Food safety is imperative in restaurants and other foodservice establishments to help prevent customers from coming down with foodborne illnesses. However, many aspects of safe food storage and preparation can be easily overlooked and lead to poor outcomes for diners and the business. Here are three essentials of food safety that help keep customers happy and healthy.
1. Keep Hot Foods Hot
Hot foods must be kept at or above 140 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent the growth of bacteria that can cause illness. Conversely, cold foods should be kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for the same reason. Make sure you have plenty of hot food displays, freezers and refrigerators installed to keep hot and cold foods stored separately and safely.
2. Store Food Properly
In addition to storing foods at the proper temperature, there are other storage considerations you must make in order to keep foods safe. Correct food storage includes labeling food containers with their contents as well as the date they were stored. Also ensure that food is not leaking out of the containers, which could contaminate food stored nearby or underneath. When preparing food to be stored, avoid cross-contaminating raw meat with other foods, just as you would do while cooking or preparing food to be cooked. Lastly, keep a close eye on the temperatures of your freezer and refrigerator to ensure that the food stored in them is at the proper temperature.
3. Cook Meat Thoroughly
Meats such as beef and chicken need to be cooked thoroughly to kill off any bacteria that could cause food poisoning. Verify that meats have reached their required internal cooking temperature by using a thermometer during the cooking process.
Follow these and other food safety processes to make sure that you, your family and anyone else eating food prepared by you avoids illness.