Tag Archives: food safety

Top 10 Food Safety Tips for the Restaurant Kitchens

food safety

American consumers are becoming more and more concerned with where their food comes from, how it is prepared and whether or not it is actually safe to eat. Allay any food safety fears your customers may have by following these food safety tips

1. Be sure all staff and managers are properly trained.

Shift managers, general managers and staff must have proper food safety knowledge because the health inspector will ask questions, and a restaurant can be fined for showing inadequate knowledge of safe food handling practices. There are several options available to have staff certified in food safety

2. Wash your hands.

One of the main culprits of foodborne illnesses is person-to-person contact resulting from dirty employee hands. Restaurant employees must regularly and thoroughly wash their hands in order to protect customers and the restaurant from a food poisoning outbreak.

3. Wash all produce.

Fresh produce is not always cooked before serving, so washing by hand is the only way to remove any bacteria that may be on the surface.

4. Properly store refrigerated foods.

Refrigerators must maintain a temperature at or below 40 °F to minimize bacterial growth. Also, refrigerated foods can only be stored for a certain amount of time before they start to go bad.

  1. Cook foods to appropriate temperatures.

In order to kill any bacteria present, foods must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature and sustain that temperature for at least 15 seconds.

6. Clean and sanitize all food contact surfaces.

Countertops, cutting boards, utensils, pots and pans and employee hands are all food contact surfaces that must be cleaned and sanitized before and after they touch food items.

  1. Perform self inspections.

Walking through your establishment once or twice a month will help you identify any potential food safety concerns. You can download a self health inspection form or ask your health inspector for some of their forms, so you know exactly what areas pose the greatest risk.

  1. 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 foodborne illness outbreaks.

  1. Regularly check temperatures.

Food either in commercial refrigeration or warming and holding equipment needs to be checked every two hours to assure that it is not in the food Danger Zone. It is sufficient to just check the equipment thermometer on refrigerated foods to assure that they are within safe levels. But for prepared foods, like soups and buffet items, it is necessary to check the food’s internal temperature to assure that it is above 140 °F.

10. Check all incoming food shipments.

Food can be contaminated anywhere along the supply chain, so it is important that food service operators purchase foods from approved sources and know when to accept or reject fresh meat, poultry and seafood.

Advertisements

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW…Restaurant Food Safety

Think twice before ordering lemon in your water. 70 precent of lemons used to sweeten up restaurant beverages showed signs of microbial growth, according to a study published in the Journal of Envrionmental Health. The researchers tested 76 lemons at 21 different restaurants to find the tart truth. Among the bacteria found was E. Coli and Entrococcus, which usually inhabits the lower intestine. According to the report, some of the germs “could have come from fingertips of a restaurant employee via human fecal or raw-meat or poultry contamination, they might have contaminated the lemons before they even arrived at the restaurant.”

Food Processing Company Cheating on Safety Testing

A Georgia food processor linked to a deadly salmonella outbreak shipped thousands of pounds of peanut products after learning its products were contaminated and cheated on testing, a former plant manager testified Monday.Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell, and two others. shipped peanuts to companies in Missouri, Illinois and other points after receiving laboratory warnings that product samples had tested positive for salmonella. In other instances, the company cheated on safety testing by switching samples, Lightsey said. In one instance, company records show the firm requested testing on a sample of peanut paste made for Kellogg’s before plant workers actually made the paste. examined photographs showing evidence of water leaks and sanitation problems inside the plant. Salmonella can be spread when outside water carrying contaminants seeps into a food processing facility. The photographs showed mold and mildew, water stains under a vent in a packaging room and condensation around plant fans. workers kept a pellet gun inside the facility so they could shoot birds that got inside. multiple areas in the plant were leaking,” workers would cover food products with plastic to keep them dry. Prosecutors accuse Parnell and his brother and food broker, Michael Parnell, of shipping contaminated peanut products used in foods including peanut butter crackers, ice cream and candied apples. They also say the brothers covered up tests that confirmed the presence of salmonella in their shipments. Stewart Parnell and the Georgia plant’s quality assurance manager, Mary Wilkerson, are also charged with obstructing justice. Lightsey, who pleaded guilty to seven criminal counts.