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Please register in advance by calling 800-723-3873 
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Please don't feed honey to infants:

According to the year 2000 official report of the American Public Health Association, Intestinal (infant) botulism is the most common form of botulism in the USA and it results from the ingestion from foods that contain microscopic "seeds", called spores. These spores can grow in an infants large intestine, and produce botulism toxins which can be fatal. Some studies suggest that it may cause an estimated 5% of cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

According to the APHA. preventive measures include "identifed sources, such as honey, should not be fed to infants."

We recommend that you see the "Home Food Safety" bar at the top of the AFSI home page. Please make the "10 food safety rules" a part of your family's routine.

Marlene O. Nash, MS, RD, AFSI Scientist

The sad truth about E. coli 0157:H7 and kids:

We believe that animal proteins are a necessary part of a child's diet. It is critical that parents properly cook raw foods of animal origin and prevent these foods from contaminating uncooked/ready to eat foods. If you want to find out more about E. coli 0157:H7, we suggest that you visit the website of the E. coli help organization:

David H. Nash, MPH, CFSP,
Founder of the American Food Safety Institute


TO:          David Nash
FROM:    Joanne Lee
RE:          Finley School District E. COLI 0157:H7 Outbreak

I was hired as an expert witness by Marler Clark to evaluate the job qualifications and training of the food service staff at the Finley School District, in Benton County, WA as it pertained to an outbreak of E.Coli 0157:H7 among 11 students at the Finley Elementary School in October 1998.  I based my opinion on the review of the depositions and interrogatories of the Finley food service staff, the Benton-Franklin Health Department food service establishment inspection reports, and the WA State Health Code.  I am a registered sanitarian with twenty-five years of experience in the institutional food service field, of which eleven years were spent in school food service.

It was my opinion that the food service director, head cook and kitchen staff were not properly trained in safe food handling principles.  No one in the kitchen was certified in any national or local food safety program.  They received no on the job training in safe food handling practices.  None of the staff were 100% positive on the final cooking temperature on the taco recipe that was used that day.  There was also no evidence that the thermometers were ever calibrated.  The cooking and cooling equipment was not on a regular maintenance schedule, to prevent temperature variances.  The staff did not understand the issue of cross contamination, as prior to the outbreak, the lettuce, tomatoes, and apples were not rinsed before being cut and served and there was o evidence of the cutting board being sanitized between the handling of the raw meat product and the ready to eat products.  They had no written cleaning schedule and no hand washing policy posted in the kitchen.  There was no monitoring of the kitchen staff by the head cook and no identifying of the critical control points in this facility.  Also the cooked taco meat was not transported to other sites in properly insulated carriers.

The Benton County Superior Court jury decided in February of 2001 that the Finley School District was 10% at fault for the E.Coli 0157:H7 outbreak that sickened 11 children in October of 1998.  The 12 person jury was unanimous on every question.  All agreed that the taco meal served October 6, 1998, at the Finley Elementary School was tainted with bacteria.  All agreed that each of the 11 children had been harmed.  The meat supplier, Northern States Beef, previously settled out of court and denied the meat was tainted.  The children's attorneys, Marler Clark, argued that the ground beef served in the tacos was undercooked.  Ten of the children in the lawsuit  ate the beef, and the 11th child, a 2 year old, was infected by a sick child how ate the meal.  The defense said the meat was thoroughly cooked and the source of the outbreak might never be known.  However, as the initial phase of the trial neared the end, the defense brought up the responsibility of the meat supplier for any distribution of E.Coli contaminated ground beef.  "For three weeks, they say it wasn't the meat, and then they turn around and say it wasn't (the school's) fault," said the plaintiffs' attorney, Bill Marler.  "I think the jury understood it was a desperate move."  The verdict offers vindication for the families, Marler said.

The verdict was particularly important for Faith Maxwell, now 4, the child who fell most gravely ill.  She was infected with the bacteria either from a neighborhood friend who fell ill after eating the taco meal or an older sister who may have had a mild case.  Faith's parents continue to take her for medical care and tests.  Two years after developing a kidney complication from the bacteria, she still has blood protein in her urine.  Doctors say that's an indication her kidneys will fail and she will need a transplant in the future.  The jury is now hearing testimony about the children's illnesses and then will set damages.