Food safety is the number-one concern for restaurants, grocery stores and other food-based businesses. Health authorities constantly make visits to maintain the highest standards for the public’s health. Before waiting until you receive a warning on your next visit, make sure that your food is always safe by taking these basic steps.
Get used to washing your hands with soap before, during and after you prepare food. Start by washing any fruits and vegetables before cutting them and putting them in the food. A common tip is to use hot water since heat is known to destroy bacteria and viruses. Mostly, make sure to wash for at least 30 seconds or longer.
Conduct food safety tests to ensure that your food is entirely safe for consumption. You don’t need to test your food every time you make it, but it’s ideal to ensure that your most sensitive customers will not get sick. If your senses are activated by consuming certain foods, consider allergen testing. You’ll find out the types of allergens that are triggering these negative symptoms.
Washing your hands alone is not clean enough. Cooks work directly on countertops and cutting boards, so maintain the cleanliness of every surface on which you work. Ideally, sanitize these areas using sprays and wipes to kill all of the microorganisms. Clean each surface before you prepare the food and after you’re finished. Disinfection becomes more important when you prepare food in bulk. Keep all cooking tools clean, as well. Never leave unclean dishes and pots lying around overnight or for more than one day.
Learn when to dispose of food that is old, damaged or spoiled. A good general rule is to throw away food that’s older than 3 to 6 months. Check perishable food that has been left in the fridge for a long time. Smell for a foul odor, and look for a strange appearance or discoloration. Prolong food’s lifespan by freezing it indefinitely. However, not all items can be effectively frozen and many become soggy, such as salads, rice, egg whites and fried foods.
Food safety is mandatory and not optional for anyone who operates a food business. But it’s not always simple to know the quality of food by taste testing alone. Every business owner must follow certain steps, from testing for allergies to properly disposing of old food, to protect the health of their customers.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.