About Be Smart Be Well Works
Be Smart. Be Well. Works
provides information and tools to help you manage the impact of foodborne illness on the workplace. Here you’ll find best-practice resources and ready-to-use solutions that will help your workforce benefit from the Be Smart. Be Well. Food Safety employee website.
Be Smart. Be Well. Where You Work
Employers can play a key role in helping employees lower their risk for foodborne illness. Wellness initiatives that promote food safety can create a healthier workforce, while also addressing health care costs. Here are some tips to manage foodborne illness in your workforce.
1. Share the four golden rules: Chill, separate, clean, cook.
These four rules are the basics of food safety. Properly chill food, separate raw meat and poultry from produce, clean hands and all food-preparation surfaces and cook all food to the appropriate internal temperature. Download this USDA poster highlighting the four rules and display it in employee kitchens, break rooms and lunchrooms.
2. Remind people to wash hands.
Hand washing is simple, yet highly effective against food poisoning. You can’t reinforce this enough. Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illness. It is usually spread by consuming food or water handled by someone with the virus, by direct contact with someone who is infected or by touching contaminated surfaces and then placing a finger in the mouth. Remind people that washing hands is important all year long, not just in cold and flu season. Post reminders on the mirrors in employee rest rooms.
3. Post a cold-storage guide on employee refrigerators.
Are the leftovers stored in the employee refrigerator on Monday safe to eat on Friday? Post this cold-storage guide on the refrigerator door to help people understand how long condiments and leftovers stay safe. Also have a downloadable guide available for employees to use at home.
4. Keep work-sponsored gatherings safe.
Company barbeques and holiday parties can be dangerous sources of foodborne illness. Improperly handled food, warm sun on potato salad, undercooked burgers and a holiday buffet table all increase your risk. Take steps to keep your parties and employees safe. Harmful bacteria multiply more rapidly between 40 and 140 degrees Farenheit, so be sure to keep cold food cold and hot food hot. Remember that food shouldn’t stay at room temperature for longer than two hours. If using a caterer, ask about food safety practices and inquire about their license, permits and inspection history.
5. Share USDA food safety app.
Mobile Ask Karen is a web-based smartphone app from the USDA that instantly answers food safety questions. It’s a mobile version of the USDA’s existing Ask Karen website, a virtual food safety representative who offers advice about properly handling, storing, and preparing food to prevent illness. The new mobile app can provide answers when employees are at the grocery store, at the grill or in the kitchen. To start using Mobile Ask Karen, employees should go to m.AskKaren.gov on their phone’s browser.