Enjoying food safely is of the utmost importance to anyone within the food service industry. Unsafe food is the quickest way to lose customers and to lose your legal ability to maintain your operation. Don’t fret! We have some of the easiest ways to prevent poor food safety. They are a lot simpler than you may think.
Tip 1: Ensure Proper Temperature Retention
One of the most important aspects of maintaining proper food safety ensures it is always out of the “danger zone.” The USDA marks the danger zone as anything between 40- 140° F. This is the temperature that bacteria grow at the highest rate. Keeping food within this zone for as little as 20 minutes can double the number of unsafe bacteria found on the food. How can you ensure food is kept at a safe temperature?
- Keep dishes in a heated cabinet or refrigeration unit.
- Be sure to carry a thermometer and use it often.
- Find Insulated carriers and cabinets if possible, they offer further temperature protection
- Chose an easy-to-adjust heated cabinet for transporting
Tip 2: Avoid Cross-Contamination
Another critical aspect of food safety is avoiding any cross contamination. Cross- contaminating food can be a deadly mistake caused by negligence, disorganization, or a lack of general food safety knowledge. Contamination is hazardous to the person receiving the meal, whether it is bacterial contamination or an allergen. Here are some ways to avoid cross contamination.
- Organize storage- one of the easiest ways to prevent contamination is merely staying organized in a cooler use the cooler hierarchy. Also, be sure to clean often and to ensure that each item has a distinct place.
- Safe Prep- handling food is stressful. We’ll admit it. Going from ticket to ticket trying to keep areas clean and remembering to change gloves can be extremely difficult. It is, however, one of the easiest ways to ensure that the food you prepare will be safe for your patrons to consume.
- If you suspect contamination, just get rid of it! There is no salvaging when people’s health is on the line.
Tip 3: Keep it Clean.
It may sound redundant, but keep areas with food clean. Having an improperly sterilized work area is all it takes to cause illness to your patrons. To help ensure that these areas are safe, here is what we suggest.
- Set a schedule- make sure that your kitchen has a cleaning schedule and assigned jobs.
- Post sanitation requirements, visual reminders can help remind staff that they need to focus on cleaning correctly.
- Select heated/ refrigeration units that disassemble for easy cleaning