Food Safety became the hot topic in the restaurant industry. It would be too late to pay attention to food safety after it hurt your restaurant’s reputation. Bend food safety rules and you risk not only contamination issues but a PR nightmare if your restaurant is associated with any kind of food poisoning. Stringent food safety laws are in place that must be followed to ensure that diners are safe, but at the core of your food safety policy should be the following food safety fundamentals. In 2014, more and more restauranteurs realize how important food safety is for their business, and being food safe become their new year’s resolution.
Here are food safety tips you can apply to your restaurant & kitchen:
1) Wash hands — for 20 seconds with soap and running water
Make a hand sink easily accessible, supplied with soap and paper towels. Washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and running water can better help to stop the spread of illness-causing bacteria.
And here’re when to do it:
Before eating food.
Before, during, and after preparing food.
Before and after treating a cut or wound.
Before and after caring for someone who is sick.
After handling uncooked eggs, or raw meat, poultry, seafood, or their juices.
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
After touching an animal or animal waste.
After touching garbage.
After using the toilet.
2) Prepare or heat foods that are held in a steamtable as close to service time as possible
If food has to be prepared much in advance, the food should be chilled to below 45°F before re-heating and then be put in the steamtable. Do not use Steamtables, warmers or other similar food service equipment to heat or re-heat. To heat or re-heat foods, bring them to a minimum temperature of 165°F as quick and as safe as possible without burning or scorching.
3) Wash fruits and veggies—but not meat, poultry, or eggs
Even if you plan to peel fruits and veggies—it’s important to wash them first because bacteria can spread from the outside to the inside as you cut or peel them. Why not wash meat, poultry, and eggs? Because washing raw meat and poultry can actually help bacteria spread, and their juices may splash onto your sink and countertops. All commercial eggs are washed before sale. Any extra handling of the eggs, such as washing, may actually increase the risk of cross-contamination, especially if the shell becomes cracked. 4) Wash surfaces and utensils after each use
Bacteria can be spread throughout the kitchen and get onto cutting boards, utensils, and counter tops. To prevent this, you can use wiping cloths and a sanitizing solution regularly to wipe down work tables, cutting boards and other surfaces that are frequently used for different foods. Please, wash and rinse the the wiping cloth and put the cloth into a sanitizing solution after each use. Also, the sanitizing solution should be changed frequently to prevent contamination.
5) Know your local health codes
State and county health departments are the direct enforcers of local, state and federal health regulations. When opening or operating a commercial kitchen, it is important to know the local health codes to avoid fines and prevent food-borne illness outbreaks.
6) More Tips:
-Use separate, colored cutting boards for different cooked and raw foods. Sanitize after each use.
-Use tasting spoons. Do not taste food with fingers or with kitchen utensils.
- Rotate inventory regularly and always observe a first in, first out (FIFO) policy.
-Last but not least, perform self-inspections through your establishment once or twice a month will help you identify any potential food safety concerns.