There are more than 250 identified foodborne diseases according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of these diseases are infections, caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

Harmful toxins and chemicals can also contaminate foods and cause foodborne illness, more often referred to as food poisoning. September is National Food Safety Education Month, and restaurants must take precautions to avoid customers getting food poisoning. Washington County Food Safety Specialist Jason Taylor says food safety training is required every five years for any food establishment, including school kitchens. Taylor shares what food safety training entails, “Food safety classes would talk anything about any type of bacteria viruses parasites, and then we get into the proper heating, reheating, cooling, and then there’s just a wide range of all food safety aspects of any establishment that is around.”

Washington County Environmental Health also offers food safety classes to churches and other organizations interested, and does hand-washing demonstrations for local schools. Those interested in taking or class or want more details can find Taylor’s contact information here.