Best Practices for Serving in Foodservice
Food poisoning, better known as foodborne illness in food service, is caused by bacterial, parasitic or viral contamination of food and it is much more common than you think. One of the leading causes of foodborne illness in the commercial environment comes from poor staff hygiene, most often from staff failing to properly wash their hands between tasks. Here are some tips to manage your staff’s interaction with food to keep customers and employees safe.
1. Ice is frequently the culprit for carrying food borne illness. Ice will often get contaminated as the result of employees reaching into ice caddies or ice machines with bare hands or scooping ice using glasses that chip or break inside of the ice bin. Ice is classified as food and it should be treated as such. To safely handle ice, use a dedicated ice scoop to keep bacteria and contaminates out of your ice supply.
2. Provide a means for handwashing even with off-site meetings and events. Using a mobile sink or a hand washing kiosk will often work. Be sure to verify how whatever item you are looking for will meet your needs before buying.
3. Cover food whenever it is not in use. This can be done as quickly as using foil or film or utilizing any covers that will work with your food pans.
4. Provide proper serving ware with your meal service to avoid customers using their bare hands to select a portion of their meal.
5. Cool food down to at 41 degrees F or below and hot food at 135 degrees F or above to stay out of the danger zone where bacteria can grow quickly, compromising the safety of your food offering.
6. Finally, use cold food pans that are designed to hold cold food cold for hours as well as keeping hot for longer than is typical.
As the expression says, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ and with customers and employee safety at stake, these preventative actions are important steps to include in your serving routine. Keep watching our blog for more safety tips coming up in the future. We would love to work with you to review your operation and assist you with solutions that improve safety and efficiency.