danger Zone for four (4) hours or more, throw it away!

Question: The temperature Danger Zone is the range in which bacteria survive and grow most easily. What is this temperature range?


Cross-contamination occurs when bacteria from one food are transferred to another food. This is most concerning when dangerous bacteria from raw meat, fish, eggs, or poultry are transferred to ready-to-eat foods. Cross-contamination can be prevented by storing raw meats below and away from ready-to-eat foods, by washing hands after touching raw meat, and using separate knives and cutting boards to prepare vegetables and other ready-to-eat foods.

Question: Raw meat, fish, and poultry should be stored at the bottom of a cooler or refrigerator so they can't drip on fruits, vegetables, and cooked foods.


All foods served to customers must come from an approved source. Approved sources include grocery stores, suppliers, and wholesalers.

Any foods from an unapproved source, a facility not licensed by the Kansas Department of Agriculture, or food prepared from homes may not be served or sold.

Question: Baking lasagna at home to hand out to guests at a soup kitchen is a great idea for a service project.


TCS foods must be cooked and/or reheated to a minimum internal temperature to kill bacteria which may be present. The foods may be cooked hotter, but the following minimum internal temperatures must be held for at least 15 seconds:

Poultry and stuffed foods: 165°F Ground beef: 155°F

Seafood, pork, and most other foods: 145°F

After food is cooked, it must be kept hot to prevent bacteria from growing. Foods should be held at 135°F or above until they are served or cooled properly. It is important to turn on steam tables, soup warmers, and other heating units to allow them to get hot before placing foods into them.

Question: TCS foods stored for hot holding must be held at or above what minimum temperature?


When you are ready to move a hot food to the refrigerator for storage, the food must be cooled as quickly as possible to prevent bacteria from growing as the food passes through the temperature danger zone. Cool foods quickly by stirring frequently, using shallow pans, cutting large pieces of meat into smaller pieces, using an ice bath, or adding ice instead of water to thick foods such as beans or soup. Transfer foods from pots and slow cookers to shallow metal pans, and do not cover the food tightly until the food has cooled completely. Food should be moved to an ice bath or walk-in cooler as soon as it drops below 135°F into the temperature danger zone.

Question: Which of the following will help hot foods cool quickly?


No matter what the original cooking temperature was, TCS foods that have been cooled or dropped below 135°F must be reheated to at least 165°F in 2 hours or less before serving. Use an oven or stove to reheat foods quickly. Warmers, steam tables, and slow cookers work well to keep foods hot, but are not designed to reheat food quickly, so avoid using these types of hot holding equipment to reheat foods.

Question: To reheat a leftover pan of com, you should transfer it from the cooler to the steam table at least 3 hours before serving so it has enough time to heat up.


Serving food and drinks can pose risks if not done properly. Don't touch ready-to-eat food with your bare hands. Use gloves or utensils to handle ready-to-eat food, but never store serving utensils on the counter or a plate between uses. Always store serving utensils with the food so that all food particles are kept at the proper temperature. Leaving a used utensil at room temperature allows bacteria to grow.

Question: Where should a serving spoon for mashed potatoes be stored while waiting for the next customer?


Touch silverware only by the handles, not on the eating surface. Avoid touching the eating surface of plates and cups with bare hands. When refilling drinks, don't allow the pitcher to touch the rim of the cup.

Question: When handling clean dishes, you should NOT touch:


Wiping cloths can be used to clean counters and tables in the kitchen and dining room. Wiping cloths should be soaked and stored in a sanitizer solution. After using a wiping cloth, it should be returned to the sanitizer bucket until it is needed again. Sanitizer helps to prevent bacteria from multiplying. If the wiping rag is not stored in sanitizer, food debris that is wiped up can begin to grow bacteria which can then be easily spread to other surfaces and hands when the rag is used again.

Question: Wiping clothes used to clean food contact surfaces can be stored on the counter between uses.


Dining tables should be cleaned frequently, but do not spray sanitizer or chemicals on a table with exposed food or where someone is eating. Wait until all customers or guests have left the table before spraying it with sanitizer. Or, use a wiping cloth from a sanitizer bucket to clean the table while others are still eating. Always store wiping cloths in a sanitizer bucket between uses. Always wash your hands after cleaning and busing tables and before you start serving food or refilling drinks.

Question: If there are several people eating at a common table and one person finishes their meal, how should you clean the area where the person was sitting to prepare for a new guest?


Clean vs. Sanitized

All food contact surfaces must be cleaned and then sanitized. "Cleaning" means removing visible dirt or food debris; "sanitizing" means removing bacteria and other microorganisms that you can't see. For sanitizing, there are three approved chemicals that can be used: iodine, chlorine or quaternary ammonia ("quat").

Question: Which chemical is an approved sanitizer?


Always begin by scraping food debris into a trash can (not down the drain). If washing dishes by hand, wash in hot soapy water, rinse in clean water, then submerge the dishes in a chemical sanitizer solution for at least 30 seconds or as directed by the label. Commercial dishwashing machines sanitize automatically using heat or chemicals. All clean dishes should be air dried.

Question: When food contact surfaces, equipment and dishes are washed by hand, what is the proper way to wash?

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