8 Food Safety Guidelines for Successful Restaurants in 2023
Last updated on September 12th, 2023 at 04:59 pm
When it comes to the bustling world of commercial kitchens, where delicious meals are crafted with precision and flair, one thing always takes the spotlight—food safety.
Whether you’re a chef, kitchen manager, or server, understanding and implementing food safety guidelines is the foundation upon which culinary excellence is built.
In this blog, we embark on a journey into the realm of food safety within commercial kitchens.
These eight essential guidelines are your compass for maintaining the highest standards of safety and hygiene in your kitchen.
1. Hand Washing
In commercial kitchens, clean hands are a top priority. Hand sinks are required in all commercial kitchens to ensure the most basic safety act.
Always wash your hands with soap and warm water before starting work, after using the restroom, touching your face, or handling raw food. Scrub for at least 20 seconds and use disposable towels to dry.
Handwashing helps prevent the spread of harmful germs that can make people sick.
Cross-contamination can transfer harmful bacteria and cause foodborne illnesses.
Keep raw foods separate from ready-to-eat items like salads.
Use different colored cutting boards and kitchen utensils for raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Properly storing cooked and raw meats is also very important to understand. Store raw meats and poultry below cooked foods in the fridge to prevent drips.
Check out our Tips for Preventing Cross Contamination blog for more in-depth information.
3. Proper Cooking Temperatures
Always cook food to the necessary minimum internal temperature to kill bacteria.
Incomplete cooking can leave dangerous microbes alive and cause illness.
Use a food thermometer to check doneness. For instance, chicken should reach 165°F (73.9°C), ground beef should hit 160°F (71.1°C), and fish should be at 145°F (62.8°C).
For a deep dive into proper food temperatures, view our Finding the Right Temp blog.
4. Food Storage
Store foods in secure containers when serving, transporting, and storing cooked and raw foods.
For cooked foods, it is important to cool them down efficiently to avoid the “danger zone.”
This zone is between 40°F – 140°F. Refrigerators should be at 40°F (4.4°C) or lower, while freezers should be at 0°F (-17.8°C). Some operators choose to use blast chillers to quickly and safely chill hot foods.
Label food containers with dates to track freshness and avoid using food past its prime. Store raw meat and seafood on the lowest shelves to prevent drips onto other items.
5. Proper Food Handling
Wear clean disposable gloves when handling ready-to-eat food.
Change gloves when switching tasks or if they become soiled. Avoid touching your face, hair, or any dirty surfaces while wearing gloves.
Gloves should be a barrier to protect food, not a source of contamination.
6. Cleaning and Sanitizing
Pay attention to cutting boards, countertops, and high-touch areas like doorknobs.
Daily cleaning helps prevent the buildup of germs that can alter food taste and cause illness.
7. Communicate and Train Employees
Your staff members are your allies when it comes to safety and sanitation, and their compliance and understanding is crucial to your restaurant or food service operation’s success.
Communicate the importance of food safety and sanitation with your team, including the reasons why it is important.
Provide safety trainings regularly to keep up with new ideas. ServSafe is an excellent service for training kitchen staffs.
8. Personal Hygiene
Your kitchen staff is your first line of defense. Maintain good personal hygiene by wearing clean uniforms and hairnets or hats.
Avoid working when sick.
Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing and wash your hands immediately afterwards. Personal hygiene in a commercial kitchen is not just a matter of appearances but a critical safeguard. It ensures that the food prepared and served to customers is safe and free from potential contaminants.
Conclusion: Food Safety Guidelines
Each of these guidelines can be elaborated on more, however you can learn the basics from this article. Take on these simple guidelines and create a more food safe kitchen in your business. Food safety can help your customers feel more at ease, while improving the reputation of your kitchen.
Go forth and use these essential principles to ensure that all your culinary creations are safe for all to enjoy.