When running a commercial kitchen, food safety is one of the most important responsibilities. If you do not safely store, handle and prepare food, you could lose customers or even your business. The CDC says that 1 in 6 people has gotten sick due to poor food safety, so you should make this issue a priority. As commercial refrigeration experts, we would like to offer some advice on how to keep your food safe for customers.
Promote Clean Habits
Food safety starts with the people handling the food. Making sure your staff is ready to safely prepare food is the first step. Promote hand washing and general proper hygiene, including hair nets for relevant staff members. If a worker is sick, do not allow them to prepare food. In fact, it is probably best to send them home, even if you are short staffed, to avoid contamination entirely.
Keep the Kitchen Clean
Once your employees get to work, make sure they handle food properly. Everyone who touches food needs to wear gloves. Make sure they store food properly and label it by date, then wash it and cook it the right way. Avoid cross contamination, which causes some foods to spoil faster. All cooking equipment must be cleaned and sanitized regularly, especially tools that directly interact with food products. By thoroughly training your staff, you can avoid most food safety issues.
Store Food Properly
To promote food safety, keep the food itself safe. Make sure to keep dry goods dry and cold foods cold. Keep refrigerators at 41 degrees or below and freezers at 0 degrees. Stand by the rule of FIFO, or “first in, first out,” by making sure everything is properly labeled and rotated. Thaw food properly to make sure extra bacteria is not let in.
Don’t Let Food Sit Out
Just like cold food staying cold, hot food needs to stay hot. Hot food must be kept at or above 140 degrees, and it can with the help of chafing dishes or warming trays. In as little as 20 minutes, food can fall into what is called the danger zone, a temperature where bacteria multiply rapidly. Perishable food sometimes contains Salmonella and other bacteria. To avoid contamination by these types of bacteria, do not leave refrigerated food out for more than 2 hours at a time.
At All Temp, the safety of you and your customers is our top priority. We are here to help with any commercial refrigeration need, from installation to maintenance and repair. We offer emergency repairs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To learn more about our services, contact us online or give us a call at (407) 857-7800.