ServSafe Manager Practice Test #1

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20 Questions With Explanations


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Question 1
When is a foodborne illness considered an "outbreak"?
When at least two people experience the same symptoms after eating the same food.
When a foodborne illness is linked to multiple food service establishments.
When a person must be hospitalized due to foodborne illness.
When more than one variety of pathogens is discovered in the same food product.
Question 1 Explanation: 

If two or more people exhibit the same foodborne illness symptoms after eating the same food, it is considered an outbreak.

If it were only one person exhibiting the symptoms, then it would be difficult to identify which food caused the illness.

Once the food and establishment have been identified by regulatory authorities, then a proper course of action can be taken.

Question 2
Which of the following is NOT considered a safe way to thaw frozen meat?
Under hot running water.
In a walk-in cooler.
Cooking it while still frozen.
In a microwave.
Question 2 Explanation: 

It is not safe to thaw frozen meat with water that is above 70°F. This is because the outside of the meat will enter the temperature danger zone while the inside is still frozen.

From the time that you beginning thawing the meat with hot water until the time that it reaches the correct cooking temperature, parts of the meat are likely to have been in the temperature danger zone for too long. Raw TCS foods should never be in the temperature danger zone for more than 4 hours.

It is especially dangerous because the hot water is actually an ideal temperature for microorganisms to thrive and multiply rapidly.

The safest method to thaw frozen meat is by leaving it overnight in the cooler. But other methods are acceptable as well.

Question 3
What or who is the most responsible for training new staff about safe food handling practices?
Staff should already have this knowledge before being hired.
The Owner.
The General Manager.
The Certified Food Manager.
Question 3 Explanation: 

Everyone should share safe food handling knowledge with each other.

But the Certified Food Manager (CFM), is the one who has studied the subject of food safety and has proven their knowledge by passing an exam.

So the responsibility falls mostly on the Certified Food Manager to ensure that the entire establishment is practicing safe food handling methods.

The 7th Edition ServSafe Manager textbook has been updated in this regard. The 2017 FDA Food Code now refers to the "CFM" as the "PIC", or "Person in Charge".

Question 4
Which of the following symptoms is most commonly associated with foodborne illness?
A rash or hives
Dizziness or vertigo
Question 4 Explanation: 

When a medical professional hears complaints of uncontrolled diarrhea one of the first considerations is a foodborne illness. This is because it is so common with all types of foodborne illnesses.

Other common symptoms of foodborne illness are vomiting, fever, nausea, abdominal cramps, and jaundice.

When a person consumes unsafe levels of pathogens their body tries to get rid of it. This is why diarrhea and vomiting occur.

The body may also try to kill or thwart the pathogens by heating up to higher temperatures where some pathogens cannot thrive. This is a fever.

Nausea and abdominal cramps are usually side effects of diarrhea and vomiting.

Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) is caused by a complicated process involving the liver. This usually stems from hepatitis A which is also a foodborne illness.

Question 5
Which is an example of a physical contaminant?
Mold on cheese
Chicken juices on a cutting board
Pathogens on unwashed hands
Bones in chili
Question 5 Explanation: 

There are three types of contaminants that can enter food: physical, biological and chemical.

A physical contaminant refers to things such as glass, dirt and food packaging. Or anything else that can accidentally enter the food. Bones can also be a physical contaminant if they are in foods where they are not expected, such as soups, stews or chili.

It is important to be aware of physical contaminants. Be sure that packaging is completely removed from foods. Light fixtures near food should be protected so that in the event that a bulb should break, the glass does not fall into food.

A biological contaminant refers to certain fungi, bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Some plants, mushrooms, and kinds of seafood can also produce toxins (poison) that are harmful to humans.

A chemical contaminant refers to things such as cleaners, polishes, and sanitizers.

Question 6
A food handler has a wound or a boil on their hand or wrist. What is an appropriate course of action?
Be restricted to duties that do not involve food contact.
Stay home until the wound or boil is completely healed.
Wear an impermeable bandage and cover with a single-use glove.
Wash hands thoroughly between each task.
Question 6 Explanation: 

An employee may still work with food as long as they take precautionary steps.

If a wound or boil is located on the hand or wrist it should be covered with an impermeable cover, such as a finger cot or bandage. Impermeable means that liquid from the wound cannot pass through it. A finger cot is a rubber or latex cover that fits over one finger only. There are also impermeable bandages designed for wrists as well.

The finger cot and the entire hand should then be covered with a single-use glove.

Question 7
Which symptom must be reported to your regulatory authority when it afflicts a food handler?
An infected wound or boil
A severe allergic reaction
Question 7 Explanation: 

Jaundice is sometimes caused by Hepatitis A which is contagious and can be spread through food.

Hepatitis A is of special concern because it is caused by a virus which may not be killed by regular cooking methods. It is also not curable and treatments are limited.

If an employee appears to have yellowing of the skin or eyes, this could be jaundice. This symptom must be reported to your regulatory authority. If the symptom has been present for at least 7 days they must be excluded from the operation.

That employee should not be allowed to return to work until they have a written release from a medical practitioner and permission from your regulatory authority.

Question 8
What is a "thermocouple"?
A backflow prevention device
A metal probed thermometer
A type of impermeable single-use glove
A thermostat in a walk-in cooler
Question 8 Explanation: 

A thermocouple is a thermometer with a metal probe. The sensing area is on the tip of the probe and the reading is given digitally. This is a common thermometer used to measure the temperature of both thick and thin food.

There are several types of thermometers that you should become familiar with before taking the ServSafe manager exam. And then you should become familiar with and practice using the ones that your foodservice operation has chosen.

Question 9
What should you do if food shipments are not delivered at the correct temperatures?
Bring the food items to the correct temperature within 2 hours
Accept the delivery, but notify your supervisor
File a complaint with your regulatory authority
Reject the delivery
Question 9 Explanation: 

Temperature control is critical for food safety and that begins before the food enters your establishment. Receiving shipments of food is your first opportunity to affect the safety of food.

If food is not at the correct temperature when it is delivered, then it is impossible for you to determine with certainty how long the food has been stored at incorrect temperatures. This is why you should reject the delivery.

Question 10
What is the FIFO method (first-in, first-out)?
Washing hands before and after each task
Rotating food pans on a buffet line so that the food remains fresh
Marking packaged food items with a use-by date
Storing food items so that the oldest is used first
Question 10 Explanation: 

Because all food becomes less safe over time, it makes sense to use the oldest food first and save the newest foods for later.

Not only does this promote food safety but it also contributes to the overall quality of food in the establishment. It also reduces waste by preventing food from being discarded when it could have been avoided.

Although the FIFO method is effective, it should not replace other rules regarding time and temperature.

Question 11
Why must ground meats be cooked to a higher temperature than whole cuts of meat?
More pathogens reside on the outside of meat and grinding redistributes the pathogens throughout the meat.
Air pockets within the ground meat prevent it from cooking evenly.
Overcooking a whole cut of meat may result in a burnt texture on the surface of the meat.
The grinder used to process ground meats has a higher likelihood of harboring pathogens.
Question 11 Explanation: 

The outside of meat contains more pathogens than the inside. This is because it comes into contact with more surfaces and is more likely to be exposed to conditions that encourage pathogens to multiply.

When whole cuts of meat are cooked, the outside of the meat receives the most intense heat. This will ensure that the pathogens on the outside are killed.

When meats are ground, the outside of the meat blends throughout the meat. For this reason, ground meat should be cooked to a higher internal temperature than whole cuts of meat.

Another reason that ground meat should be cooked to a higher temperature is that it contains more animals. A beef roast contains the meat from one cow. Ground beef could contain the meat from dozens of cattle.

If the meat from one sick cow is ground together with 20 healthy cows, the risk is spread to more people. A higher cooking temperature is an extra precaution for this risk.

Question 12
Where should the scoop for the ice machine be stored between uses?
On top of the ice machine
In a protected and designated location
Inside the ice machine
It should not be stored between use. Always bring the ice scoop to the dish room after each use.
Question 12 Explanation: 

Ice deserves consideration because it's safety risks are often overlooked.

Ice has 2 purposes in a foodservice operation: it can be used as an ingredient in foods/beverages and also to cool food. Although ice is used in different ways, it often comes from the same ice machine. The biggest risk with ice is cross-contamination.

Freezing temperatures do NOT kill pathogens. The ice machine and ice scoop need to be clean and protected.

Ice used to cool foods/beverages should not be reused as an ingredient in foods/beverages. In most cases, ice should only be used for one purpose and then thrown out.

Ice used for raw foods should not be reused for ready to eat foods. Likewise, ice for raw foods that require a higher cooking temperature should not be reused for raw foods that require a lower cooking temperature.

Question 13
Raw ground beef and pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 155°F for how many seconds before serving?
13 seconds
Less than 1 second
17 seconds
15 seconds
Question 13 Explanation: 

All ground and mechanically tenderized meats (except poultry, stuffed meat, and stuffing made with meat) should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 155°F for at least 17 seconds.

Both whole and ground poultry, as well as stuffed meat and stuffings made with meat, should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165°F. There is no time requirement for this temperature - it could be for less than 1 second.

The current "7th Edition ServSafe Manager" textbook states that ground meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of 155°F for 15 seconds.

However, this has been revised to 17 seconds due to changes in the FDA Food Code made after the publication of the 7th Edition ServSafe Manager textbook.

All 7th Edition ServSafe Manager textbooks purchased new after October 2018 include supplements noting this change.

For the purpose of ServSafe Manager exams issued in 2019 and 2020, the following should be noted:

"All ground and mechanically tenderized meats (except poultry, stuffed meat, and stuffing made with meat) should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 155°F for at least 17 seconds."

And also:

"Both whole and ground poultry, as well as stuffed meat and stuffings made with meat, should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F for any amount of time."

Question 14
Which of the following is an acceptable method for cooling hot TCS food before storage?
On the counter at room temperature
In an ice-water bath
In the walk-in cooler
In the freezer
Question 14 Explanation: 

Coolers and freezers are not designed to cool food quickly. All hot TCS food should be cooled before storage.

If a pot of hot chili is placed in the cooler it could take several hours to cool down to 41°F or lower. And during that time it is likely to have been in the temperature danger zone for too long.

Also, hot food could raise the temperature of the entire cooler/freezer and put all of the food inside at risk. Especially the foods stored near it.

Here are some acceptable methods for cooling food:

• Separate the food into smaller containers and place the containers in an ice-water bath. Stirring occasionally will speed up the cooling process.

• An ice paddle is a hallow plastic paddle that can be filled with water and frozen. Then the paddle can be used to stir a large pot and cool it quickly.

• Use ice or ice water as an ingredient for soups or stews. Plan ahead and use less water than the recipe calls for. Then add ice or ice water as the last step before storage.

• A blast chiller is designed to cool large amounts of food quickly by blasting cold air across it. But most operations are not equipped with this device.

Question 15
If a TCS food will be hot-held for service, what is the minimum internal temperature that this food must maintain while being held?
Question 15 Explanation: 

TCS food that is being hot-held for service should maintain a temperature of at least 135°F. And if the food falls below 135°F for 4 hours or more, it should be thrown out.

Your operation should establish policies to check the temperature of hot-held foods at least every 4 hours. And if after checking the food every 4 hours it's found to be below 135°F it should be thrown out. This is because the food could have been below 135°F for the entire 4 hours.

But if your operation chooses to check the temperature every 2 hours and it's found to be below 135°F, there is time for corrective action. The food could be quickly reheated back to 135°F and still be safe to eat.

Question 16
Which unused items may be re-served to another customer?
You should never re-serve unused food items
Open condiments, such as a dish of salsa
Prepackaged items such as soup crackers
Garnishes, such as a sprig of parsley
Question 16 Explanation: 

Only unopened prepackaged food in good condition and bottles of ketchup, mustard, and other condiments (as long as they remain closed between uses) can be re-served to another guest.

Do NOT re-serve uncovered condiments such as salsa, dressings or dips. Also, do not mix old condiments with new and then re-serve it to another guest.

Do NOT re-serve food returned by one guest to another guest.

All uneaten or opened food should be thrown away.

Question 17
Handwashing stations are required in which area?
In food prep, service, and dishwashing areas.
Near areas designated for smoke breaks
Near chemical, dirty linen, and garbage storage areas
All of these
Question 17 Explanation: 

Staff should wash their hands frequently throughout their shift. So handwashing stations should be placed in areas that make this easy to do.

Handwashing stations are required in food prep, service, and dishwashing areas. And these sinks should only be used for handwashing.

Question 18
What is the best approach to dealing with pests?
Work with a licensed pest control operator (PCO)
All of these
Deny pests access to the operation
Deny pests food, water, and shelter
Question 18 Explanation: 

Prevention is critical when dealing with pests because once there is an infestation, it can be difficult to deal with.

Deny pests access to the operation. Pests can enter the establishment with deliveries. Inspect all packages for signs of pests. Chewing, nesting debris, insect parts (wings, legs) and feces are signs of pests. If signs of pests are found, the delivery should be rejected.

Holes in the wall or ceiling should be repaired quickly. Windows and vents should be covered with screens. Install self-closing doors or air-curtains. An "air-curtain" is large fans installed above and below the entryway creating a blast of wind that people can walk through but flying insects cannot fly through.

Deny pests food water and shelter by throwing out garbage often. Store recyclables in clean pest-proof containers. Clean up spills quickly and do not allow water to accumulate on floors or in sinks, etc.

Always work with a licensed pest control operator (PCO) if an infestation is suspected. Poisonous or toxic materials should only be applied by a certified applicator.

Question 19
What is the proper sequence to effectively sanitize dishware, utensils, and equipment?
Scrape - wash - sanitize - rinse - air dry
Scrape - wash - rinse - sanitize - air dry
Scrape - rinse - wash - sanitize - air dry
Scrape - sanitize - wash - rinse - air dry
Question 19 Explanation: 

This is the correct process for cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces:

1) Scrape to remove any food or debris from the surface.

2) Use a cloth towel to wash the surface with a cleaning solution.

3) Rinse the surface with clean water.

4) Sanitize the surface with the correct concentration of the sanitizing agent. Allow at least 7 to 30 seconds for the sanitizer to work. (According to the manufacturer's recommendations)

5) Allow the surface too air-dry.

Question 20
How should a cloth used for wet-wiping be stored?
In a bucket of sanitizing solution
Never reuse wet-wipe clothes without washing them first
Hang wet clothes in an area that prevents dripping onto food contact surfaces
Store them dry and only mix with a sanitizing solution before each use
Question 20 Explanation: 
Clothes used for wet-wiping counters and other equipment should be stored in a bucket of sanitizer solution. Clothes used to clean surfaces exposed to raw TCS foods should be stored in a separate bucket to prevent cross-contamination.
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