As times change, so do the codes that restaurants are intended to follow. As a restaurant owner, it’s your responsibility to keep up with these codes on a regular basis. Here are some of the most common restaurant features that typically need to be upgraded when a restaurant receives a code violation.
Warming / Cooling Stations
Keeping food at the right temperature can make the difference between a patron getting a foodborne illness and not. As a general rule of thumb, it’s highly suggested to keep hot food above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. You can do this via preheated steam tables, slow cookers, chafing dishes, and warming trays. Cold food needs to be kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be achieved via refrigerators and ice containers. Be sure to check the temperature of your warming and cooling stations at least three times per day.
One of the biggest health violations in regards to restaurants deals with hygiene. Some materials are just more difficult to thoroughly clean than others. This can leave behind an unwanted residue from your regular cleanings. To make life easier for you and your staff, consider materials like cleanable ceiling tiles that are easy to wipe down and don’t leave behind any unwanted residue.
Keep Serviceware In Water
In the back of the house, you likely have some common serviceware for your staff. These usually consist of tongs, spoons, and other utensils that allow them to serve your foods with ease. This serviceware should be kept in warm water that is about 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Each type of food should have its own utensils such as raw proteins and ready-to-eat foods.
Different Prep Stations
It’s become widely available knowledge that cross-contamination can lead to illness. A form of cross-contamination that is very common is utilizing the same prep materials for different types of foods. You should have a separate prep station for meat, seafood, vegetables, and fruit. This will assist in preventing cross-contamination, especially for food that isn’t cooked at a hot temperature.
Bringing your restaurant up to code starts with understanding just what’s wrong. You should start by identifying areas of weakness that you can improve on. Then, you can implement strategies like the ones above to enhance the health standard of your restaurant. Realize that the more you do to stay on top of health problems, the less likely you are to receive any sort of health violation.
Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. You can connect with Anica on Twitter @AnicaOaks.