Food Safety: Are you compliant?
Operating a restaurant can be a tremendous task and among your top goals is producing delicious food to keep customers coming back. Although this is a the ultimate objective, a foodservice operator must never forget about procedures and rules as mandated by state and federal regulation.
We wanted to take a moment to remind restaurant operators about food safety compliance. It’s important to note that compliance requirements and food law may vary from state to state (e.g. in California, all food handlers must carry a California Food Handler Card), but in any matter, the bottom line remains the same — food must be handled, prepared and cooked in a safe manner as outlined by your local health department in order to prevent food borne illness and to be in compliance with FDA standards!
Is your restaurant food safety compliant?
If you run a restaurant, you know first-hand about the basics of food safety: employees must wash their hands after using the restroom and before handling food, and that you should refrigerate foods as quickly as possible, for example. But there are a lot of other important points you may have not been aware of that can greatly improve food safety.
General Food Safety Tips for your Restaurant
- Minimize potential cross-contamination by separating raw meats from other foods. For example, store meats in their own containers away from produce and other food. Also, cut raw meats on separate cutting boards. Always prepare raw meats and other foods separately.
- Food employees must not use a utensil more than once to taste food in order to avoid contamination
- Eggs and milk products must be pasteurized and fluid and dry milk must comply by Grade A standards
- Ice used to cool drinks or as a food must be used with drinking water
- Do not thaw frozen foods out in room temperature. Instead, thaw in the refrigerator (41F or below), submerged under cool running water (70F or below) or in a microwave and immediately transferred to conventional cooking equipment
Read the FDA 2009 Food Code for detailed guidelines and be sure to contact your local health department for the food law in your state.
If you would like to see how your restaurant stands in terms of food law compliance, or if you have any questions, contact Synergy for your free initial consultation – we can help identify any violations and discover any areas that require improvement for a more efficiently-run restaurant.