Commercial Food Service Tips: Food Safety

The restaurant business revolves around food. Preparing food, cooking food, serving food, cleaning up food, the list of food related restaurant duties goes on and on. When it comes to preparing food commercially, it's extremely important to keep food safety in mind. Consumers are becoming more and more concerned with how their food is being prepared and whether or not it's safe to eat. In today's blog, Fast Fix LLC offers some food safety tips for you to keep in mind when running a commercial kitchen.

1. Wash Your Hands.

One of the most important things to remember when working in a commercial kitchen is to keep your hands clean. One of the main culprits of foodborne illnesses is dirty hands. Obviously you need to wash them anytime you go to the bathroom, leave the kitchen, touch doorknobs, etc. However, you also need to wash your hands when dealing with different foods to avoid cross-contamination. In addition to washing your hands, you should wash meat and vegetables in separate sinks, and color code your utensils and cutting boards to keep track of which ones are used for meat and which ones for vegetables, etc.

2. Store Food Properly.

To minimize bacterial growth, refrigerators must maintain a temperature at or below 40°F. In addition, foods requiring refrigeration can only be stored for a certain amount of time before they start to spoil. Store meat below other items in the refrigerator to avoid meat juices dripping down and contaminating other food items. To increase the shelf life of foods and maintain food safety and quality, it's important to store food in air-tight containers. Once air contacts food, the food starts to spoil.  

3. Wash All Produce. 

Since fresh produce isn't always cooked, it's important that you wash it before serving it. Washing produce will remove any bacteria that may be on the surface. Be sure to use cold water as warm water facilitates easy bacterial growth and can wilt leafy vegetables. You can use a soft brush on foods that have a hard rind that dirt clings to easily, but in most cases you can just rub the produce with your hands to remove any dirt and microorganisms. Do not use soap because fruits and vegetables are porous and will absorb any chemicals.

4. Cook Foods Thoroughly. 

In order to kill any bacteria present, make sure to cook foods to their appropriate temperatures. Different foods have a minimum internal temperature that they should reach and sustain for at least 15 seconds. The best way to make sure your food is cooked to the proper temperature is by using a food thermometer. Watch out for the food temperature "danger zone" as well. Foods should never reach temperatures between 41°F and 135°F. That's why it's important to thaw out food in the refrigerator, not on the counter, and once the food has been cooked, you don't want it to drop back below 135°. Foods in that temperature range can grow harmful bacteria, including salmonella.

5. Clean and Sanitize Everything. 

Anything that comes into contact with food needs to be cleaned and sanitized. This includes countertops, cutting boards, utensils, pots, pans, and more. You want to clean and sanitize all food contact surfaces both before and after they touch food items. While it's easy to quickly wipe down a countertop, there's more to sanitation than that. Clean surfaces with hot, soapy water and then be sure to fully rinse the surface with water and a clean cloth to avoid any chemical contamination. After that, it's time to use a sanitizing wipe or other professional sanitizer on the surface.

Proper training on these food safety tips will ensure you have a safe kitchen and will also help you pass those health inspections. When it comes to an efficient kitchen, food safety isn't the only concern. Your equipment needs to be in proper working order for your restaurant to function. For all your commercial food-service equipment repair needs in Missouri and Western Illinois, you can count on us! Give Fast Fix LLC a call at 573-254-3748 for general equipment maintenance or emergency service.

Fast Fix LLC. Restaurant Equipment Service & Repair - 

One Call Does It All! 

Fast Fix LLC. Restaurant Services
9403 County Road 154
Auxvasse, MO 65231

Phone: 573-254-3748
St. Louis Customers: 636-FASTFIX

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