When most restaurant owners and chefs think about restaurant food safety, things like meat, fish, and poultry come to mind. While it’s important to keep a food temperature log for things like that, it’s equally essential to ensure safe produce handling within your kitchen.
Produce that isn’t stored or handled the right way can easily make your patrons sick. Making produce a key feature on your restaurant food safety checklist can help to ensure that all ingredients are selected, stored, and prepared in the safest way possible.
How to Store Produce Properly
After selecting the best produce for your business, storing it properly will ensure it lasts longer and stays fresh for your guests. This is really where wireless temperature monitoring can make a big difference.
Produce should be stored in a clean refrigerator at a temperature at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.1 Any fruits or vegetables that are perishable, whether they’re fresh from the market or already washed, peeled, etc., should be refrigerated until ready to use. This even includes fresh herbs.
It’s much easier to make sure your fruits, vegetables, and herbs stay at the proper temperature when you implement a food temperature log, which is available with ComplianceMate.
Safely Handling and Preparing Produce
Safely storing your produce means nothing if the proper precautions aren’t taken when preparing it for your guests. Safe produce handling by every member of your kitchen staff is necessary to ensure things like cross-contamination or bacterial spreading don’t occur. Add these useful tips to your checklist to make sure your entire staff knows how to safely work with fresh produce:
- Before handling produce, always wash your hands with soap and warm water.
- Always wash fresh produce, even before peeling it.
- Use discretion when working with produce. If it looks or feels rotten, do not use it.
- Don’t use soaps or other cleaners to wash produce. Clean water works well. If it’s a firm fruit or vegetable, consider using a scrub brush.
- Use a paper towel to gently pat dry the produce once it’s been rinsed.
- Never prepare fresh produce for a dish using the same tools/utensils as raw or cooked meat.
Keeping Produce Fresh for Your Customers
Every restaurant owner wants to make sure their patrons enjoy the fresh food they’re being served. That’s why the quality of the produce you select is so important. However, even the highest-quality, freshest fruits and vegetables can end up making someone sick if they aren’t stored or handled properly.
By using proper temperature monitoring techniques, and the storage and preparation tips listed here, you can be sure everyone in your kitchen is on the same page when it comes to handling produce safely.
If you’re tired of handwritten checklists being ineffective in your kitchen, it’s time to make the switch to something different. When you use ComplianceMate for your restaurant checklists, you take out the risk of human error. As a result, everyone knows what’s expected of them, and the food is always accurately monitored. Make the switch today, and ensure the safety of every patron who enjoys your food.