- Safety and Health Topics
- Foodborne Disease
Foodborne diseases are the illnesses contracted from eating contaminated food or beverages. Illnesses include foodborne intoxications and infections, which are often incorrectly referred to as food poisoning. There are more than 250 different foodborne diseases. They are caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, toxins, metals, and prions. Symptoms of foodborne illness range from mild gastroenteritis to life-threatening neurologic, hepatic, and renal syndromes.
Botulism, Brucellosis, Campylobacter enteritis, Escherichia coli, Hepatitis A, Listeriosis, Salmonellosis, Shigellosis, Toxoplasmosis, Viral gastroenteritis, Taeniasis and Trichinosis are examples of foodborne diseases.
The quality of food, and controls used to prevent foodborne diseases, are primarily regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local public health authorities. These diseases may be occupationally related if they affect the food processors (e.g., poultry processing workers), food preparers and servers (e.g., cooks, waiters), or workers who are provided food at the worksite.
Foodborne disease is addressed in specific OSHA standards for General Industry and Construction.
Provides references that may aid in recognizing hazards associated with foodborne disease.
Evaluation and Investigation
Provides references that may aid in the evaluation of potential foodborne disease outbreaks.
Control and Prevention
Provides information on control and prevention for foodborne disease.
Provides links and references to additional resources related to foodborne disease.
Workers have the right to:
- Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
- Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA’s rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
- Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.
For additional information, see OSHA's Workers page.
How to Contact OSHA
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627.
- CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Classic). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Provides information on CJD and links to related topics.
- Expanded "Mad Cow" Safeguards Announced to Strengthen Existing Firewalls Against BSE Transmission. News Release, (January 28, 2004).
- Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in a Dairy Cow --- Washington State, 2003. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) 52(53); 1280-1285, (January 9, 2004).
- Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and Cosmetics. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) - About BSE. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Provides references to current BSE issues, trade initiatives, and general BSE information.
- Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Resources. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Fact Sheets. Provides links to news releases and transcripts relating to BSE.