Food Safety

Starting any business is no easy task, and becoming a food entrepreneur is a special challenge. You'll have to prepare yourself for the hard work and dedication it takes to succeed in the food business. This fact sheet provides some considerations in becoming a food entrepreneur.

Before starting your new food business, you need a clear vision of how you want your business to operate; how it will be managed, marketed, and financed; and how you expect it to perform in the future. To achieve this goal, you need to write a business plan.

PDF, 7.2 MB

This booklet, intended for retail establishments, food service, and restaurants, provides an overview of foodborne illness and the disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes; identifies the general sources of foodborne hazards as well as the specific sources of Listeria monocytogenes in the retail environment; explains factors that contribute to foodborne illness and to Listeria monocytogenes in retail establishments; describes general food safety prevention and control techniques, specifically for Listeria monocytogenes in the retail environment; demonstrates methods to verify that control programs for Listeria monocytogenes are adequate; and provides suggestions for maintaining an effective food safety program for Listeria monocytogenes.

PDF, 403.7 kB

The Cooking for Crowds curriculum was designed to show nonprofit groups that cook large amounts of food for the public as part of fund-raising the food safety risks that develop when cooking large volumes of food. It also details how to reduce those risks so that the food the group prepares is both safe and delicious. This curriculum introduces food safety guidelines similar to those used by the commercial food industry but have been slightly altered to meet the needs of nonprofit audiences.

Various gourds and squash in bins after harvest. Photo courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (

Microbial food contamination can happen anywhere. This article discusses ways growers can minimize food safety risks by evaluating their farm practices and implementing Good Agricultural Practices into their operation.

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This 12-panel publication, designed and folded to fit into a shirt pocket, explains how to safely field dress a deer. Extensively illustrated in full color, it explains the process of field dressing and also covers important food safety information for hunters.

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This six-panel publication uses the character "Bac" to represent the harmful bacteria that can contaminate food products and make us sick. It explains how we can "Fight Bac!" by using four simple steps to avoid bacterial contamination of food and minimize the risk of foodborne illness.

This worksheet is a supplement to the Food for Profit: Price and Pricing fact sheet.

This publication explains the concept and process of food irradiation in plain language, and explores how irradiation is done, why it is done, how to identify irradiated products, what irradiation changes, and who might benefit the most from using irradiated food.

Food label regulations are enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and dictate the type of information that must be on the label and where the label can be placed on the package. Exact requirements for your package size and type can be confusing. Before you have labels printed, make sure you have met all labeling requirements.

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This flip chart provides food safety tips in both English and Spanish to help train fresh produce handlers.

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Poster providing proper food temperatures.

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Poster explaining how to properly cool foods quickly.

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Poster detailing when to wash your hands.

The Temperature Danger Zone: Microorganisms, including those that cause foodborne illness, grow rapidly between 40ºF and 140ºF. This range is called the temperature danger zone . When cooling or heating, food will often pass through the temperature danger zone. The key is to minimize the time foods are at a temperature between 40ºF and 140ºF so pathogens do not have a chance to multiply.

This brochure provides food safety tips such as preparing and packing for a tailgate and grilling and serving at a tailgate, as well as handwashing tips, cooking temperatures guide, and checklist of supplies.

PDF, 79.4 kB

Stronger community food systems can help to keep family farmers in business, ensure that all community members have equal access to quality food, create food sector jobs, and keep food dollars in the community. Engaging local governments in food system planning helps them take a comprehensive approach to ensuring a community's quality of life. This guide explores why food system issues are important to a community and includes ideas for helping citizens and community organizations work with county and municipal planners on food system issues.

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This poster provides ways to keep your break areas clean.

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This poster gives tips for keeping your ingredient mixing area clean.

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This poster gives basic tips for keeping locker rooms clean.

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This poster provides basic maintenance tips for keeping your area clean.