Food Safety Exam Prep – Test Your Knowledge

Most states require food safety training for general food service workers and food manager certification for persons-in-charge – and food safety is integral to operating a successful food service business.

We have created this free food safety practice test to evaluate your knowledge and help you prepare for your exam.

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#1 The CDC estimates that roughly 48 million people get sick each year from a foodborne illness.

The CDC estimates that each year roughly 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die.

#2 What is the main reason foodborne illnesses increase during the summer months?

Foodborne illnesses increase during summer because not only does bacteria multiply faster in warmer temperatures, but preparing food outdoors makes safe food handling more challenging. Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 41°F to 135°F (5°C to 57°C).

#3 What are the three types of food contamination?

The three types of food contamination are biological, chemical, and physical.
Biological hazards include bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Chemical hazards include natural toxins and chemical contaminants. Some natural toxins are associated with the food itself (i.e., certain mushrooms and shellfish). Food allergens are also considered a chemical hazard. Physical hazards can include metal shavings from cans and plastic pieces or broken glass.

#4 What are the environmental conditions that support the growth of bacteria?

FAT TOM is a mnemonic device used in the food service industry to describe the six favorable conditions required for the growth of bacteria. It is an acronym for food, acidity, time, temperature, oxygen and moisture.

#5 What is the bacteria growth “Danger Zone” range of temperature?

Bacteria grows most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes.

#6 What is NOT a useful method to prevent cross-contamination?

Using any container will not matter if food is contaminated beforehand. Cross-contamination is the transfer of harmful substances or disease-causing microorganisms to food by hands, food-contact surfaces, sponges, cloth towels, and utensils that touch raw food, are not cleaned, and then touch ready-to-eat foods. Cross-contamination can also occur when raw food touches or drips onto cooked or ready-to-eat foods.

#7 What foodborne pathogens are know as the “Big 5”?

The Big 5 group of foodborne pathogens have a low infectious dose, contaminate the gastrointestinal system after ingestion, and are shed in feces.
A food handling or service employee infected with a Big 5 pathogen will typically shed hundreds of thousands of pathogens in their feces that can be easily transmitted to food even when good handwashing practices are used.

#8 What are TCS Foods?

TCS foods are foods that “require time/temperature control for safety (TCS) to limit pathogenic microorganism growth or toxin formation” and must be kept at temperatures ≤41°F or ≥135°F for safety. Formerly called “potentially hazardous foods” (PHF), these foods are typically neutral to slightly acidic, high in starch or protein, and moist – and include: dairy, raw meats, seafood and poultry, eggs, sprouts, cut/prepared fruits and vegetables, cooked rice, pasta and beans, and garlic/oil mixtures.

#9 Which of the following groups has the LOWEST RISK for foodborne illness:

Although foodborne illness can affect anyone, young adults are the least susceptible. Other groups have a greater risk, such as: infants, the elderly, cancer patients, diabetes patients, pregnant women, and other people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS, diabetes, or an organ transplant.

#10 Before or after handling food, hands should be washed with water and soap for at least:

According to FDA, you should use plain soap and water, rub your hands together to make a lather, and scrub them well for at least 20 seconds.

#11 The pathogen most associated with undercooked beef and hamburger is:

E coli. is the pathogen most often associated with undercooked beef and hamburger Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals. When cattle are slaughtered and processed, E. coli bacteria in their intestines can get on the meat. If the pathogens are present when meat is ground, then more of the meat surface is exposed to the harmful bacteria.

#12 Which pathogen poses the greatest risk in raw chicken?

Salmonella is the greatest risk found in raw chicken. Salmonella bacteria live in the intestines of people, animals and birds. Most people are infected with salmonella by eating foods that have been contaminated by feces.

#13 Which of the procedures is the best method to ensure a safe environment for food preparation?

According to the USDA, the basic way to ensure a safe environment for food preparation is through the procedures: clean, separate, cook, and chill. By following these four basic steps, you can significantly reduce the chance for a foodborne illness.

#14 What is the safe cooking temperature for pork?

The USDA recommends cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160°F – as measured by a food thermometer.

#15 How long can you safely keep leftovers in the refrigerator?

Leftovers can be kept for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Be sure to eat them within that time. After that, the risk of food poisoning increases.

#16 The only way to ensure food is cooked properly to kill harmful bacteria is to:

The only way to know food has been cooked to a safe internal temperature is to use a food thermometer.

#17 Food should be left at room temperature for no more than:

Follow the 2-hour rule: Do not let perishable food sit out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If the temperature is above 90 degrees, limit that time to only 1 hour.

#18 Which of the following bacteria are responsible for causing the greatest number of foodborne illnesses?

Noroviruses are the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis (infection of the stomach and intestines) in the United States. Norovirus illness spreads easily and is often called stomach flu or viral gastroenteritis.

#19 Which bacteria poses the greatest risk to foodborne illness is found in raw poultry?

Salmonella is the greatest risk found in raw poultry (domestic fowl, such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese). Salmonella is a bacteria associated with poultry and egg products causing nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, headache, chills, and prostration.

#20 Which food is NOT a major food allergen?

About 90% of all food allergy reactions occur in only 8 foods or food groups. The 8 major food allergens include: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish (lobster, crab, shrimp), wheat, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts – according to the U.S. Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA).

#21 What is the correct temperature for re-heating leftovers?

According to the USDA, leftovers need to be re-heated to an internal temperature of at least 165°F – as measured with a food thermometer – for 15 seconds or more – in order to kill any bacteria.

#22 What is food sanitation?

Food sanitation differs a bit from food safety, but they both have the same goal. Food safety is how to prevent foodborne illness. Food sanitation refers to the cleanliness of equipment and facilities to prevent foodborne illness.

#23 Which pathogen is most likely to contaminate eggs?

Poultry may carry bacteria such as Salmonella that can contaminate the inside of eggs before the shells are formed. Eggs can also become contaminated from the droppings of poultry through the laying process or from the environment (e.g., contaminated poultry feed or bedding).

#24 Which of the following foods can contain the parasite Anisakis?

Also called herring worm disease, Anisakiasis is a parasitic disease caused by the ingestion of larvae of several species of nematodes (roundworms) in undercooked seafood, more commonly salmon, herring, cod, mackerel, squids, halibut, and red snapper. Acute abdominal symptoms usually within hours after ingestion of larvae. The best ways to prevent this disease is to avoid eating raw or undercooked seafood or squid.

#25 What are the concerns with raw oysters?

Raw shellfish can be contaminated with a variety of foodborne pathogens such as E. coli, norovirus and Vibrio vulnificus. Eating raw oysters and certain other undercooked shellfish, such as clams and mussels, can put you at risk for infections. Likewise, shellfish can become contaminated by toxin-producing algae because of red tide (algal bloom) events – and should not be consumed.

#26 What are the dangers of leaving cooked rice or pasta sitting at room temperature for too long?

Once rice or pasta is cooked and begins to cool, toxins are formed by a bacteria called Bacillus cereus – which can cause foodborne illness. Inflicted people can suffer from diarrhea and/or from nausea and vomiting. Death has occurred in some very rare cases.

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