Cross contamination is a major contributing factor to foodborne outbreaks in retail food establishments, even when food handlers wear gloves.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year, 48 million Americans get sick from a foodborne illness; 128,000 are hospitalized; and 3,000 die. This is a significant public health burden that the food industry, including the retail sector, is taking steps to prevent.
Besides continuing to make sure that their food was safe from foodborne illnesses, food retailers over the past year had the added responsibility of keeping their employees and customers safe from COVID-19. To ensure that they didn’t compromise on food safety, retailers collaborated with manufacturers, suppliers, the agriculture industry, governments and many others to help maintain a safe food supply during a heavily disrupted time.
Some of the top food retailers recently came together for the virtual GFSI Conference, the premier annual event of the Global Food Safety Initiative, part of The Consumer Goods Forum, to share their approaches to ensuring the safety of their food operations during the past year.