Health & Wellness

Know what you eat: Importance of food safety in restaurants

When running a restaurant one of the worst things that can happen to anyone is a customer getting ill from the food that is being served there.

Know what you eat: Importance of food safety in restaurants

Not only is there the guilt of making somebody sick but there is also the added disgrace for the business, which could then result in loss of profit. Food poisoning of a customer could also lead to lengthy and expensive lawsuits.

Regulations
In order to avoid these problems, it is imperative that proper food safety regulations are implemented and observed. One of the biggest reasons for bacterial growth in foods is not storing food at the correct temperatures. All hot food should be kept at 145 degrees Fahrenheit or above, and food that is being stored should be stored at temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way to ensure that these temperatures are kept consistent is to create a log that monitors thermometer calibration and a separate log to keep a record of the temperature of any cooling and heating units.

Education
Alongside this, it is essential that all staff members are adequately educated about the importance of keeping food at the right temperatures, as well as the possible repercussions if not done so.

They should be educated on other aspects of food safety such as bacterial contamination. A lot of this contamination occurs due to poor hygiene practices exhibited by food workers. All workers should wash hands thoroughly before handling food. Unfortunately washing one’s hands does not entirely get rid of all bacteria, and sweating, particularly on a hot day causes rapid multiplication of bacteria. For this reason, it is the best practice to wear gloves and to change them frequently.

Health
Any employees with cuts, rashes or other illnesses should also be kept away from food handling responsibilities. For peace of mind and to make certain employees are adequately trained it may be a good idea to enroll food workers in a program that provides food handlers certification and TABC. Providing free checkups and immunization to all employees can also be a wise investment. It will let you be a hundred percent certain that they are all healthy and will not infect your customers with illnesses.

Bacteria and Germs
On occasion, dirty dishes can also harbor bacteria. A plate that looks clean to the naked human eye can be a breeding ground for illnesses due to plates and cutlery not being washed at the right temperature. Make sure dishes are washed at high temperatures and are not left to dry while wet. Wet dishes that are left like that can also be infested with illness-causing bacteria.

Where your water is being sourced from is also an important consideration. An unsanitary source of water for cooking, drinking or even dishwashing can be lethal and promote the spread of illness.

Pests can also creep into the business building making it very unsanitary. It is always in good practice to keep vegetables and fruits as well as dry cooking ingredients in boxes away from the floor. This prevents dirt and disease-carrying pests to have access to them. If you do have a pest problem it is important that you hire a pest exterminator. Pests can also be avoided by keeping all trash cans outside the building and covered at all times because this is where pests are most regularly found.

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