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In Summary: Food safety in the restaurant- 9 tips

In Summary: Food safety in the restaurant- 9 tips

In the restaurant industry, businesses must adhere to prep, storage and cooking regulations to ensure food is safe for customers. Failure to comply with food safety standards can lead to serious illness and financial consequences.
By prioritizing food safety in restaurants, companies can protect their employees and guests from harmful bacteria and focus on providing the best possible customer service.

9 food safety tips in restaurants

Improper food safety can lead to foodborne illnesses, which can lead to infection and even death. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that approximately 48 million Americans develop foodborne infections each year, causing nearly 3,000 deaths.
However, by following food safety best practices, restaurants can ensure that facilities are hygienic and that food is safe for consumption

1. Keep the Kitchen

Clean is one of the main ingredients of food safety as it prevents cross contamination, spoilage and the spread of germs.
Staff should be trained to wash their hands between tasks, even if they stay in the kitchen. With proper hand washing, hands are scrubbed with antibacterial soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Then the hands should be dried thoroughly with a fresh cloth or paper towel
Workers should wash their hands immediately afterwards-
• Use of the bathroom
• Dealing with raw meat, fish or poultry
• Take out garbage
• Wash dirty dishes
• A smoke break
• On the phone
• Eat lunch
Sneezing, coughing or touching your own face

2. Clean Messes Immediately

Apart from the fact that restaurants always have to keep their kitchen and dining area clean. When orders get in and out of the kitchen, things are easily spilled, misplaced and broken, creating a messy work area.
This fast paced environment makes it easy to compromise and forget about security protocols. Managers must ensure that employees clean up the clutter immediately and maintain an organized, secure workstation.
The kitchen staff must:
• Immediately delete dirty plates to avoid contact with freshly cooked food.
• Wipe all surfaces throughout the day to remove leftover food and liquid particles.
• Rinse the dishes constantly to gain access to clean utensils and dishes.
• Disassemble and clean ovens, ovens, flat tops, grills and hoods every day.
• Organize prep areas and make sure all ingredients are placed correctly
• Replace the prep pans daily

3. Check internal temperatures

Food must reach safe internal cooking temperatures in order to be considered safe for consumption. When foods are not fully cooked, bacteria have a chance to grow and infect consumers. Therefore, restaurants need to use a food thermometer to ensure ingredients are at the correct internal temperatures:
• 160 F- ground beef, including beef, turkey and chicken
• 165 F- Poultry, stuffed foods, casseroles, meat with microwave meat
• 155 F-sausage and hamburgers
• 145 F- Eggs, Pork, Fish, and Beef
• 135 F- Vegetables, soups and ready-to-eat food handling

4. Chilled foods

Even after a dish has been properly cooked, foodborne bacteria can still fester if the food is improperly stored.
In general, food can sit out for two hours at room temperature before needing to be refrigerated. After two hours, the dish enters the 40-140 F danger zone, where bacteria grow the fastest. Freezing food significantly slows bacterial growth, preserves dishes and reduces food waste.
If employees are unsure how long they have been eating, they should discard it immediately.

5. Avoid cross contamination

Cooked and raw ingredients should never be stored or cooked together as they contain different types of bacteria that can contaminate each other. They should be labeled and kept on separate shelves, with raw ingredients closer to the bottom to avoid drips from contaminating other food.
Employees must ensure that they use different tools such as cutting boards and knives when preparing food. This is important not only to prevent the spread of bacteria, but also allergens like pine nuts and seafood. Restaurants can determine a specific color of cutlery and crockery for each food in order to avoid cross-contamination.

6. Keep hands covered

During busy rushes, employees don't always have time to wash their hands between stations. In this case, workers should ensure that they wear disposable gloves and replace them when handling different ingredients.
Gloves are, however, in direct contact with food, e.g. B. when putting together a sandwich or a pizza, absolutely mandatory. Even if the employees stay in a station, they have to change their gloves regularly, as bacteria can linger on surfaces for a long time.

7. Regularly replace disposable tools

In addition to gloves, other disposable tools such as utensils, dishes, sponges and rags also have to be replaced frequently. Especially for detergents as they can make surfaces dirtier if they are not routinely replaced.
Sponges should be thrown away every other day and towels should be washed every day to prevent the spread of germs.

8. Prioritizing employee and customer health

While employees in every industry are encouraged to stay home while sick, it is vital for restaurant workers to isolate themselves when sick to avoid infecting customers. The kitchen staff, servers, buses, bartenders, supervisors and cashiers have to take all sick days seriously.
Employees should stay at home when they occur:
• Diarrhea or vomiting
• Confirmed infection diagnosis
• Infected wounds
• Sneezing, coughing, runny nose
• Flu-like symptoms
• High temperature

9. Monitor employee behavior

Especially after a long day, employees tend to skip safety rules such as removing garbage, changing food trays and freshening up condiments. While these tasks may appear different, failure to follow safety precautions and practices can lead to disease and the spread of germs.
By strengthening proper food safety, restaurants can maintain cleanliness throughout their operations:
• Hair should be pulled back and in a hair net, including facial hair.
• Fingernails should be short and clean.
• Jewelry should be left at home.
• Managers should closely monitor employees to ensure that all employees are performing their duties and practicing adequate food safety.

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