Every restaurant wants to provide not only the best tasting food, but food that is safe to consume. Below are 10 food safety tips you should follow to ensure you are protecting your employees and restaurant customers alike.
1. Wash your hands. Those that prepare the food in a restaurant should be regularly washing their hands. This should especially be done before and after handling any raw foods. Contact after working with raw meats or produce can infect already cooked items.
2. Wash your produce. Wash produce, even if it looks clean. If eating a fruit that can be peeled, scrub the surface to be sure any germs on the outside do not make their way into the interior section.
4. Replace serving plates. If fresh food is placed on an old tray, then the food becomes contaminated.
5. Take advantage of food thermometers. Use a food thermometer and be aware of minimum cooking temperatures for each item. If an exact temperature is not provided, know the characteristics of the food to know when it is ready to serve. For example, different seafood items have certain colors or textures once they are properly prepared.
6. Find the right hot temperature. Keep your hot foods at 140 degrees F or above by using the right food warming equipment. Before cooking, thaw frozen meat in a fridge, microwave, or under running water.
7. Find the right cold temperature. Keep your cold foods at 40 degrees F or below. Foods – hot or cold – should never sit out on a counter for longer than two hours. Blast chillers and shock freezers are great for keeping foods out of the “danger zone” and rapidly bring foods down to a safe temperature.
8. Use two cutting boards. Be sure to have two cutting boards in the kitchen – one for raw meats and one for ready-to-eat foods. This will keep the risk of cross-contamination at bay. Many commercial kitchens use color coded cutting boards and knives to help alleviate this problem.