|Gerry Scott REHS
216.201.2000 ext 1259
|Paul DeSario PhD, REHS
216.201.2000 ext 1243
The Food Safety Program’s primary goal is to protect the community against foodborne illnesses caused by poor food handling practices and unsafe food products.
Our agency provides services in all communities throughout Cuyahoga County, except for the city of Cleveland.
We license and inspect all facilities at the retail level that sell food. Examples are daycares, fairs, festivals, grocery stores, nursing homes, restaurants, school cafeterias among others.
Focusing on food safety education with the operator is a critical piece of our inspection process.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified five risk factors that are the cause of foodborne illness in homes and restaurants.
The information below will help you in avoid these risks and prepare your food safely, protecting your family and friends from foodborne illness.
The five CDC risk factors
It is our goal to help improve the health of the community by providing information and advice about how to make food safely.
Whether you represent a commercial business or are just making food for your family, please take advantage of the information available on our website.
Purchase food at the peak of freshness at local farmers markets or from grocery stores and markets that are inspected by CCBH or other local health departments.
Wash produce thoroughly to remove dirt which could contain pathogens (disease-causing germs).
Keep raw and ready to eat foods separate to prevent cross contamination – raw foods can contain pathogens that can make you sick.
Store raw food below and separate from ready to eat foods.
Be sure to clean cutting boards, knives and other utensils used to prepare raw food with warm soapy water before using them.
Clean hands are a must! Food is only as safe as the hands that prepare it.
If hands are dirty, all of the food they touch becomes contaminated with pathogens (disease causing germs).
Wash hands thoroughly with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds and use a disposable towel to dry them.
It is very important to keep kitchen surfaces like cutting boards, counter tops and food utensils clean and sanitary.
Wash these surfaces with warm soapy water, rinse them and let them air dry before beginning to work with food.
Never place clean food items on dirty surfaces because food will become contaminated (dirty) and could make you sick.
ALWAYS monitor your cooking temperatures with a calibrated or digital metal-stem thermometer to make sure that your food is cooked to the right temperature.
ALWAYS stick the probe into the thickest or deepest part of the food to be sure food is cooked all the way to the center. Hold it there for 15 seconds to be sure it reaches the right temperature.
Under-cooked food can make you sick and possibly kill you.
For a list of proper cooking temperatures, please click here.
Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold!
Never store foods between 42-134⁰F because this range is known as the DANGER ZONE!
Food stored in the temperature danger zone quickly grows pathogens (disease-causing germs. You can become sick in a matter of hours.
ALWAYS monitor your refrigerator temperature by purchasing a small, plastic thermometer that easily fits on any shelf. Check it once or twice weekly to be sure it stays between 38-41⁰F .
Emergency Preparedness Links