Food safety has never been as important for restaurants as it is today. Let’s face it: when you see a conditional pass rating on the front door decal, you are less likely to walk in and order a steak.
So, you have received a visit from the city, you have been given a warning and now you’re dumbfounded as to what you should do. After undergoing rigorous cleaning and replacing old appliances, you’re still not getting the nod from the inspector. What else can you do?
A food safety consultant is perhaps the solution to your business’s kitchen issues.
Food safety consultants have the aptitude, certification and experience to help you in more ways than one: everything from receiving an excellent rating from the municipal government to garnering four- and five-star ratings from patrons online. It’s a worthwhile investment.
Here are five things food safety consultants will tell you NOT to do in your kitchen:
1. Refusing to Clean Your Knife & Cutting Board
It is easy in a kitchen to transfer bacteria from food to food, plate to plate. When you’re trying to fill dozens of orders in an hour timespan, it can be difficult to maintain a clean kitchen. That said, it is imperative to wash your cutting boards and knives with soap and hot water after you have prepared the food, which is especially important when handling raw meat and seafood.
2. Not Washing Your Hands After Touching Food
Whether you have marinated raw meat or you have handled seafood while cutting it, you must remember to wash your hands at least 20 seconds after touching the food. It would also be wise to wash your hands in soapy hot water right before touching the food.
3. Your Refrigerators Are Not Separated
A pet peeve for most food safety consultants is the refrigerator. For whatever reason, restaurants make the mistake of keeping raw meat, poultry and seafood and their juices together with ready-to-eat foods. This is known as cross-contamination and can cause serious health problems.
From grocery shopping to putting the food away, you must separate the raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods. If you don’t then the city will never, ever give you a pass.
4. Keeping Unsure Food
Everyone hates to waste food, but it’s worse for a restaurant because you’re spending vast sums of money on your meat, desserts, vegetables and fruits. It’s hard to waste this food.
That said, when you are unsure about the food then it is a sign you need to throw it out.
Here are a few tips to remember if you’re unsure about throwing out food:
- The food does not look or smell right.
- Raw food has already touched your cooked food.
- You’re uncertain how long the food has been sitting out.
5. Maintaining a Low Towel Turnover Rate
Are you proud because you have a low towel turnover rate? Well, you shouldn’t be!
You need to replace and wash dish towels, sponges and other cloths often. This is important because you prevent the spread of bacteria throughout the kitchen and eventually the dining room. You never want this to happen to you and your business.
Moreover, if you have handled raw food and then proceeded to wash your hands with hot soapy water then it would also be wise to regularly use paper towels to dry your washed hands.
If you have watched “Kitchen Nightmares” then you know how much of a stickler a chef like Gordon Ramsay can be. Your standards should always be as high as the best chef in the world.Upon reading this, you may come to the conclusion that this is all common sense. Unfortunately, it isn’t, which is why so many restaurants fail within just two years – it isn’t just the food.
A food safety consultant can provide you with the right advice and tips to have a clean kitchen.