Skip to main content

Food safety fact sheets

Food safety fact sheets

  • Botulism
    Foodborne botulism results from consuming food that has been improperly handled or preserved. Infant or intestinal botulism occurs almost exclusively in children under one year of age when ingested spores germinate and colonize the intestines.

  • Campylobacteriosis
    Several species of Campylobacter bacteria cause gastrointestinal disease in humans. The most common species is Campylobacter jejuni. Most cases of campylobacteriosis are associated with consumption of undercooked meat (especially poultry) or ready-to-eat foods that have been contaminated with juices from raw meat.

  • Clostridium perfringens, CDC
    C. perfringens is commonly found on raw meat and poultry. People infected with C. perfringens develop diarrhea and abdominal cramps within 6 to 24 hours (typically 8 to -12 hours). The illness usually begins suddenly and lasts for less than 24 hours.

  • Cryptosporidiosis
    Can be spread by consuming undercooked food or drinking unpasteurized/raw apple cider or milk that gets contaminated with Crypto and swallowing water, ice, or beverages contaminated with poop from infected humans or animals.

  • Cyclosporiasis
    Infection with the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis typically occurs when a person drinks or has recreational exposure to contaminated water or eats fruits or vegetables that have been contaminated with feces.

  • E. coli O157:H7
    Infection with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) can occur through consumption of: undercooked ground beef and other beef products; unpasteurized milk, cheese, and juice; contaminated raw fruits, vegetables, and herbs; water contaminated with animal feces, or by direct contact with farm animals or their environment. Ready-to-eat foods can also be contaminated with STEC through contact with raw beef or raw beef juices in the kitchen.

  • Hepatitis A
    Hepatitis A virus (HAV) infects the liver. It is primarily acquired via the fecal-oral route, either through person-to-person contact or by ingestion of fecally-contaminated food or water.

  • Norovirus
    More than 50% of all food borne illnesses in the United States are caused by norovirus, most often from ill food workers who contaminate the food they prepare.

  • Salmonella
    Salmonellosis is a diarrheal illness caused by infection with Salmonella bacteria that are spread through the fecal-oral route, through contaminated food and water. Outbreaks have been associated with a variety of commercially distributed food products, including produce, nuts, eggs, and poultry.

  • Shigellosis
    Shigellosis is a diarrheal infection caused by Shigella bacteria and is transmitted by food and water contaminated with human fecal matter.

  • Typhoid and paratyphoid fever
    Typhoid and paratyphoid fever are caused by infection with the bacterium Salmonella enterica and is spread when a person drinks or eats food and water contaminated by human waste (stool or urine) containing Salmonella Typhi bacteria.

  • Vibriosis
    Vibrio species are bacteria that occur naturally in marine waters. Eating undercooked or raw shellfish, especially raw oysters, is the main risk for acquiring vibriosis.

  • Yersiniosis
    Yersinia enterocolitica, and less commonly other Yersinia species, are bacteria that cause acute diarrhea. Infection is usually spread by food or water contaminated by feces or urine from infected humans, animals or pets, and raw pork or pork products.
  • Cooking and pooling of eggs
    Contaminated eggs can carry Salmonella enteritidis and can cause the elderly, small children and those with immune-compromised systems to get sick when consuming raw or undercooked eggs.

  • Food safety in your home kitchen
    Food safety in your home kitchen is just as important as food safety in restaurant kitchens. In fact, as much as 60% of foodborne illness may be from home kitchens.

  • Labeling raw and undercooked foods
    Certain potentially hazardous food, often considered delicacies, are traditionally served raw or undercooked, such as Caesar salad dressing, oysters on the half shell, steak tartare, sunny-side-up eggs, medium rare hamburgers and sashimi. There are public health risks associated with eating these foods, including Salmonella, Shigellosis, E. coli 0157:H7, Vibrio and other bacterial and viral diseases. The state and local food codes recognize the public's right to eat these foods, but require food service establishments to notify them that foods are raw or undercooked.

  • Food safety videos
    Videos teach food workers the basics of keeping you and your customers safe from foodborne illnesses and illustrates the importance of when to wash your hands and use barriers such as gloves, tongs, paper wraps, etc. when handling ready-to-eat foods to prevent from spreading foodborne diseases.

  • Protecting foods from power failures
    Learn about potentially hazardous foods that are the most important to keep in mind when the power goes out and know when to save and throw out food.

Recently there has been interest from food establishment operators in selling food and beverage products with industrial hemp and its derivatives such as cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD. Federal and State laws do not permit the manufacture and retail sales of CBD as a food ingredient in foods and beverages for sale in retail food establishments.

Therefore, in King County, the addition of CBD to food and beverages is prohibited until further guidance and approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Washington State Department of Agriculture, and Washington Department of Health.

This means that operators may not add CBD to food or beverages, nor may they obtain products containing CBD for resale in any retail food establishment in King County, including restaurants, coffee shops, cafeterias, grocery stores, or at temporary food events and farmers markets.

There are also regulations related to the manufacturing for wholesale and/or interstate shipping of food and beverage products containing CBD. This is regulated in Washington state by the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

Fact sheets available to print and display in multiple languages (PDF)

What to do in the event of a power outage

What to do in the event of a power outage
During a power outage, all food establishments must stop operations, check the temperature of potentially hazardous foods and understand the time guidelines of when food is safe to sell or must be thrown away.