4 Commercial Food Safety Quotes to Live By

Quotes and slogans within the food industry can serve as helpful reminders to practice effective and safe hygiene. While some have known sources, others have become popular phrases or colloquialisms with no specific origin. 

Most of these quotes derive from individuals directly involved in the food industry who have experience in safe food hygiene. Others come from known societal figures with no direct connection to the food industry but still have a strong cultural influence. 

1. When in Doubt, Throw It Out

This saying has no known specific origin, but it is commonly used in the food industry as a reminder to discard any food products that may have expired or are close to expiring. Food products should always be labeled and contain purchase and expiration dates. If these labels are missing and you are unsure about the product’s age, it is far better to throw it away than potentially place your customers at risk of acquiring a foodborne illness. 

2. Cooking Doesn´t Kill All Bacteria, but Proper Food Handling Does

This quote also has no known origin, but it is commonly used in the food industry to encourage proper food safety. This particular quote serves as an effective reminder to ensure not only that food is properly cooked but also that there is no significant risk of the food being contaminated. Any business in which food is prepared and/or served should be knowledgeable about this quote and its implications for food safety. 

3. An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure

This is a phrase that is commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin, though many other notable individuals have made similar iterations. Within the context of the food industry, this quote implies that being proactive by preventing the spread of disease is a more important focus than treating a disease reactively. 

The ramifications of a disease outbreak in a food-related business are far more severe and significant than any costs or efforts associated with establishing safe food handling practice. Keep this quote in mind when considering your food-related business management. 

4. Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness

This quote also has no known origin and many famous individuals have made similar restatements. Some credit the Bible with the original version of this quote, whereas others have suggested that a quote within a work by the philosopher Francis Bacon is extremely similar. Although the exact source of this quote is not agreed upon, its meaning is clear. Maintaining a clean environment is one of the highest values one can achieve. This is particularly true with respect to businesses in the food industry. 

Final Thoughts on Food Safety

Businesses in the food industry can apply these quotes to ensure all employees understand the importance of safe food hygiene practices. Here are some additional ways that the wisdom contained within these quotes can be applied:

  • Provide training and education. Ensure you spend sufficient time training and educating your staff and that their food hygiene knowledge and performance are evaluated on a regular basis. This can help you ensure that each member of your team is professionally competent. 

  • Know the rules. You will be inspected periodically, making it essential to know the rules, standards and codes of conduct that affect your industry and business. These rules are in place to protect your employees and customers. 

  • Audit your food hygiene practices on a regular basis. Make sure to implement a regular auditing and evaluation schedule. You can then examine internal practices and behaviors that may warrant modification to reduce any risks associated with food hygiene and ensure your business complies with industry standards. 

  • Keep records. Make sure to document all food hygiene activities and audits so you can engage in thorough and comprehensive reviews of your business’s conduct. This will be essential for examining ways to improve your workplace safety and assist in any external review of your facility. 

  • Monitor the temperature. This is an often-overlooked aspect of food safety but one that can directly affect the longevity and safety of your products. A room that is either too hot or too cold can cause different and sometimes negative, impacts on your food. Regularly monitor the temperature of locations where food is prepared and stored.  


Food Safety. (2023). Food Standards Agency.

Food Safety — Your Responsibilities. (2023). GOK.UK.  

Food Hygiene. (2023). Health and Safety Executive. 

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