Getting your customer sick is one of the fastest ways to get your business closed down for good. This is why so many restaurants tend to make food safety one of their top priorities. Some of the more established companies can see themselves spending tens of thousands of dollars on food safety training alone. The good news is that you don't have to break the bank to avoid food safety issues. The following list includes some of the tasks you can begin doing today to avoid this type of issue from occurring at your restaurant.
The first thing a restaurant owner must look into is their cleaning procedures. There are many layers to making sure that your kitchen is properly cleaned. Start with having a current checklist. This includes areas that are cleaned each and every night. Are they being followed, and how well? Next, you must move into areas that are not cleaned often. This can include vents, stock room floors/shelves, and behind any large machines, such as ovens. Finally, conduct your own health inspection of your business. Utilize past health records as well as rules and regulations posted online by your city and state governments. This will allow you to think like an inspector and find any food safety issues before they get to your customer.
Avoid the "Danger Zone"
Oftentimes, restaurants get their guests sick not because of a lack of cleaning procedures or the right amount of hand-washing but by their very own cooking. The consensus regarding the temperature for the "danger zone" is between 41 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, this is not a concrete number, which means cooks must pay attention to the type of food they are preparing. Each type of food will require certain levels of heat, and thus, the "Danger Zone" will vary from food to food.
Much of the food-borne illnesses seen within restaurants are due to the mishandling of food. Statistics show that 1 in 6 Americans contract food-borne illnesses each year. Although preventive steps are taken to help stop people from getting sick, it still remains a major public health challenge. As a restaurant manager or owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that basic food safety rules are being adhered to. This means no cross-contamination of meats, washing hands and surfaces constantly, ensuring that sick employees stay home, and refrigerating food within the proper temperature.
Making sure people wash their hands and the tools they use is no doubt one of the most important things to implement into your restaurant. However, what happens when that food needs to be disposed of? What are your procedures, and how does that affect the food residing within your kitchen? Without the proper procedures in place, garbage can easily begin to pile up, which in turn attracts rodents and other pests into your establishment. After this, it's only a matter of time until they begin eating and contaminating your healthy food. To make sure that this doesn't happen, create a detailed log. Post who will take out the garbage and at what time.
Additional tasks include cleaning the actual cans in order to eliminate odors and bacteria.
As a restaurant owner or supervisor, keeping your guests healthy must always be your number one priority. Improper food safety procedures can cause illness and, in some more severe cases, even death. It is imperative for restaurant owners to adhere to proper processes and implement their own preventive measures to ensure a clean establishment.
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