Discovering Previously Unidentified Foodborne Illness Risks through Discussion

A Good Idea

This practice has been Archived and is no longer maintained.


This program improves food safety by going beyond routine inspections and asking food service operators to describe critical food safety policies and practices, especially those strongly linked to outbreaks but not easily observable, such as their employee illness policy. For instance, an operator is required to have a system for excluding employees who are ill with vomiting or diarrhea. The system includes formulating a policy, informing employees of the policy, and monitoring employee health. If the operator does not have a safe system (policy, training, and monitoring) they are expected to implement one, and will be offered information and advice on how to do so.

Goal / Mission

The goal of this program was to promote the active management of food borne illness risk factors by food service operators. Its objectives were to: shift the food safety program's focus from counting violations to evaluating food safety risks and systems, use an assessment process based on discussion of foodborne illness risks with the manger/operator, and develop the ability to track assessment results toward the Healthy People 2010 goals.

Results / Accomplishments

The practice resulted in identification of 50% more foodborne illness risk factors, improved relationships with food service operators, and improved staff productivity and morale.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
No current contact information available
Health / Food Safety
Olmsted County Public Health Services
National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
Date of publication
Olmstead County, MN
For more details
Additional Audience
Food Service Establishments