Food safety can be improved by developing a list of rules and guidelines for your staff always to follow. Restaurant food safety starts in the kitchen, which is why it is important to train staff on how to prevent foodborne illnesses.
The best way to improve food safety in your restaurant is to be aware of the risks and how to mitigate them. Companies hiring food service workers must make sure they are compliant with their state's safe serve laws. Compliance means verifying their hiring staff is at least 18 years old, checking the criminal record, and holding a Food Safe Certification. These are valid within five years after a completed test. Management can always update or get a new employee certified by having staff visit Servsafe.com
Management should also have a system in place for monitoring food safety and correcting any issues as they happen. An awareness and monitoring system is essential in fast-paced environments like restaurants, where the pace of work can make mistakes easy without anyone noticing.
Restaurants can help keep their guests safe by keeping food at the right temperature and handling raw meat properly. For example, cooked foods must be kept above 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and all foods must be stored at a proper temperature, usually between 39 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Restaurants should also keep clean dishware and utensils, sanitize hands, and avoid cross-contamination between raw meats and cooked foods.
Content GuideHow to improve restaurant food safety
Food Safety Restaurant Guide
Food safety is one of the most important aspects of operating a restaurant. It is not only imperative for public health but also for maintaining a positive reputation among customers. Food safety is an important detail when wanting to prevent foodborne illnesses; making sure the food is cooked to the correct temperature, storing food correctly, and staff washing hands are a few ways to help prevent foodborne illnesses.
Others Food Safety Practices Include:
Practice proper surface sanitation
Kitchen surfaces such as cutting boards, scales, meat grinders, and other equipment should be cleaned immediately after use. This cleaning process will help prevent the spread of bacteria that may be present on these surfaces.
Some processes that will help restaurants keep each area sanitary:
- Clean kitchen surfaces after use and daily with disinfectant, soap, and water.
- Avoid putting cooked food directly onto a kitchen counter or table, as this can transfer germs from hands or cooking surfaces onto the fresh food.
- Rinse all Produce before using (Fruits, Vegetables, etc.). This ensures that no pesticides or bacteria are present
- Prepare and Store Foods at Safe Temperatures. This ensures that no food has been held in the danger zone ( between 41°F and 135°F)
- Refrigerate foods promptly. Ensure food is properly refrigerated within two hours after use or purchase. Refrigerators must be kept under 40 degrees, and Freezers have to be below 0 degrees.
Wash hands frequently
Washing your hands regularly is one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of germs and avoid getting sick. The CDC recommends that staff wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds to avoid contracting any illnesses.
Hand sanitizers are also a good option if the staff cannot access soap and water, especially in a public place where germs are common. Avoid touching face, nose, and mouth until washed hands, and then wash hands after touching face, nose, and mouth. Stay away from others if feeling unwell, and do not return to work until feeling better.
Washing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds will kill most of the germs, and staff should always use warm water, as it will open pores, making it easier for the soap to clean hands. PH level is also important, as the right pH will kill bacteria. Most soaps have a pH between 9 and 11, which is alkaline and perfect for cleaning hands.
Properly clean food before cooking
Food must be cleaned before being cooked to avoid transferring bacteria from the raw ingredients to cooked dishes. Food must first be cleaned of dirt, stones, and other contaminants. Then, it must be washed with clean water to remove any bacteria. To avoid contamination, it is important to keep raw food away from cooked food during the cleaning process.
Also, ensure to properly clean any dishes and utensils that come in contact with raw meat. Staff can wash dishes in hot water and sanitizing solutions when needed. Washing hands with soap and water thoroughly, especially before handling meat, can help prevent the spreading of bacteria and germs.
Keep track of food recalls
Food recalls are issued when a manufacturer determines that a food product might be unsafe due to a health risk. Recalls happen when a manufacturer finds a problem with its product or when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determines that a product is unsafe. Food recalls are important to follow because they can help avoid foods that might make the customer sick. Restaurants can sign up for email alerts from the FDA to keep up to date on current food recalls. Restaurants can also use an app to learn about food recalls, like Food Safety Now. These apps will track news about food recalls and receive notifications, so restaurants do not miss out on important information.
Label food names and best-before dates
Best-before dates are when a product expires, the quality might not be compromised, but the product has reached the best standard before it will be out of stock. Labeling food items in a restaurant is important for the safety of both staff and customers. Labeling menus and food items also help customers with allergies or other dietary restrictions. Restaurants can use many different food label types in the kitchen, including date marks, expiration dates, sell-by dates, and best-by dates.
The best way to ensure that everything is labeled correctly is to create a system for keeping track of this process and all the food currently in the kitchen
Keep a log of when new food comes in, and out.
Label any frozen foods that need to be kept in the freezer.
Label any refrigerated foods that need to be kept in the fridge.
Label any open packages of food that are being used in a dish that will be served to guests.
Some tips for tracking food and improving the labeling process:
Store food at the right temperature
Food safety begins with the correct temperature. The USDA recommends keeping perishable food stored in the refrigerator at 40°F or below. The ideal temperature for frozen food is 0°F or below. Perishable foods such as meat, dairy, seafood, and eggs must be kept at a temperature. Keep a close eye on food during the thawing process to ensure it does not exceed 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to keep cold foods cold (below 40 degrees) and hot foods hot (above 165 degrees) to avoid food contamination.
Keep raw meats separate from ready-to-eat foods, such as produce and cooked foods. Keep foods with similar storage needs together - for example, eggs and produce. Use a thermometer to make sure refrigerators are between 35 and 40 degrees. Furthermore, do not forget the freezers - foods should be kept at -18 degrees or lower.
Contamination can happen when one food (say, a slice of deli meat) comes into contact with different foods (say, a serving spoon) that has come into contact with something else (say, raw meat). Cross-contamination can also happen when one food is contaminated and comes into contact with other foods. For example, if raw meat comes into contact with the serving spoon, then the spoon can spread bacteria to other foods. Ensure that staff follows proper protocol when touching food surfaces, glassware, or serving utensils. By following proper guidelines, staff should also ensure not to transfer bacteria from one food to another. For example, make sure not to use the same knife or cutting board for other foods like cheese or salads when slicing meat.
Maintain your restaurant equipment
Maintaining restaurant equipment will go a long way to prevent food contamination and keep customers happy. Regular maintenance can prevent up to 50 percent of equipment breakdowns and reduce the risk of dangerous food contamination. Invest in a good maintenance plan and ensure staff is trained on the best practices for cleaning, repairing, and general upkeep of restaurant equipment.
One of the most important things to remember is ensuring restaurant equipment is thoroughly cleaned. Sanitizer alone is not enough; restaurants need a thorough cleaning process for short-term and long-term restaurant equipment upkeep to ensure no contaminants are left behind. Contaminants can lead to illness and even allergies, leading to bad reviews and lawsuits.
How Does Induction Improve Food Safety In Your Restaurant?
Induction cooking heats food from the inside out, which reduces the risk of cross-contamination. Reduce the fire risk when using induction instead of gas or electric. Also more likely to keep a constant temperature, which prevents food safety issues like bacterial growth. Induction is extremely efficient, and most induction cooktops can produce the same power as a standard light bulb.
Because induction cooking generates electromagnetic fields, it creates an exact temperature and energy profile that allows it to be programmed to accommodate any food, from delicate fish to frozen French fries. As a result, it significantly reduces the risk of foodborne illness caused by over- or under-cooking.
Induction cooking also enables greater control over the consistency of the cooking process, which reduces the risk of serving under-cooked foods to customers with allergies or other medical conditions who depend on a specific cooking profile.
Why Is Food Safety Important?
Food safety is important because consuming foods that are contaminated with pathogens can cause foodborne illnesses. Foodborne illnesses can be uncomfortable and even life-threatening, especially for people with compromised immune systems.
The CDC estimates that about one in six Americans (roughly 49 million people) get sick each year from food poisoning, and about 128,000 are hospitalized due to foodborne illnesses. The CDC has determined that following sound food safety practices can prevent most foodborne illnesses in the U.S..
In the United States, foodborne illness results in about 130,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths yearly. Globally, foodborne illness is estimated to cause about half a million deaths yearly. Food safety is important for everyone, but it is especially critical for people with weakened immune systems, such as young children, the elderly, and people with diabetes, allergies, or asthma.
Some rules of thumb are:
Keep cold foods cold (below 40 degrees) and hot foods hot (above 165 degrees).
Throw out foods if they have been above 140 degrees for more than two hours.
Wash hands with soap before handling food.
Keep hot foods out of the "danger zone" (between 40 and 140 degrees) as much as possible.
Food Safety Standards in the restaurant industry
The government sets food safety standards to protect consumers from foodborne illnesses. These regulations are in place to ensure that food is safe to eat by limiting the risk of foodborne illnesses through good handling, preparation, and storage of food.
One of the most important regulations for restaurants is food safety – ensuring that the food served does not cause illness. Food safety is essential for restaurants, as many people rely on them for most meals.
Another critical aspect of food safety in the restaurant industry is ensuring that employees are appropriately trained in food safety practices. Poor handling, preparation, and storage of food lead to illness. One of the most important regulations for restaurants is food safety – ensuring that the food served does not cause illness.
The following tips can help improve restaurants' food safety practices:
Choose foods processed for safety.
Keep cutting boards clean and organized.
Cook food thoroughly.
Eat cooked foods immediately.
Store cooked foods carefully.
Reheat cooked foods thoroughly.
Avoid contact between raw foods and cooked foods.
Wash hands repeatedly.
Keep all kitchen surfaces meticulously clean.