Hazard Symbols Defined

When you’re working in the food industry, there is a range of knowledge that is necessary to be an expert in your field. You need to understand everything from cross-contamination, how to prevent an allergic reaction to foods, to how to store foods and you need to understand the hazard symbols and their meanings. At Nutri-Rific, we offer food safety classes that cover these topics and more. In our OSHA training, we cover hazard symbols and their definitions.

Here are some basics of the nine most common hazard symbols

Health Hazard

The symbol features a silhouette of a person with a starfish-shaped white design across its chest. This symbol is a warning for a cancer-causing agent. Over time, the substance can cause respiratory, reproductive, or organ toxicity damage.


A graphic of a flame with a horizontal line below it, this symbol warns against a flammable material or substance. The material or substance could self-ignite when exposed to water or air.

Exclamation Mark

As the name suggests, this symbol is an exclamation mark. This is warning against a skin, eye, respiratory tract irritant, or narcotic.

Gas Cylinder

The symbol looks like a long popsicle and is a warning for gases that are stored under pressure. These gases could include ammonia or liquid nitrogen.


The graphic is of two narrow beakers pouring a liquid onto a hand and a surface. Corrosive materials can cause burns or eye damage on contact.

Exploding Bomb

A graphic of a bomb exploding, this is warning against organic peroxides that are unstable and could self-react.

Flame Over Circle

A flame on top of a circle sitting on a horizontal line, this warns against oxidizers that make fires burn longer and hotter.

Skull and Crossbones

This recognizable symbol warns against poisons and concentrated acids which are severely toxic.

Environmental Hazard

A graphic of a dead tree and fish, this warns against a chemical that is toxic to aquatic wildlife.

Are you ready to start your training to work in the foodservice industry? Browse the food safety classes offers by Nutri-Rific and sign up for an online class today.