Food safety is on the minds of many consumers worldwide, making it a vital part of food preparation. Thankfully, there are many simple ways that your business can encourage and enforce food safety.
By creating a restaurant safety checklist with the items below, your organisation will better execute its food safety practices. Let’s dive in.
The Increased Demand for Food Safety
Food safety is vital to any restaurant, and this importance has only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent research suggests that over 60% of customers feel food safety is much more important to them following the pandemic.
While food safety has always been an essential part of food preparation, businesses now have more pressure to follow through. Rather than implementing food safety practices when convenient, restaurants today must make sure they are consistently implemented.
The pandemic increased the overall demand for food safety due to customers having concerns about catching COVID-19, but a lack of food safety can increase the risk of all foodborne illnesses. Foodborne illnesses are prevalent throughout the United States and cause a significant number of fatalities every year.
Sanitary Food Storage and FIFO
An essential component of sanitary food storage is ensuring that certain items are not stored in the same areas. For example, a foodservice business would not want to keep their raw meat nearby their vegetables.
Unsanitary food storage can allow bacteria from these raw meats to accidentally encounter produce. Sanitary food storage also means making sure that food is stored at the proper temperature. Once certain foods sit outside the freezer for too long, you should dispose of them. Not doing so leads to your kitchen serving spoiled food to customers.
FIFO, or “First in, first out,” means ingredients that are prepped first, are used first. This can be done using specific FIFO products and a food rotation system to properly label prep containers with expiration dates.
This helps ensure food is not stored and forgotten. If food has an expiration date, employees know which prep container to use first and when to throw it out.
With the right products, your staff can ensure they’re using the oldest ingredients first, therefore reducing the chances of spoilage and waste.
Cross-contamination is a significant part of foodborne illnesses. This phenomenon occurs when bacteria from raw food spreads to prepared food. When a customer eats this food, they also receive bacteria from the raw food, leading to potential illness.
Food contamination is often a result of unsafe practices like using cutting boards and containers for both raw and prepared foods. Employees should also switch to new gloves before moving from raw to prepared foods to ensure that they do not transmit any bacteria between the two.
Increasing Allergen Awareness
Allergens and food intolerances are a huge part of food safety for businesses. If a company offers items free of common allergens, it must ensure that these allergens do not meet the food at any point during preparation.
Ensure your employees are always washing their hands before moving from food to food, so your employees’ hands don’t spread allergens from one item to another.
How Products From NCCO Can Help Increase Food Safety
NCCO has an abundance of products that can help you ensure food safety is always a priority. In particular, NCCO’s DateIt™ Food Rotation Labelling System is an excellent way for any business to improve its current food safety practices.
Rest assured that any food service inspection checklist improves with the help of food safety products from NCCO.