The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year about 1 in 6 Americans get sick due to foodborne diseases. About 128,000 Americans are hospitalized per year due to food poisoning or foodborne illnesses. As a restaurant owner or manager, it’s extremely important to be aware of the risks involved when working with food, and equally important to know how to reduce the risk of food contamination in your restaurant. Here are some top food safety tips for the commercial kitchen.
Be sure all staff and managers are properly trained. Not only will a health inspector ask questions of shift managers, general managers, and all other restaurant staff, but if restaurant staff don’t have adequate knowledge of safe food handling practices, they can cause a patron to get sick.
Wash your hands. One of the main culprits of foodborne illnesses is person-to-person contact resulting from dirty employee hands.
Wash all produce. This is the only way to remove any bacteria that may be on the surface.
Properly store refrigerated foods. Refrigerators must maintain a temperature at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to minimize bacterial growth.
Cook foods to appropriate temperatures. In order to kill any bacteria present, foods must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature and sustain that temperature for at least 15 seconds.
Check all incoming food shipments. Food can be contaminated anywhere along the supply chain, so it’s important that food service operators purchase foods from approved sources and know when to accept or reject fresh meat, poultry, and seafood.
These are just a few ways to reduce the risk of food contamination. It’s also important that you adequately clean and sanitize all food contact surfaces, perform self-inspections, regularly check temperatures, and know all of your local health codes.
Even with all these precautions in place, it is still possible for a food poisoning incident to occur which is why it’s imperative for your restaurant to carry Food Contamination Insurance. At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we will not only craft a comprehensive Food Manufacturing Insurance program for you, but our risk experts will also evaluate your overall financial assets and operations to advise you on important areas. Please contact us today for more information at (877) 602-2305.