Nearly everybody is concerned about food safety. This is why a good number of people cannot stomach food prepared outside their kitchen. It is almost impossible to meet a person who has never had an unpleasant encounter with one of the foodborne illnesses. These diseases may emanate from consumption of food that is contaminated with toxic chemicals, microbial pathogens, or radioactive materials. Unfortunately, while most of the foodborne diseases only cause some discomfort, and are easily treatable, some of them are severe, and may even result in death. The majority of foodborne diseases outbreaks originating from restaurants are associated with improper food handling by the employees. Restaurant workers should be guided by the following principles of safe food handling namely:
• Proper hand washing
• Prevention of food contamination
• The use of gloves
• Ensuring that food is cooked to the recommended temperature
• Keeping heated food hot and cooled food cold
• Reheating food to the recommended temperature
Besides observing the above principles, there are numerous other ways through which restaurant owners and employees can ensure food safety. They include:
The 2-Hour Rule
If you leave perishables at room temperature for more than two hours, discard them. Assign a member of staff to keep watch over food stations for food products to be swapped out as needed. This advice should also be extended to the takeaway customers.
Keep The Food Prep Area Clean
Make it a habit to clean food preparation workspaces to reduce cross contamination. Also, choose specific areas where food can be prepared. This may seem like a lot of extra work, however, without it, your kitchen very well could be considered dangerous. It is always much better safe than sorry.
First In First Out Rule
Each time there is a new shipment of supplies, the older supplies should be pulled to the front to give the new supplies space. This way, foods nearly expiration will be consumed before they expire – to reduce wastage and health risks.
Food Management System
Technology has simplified processes and activities in the restaurants, and other business environments as well. Systems from firms such as SensoScientific, Inc. are helping restaurant owners and managers to keep track of their foods and food supplies, and consequently ensure food safety. Invest in a system or software with the potential to automate your food safety checklist.
The World Health Organization defines food safety as the process of limiting the presence of dangerous elements – whether acute or chronic – capable of harming the health of the consumers. It goes beyond food handling and preparation, to include production and storage. The primary objective is to prevent potential contamination and infection along the food production chains, to promote wholesomeness and quality of food, and in turn, guarantee good health.