Food safety should always be a top priority in any commercial food business. When safety comes first in any professional kitchen, the chances of a consumer getting sick drastically decreases. The following tips will help you be better equipped to keep your employees safe and your kitchen clean and your consumer happy.
One of the biggest health issues in commercial kitchens in the foodservice industry is cross-contamination.
There are four basic types of contamination: chemical, microbial, physical, and allergenic. It is the duty of all food handlers to make sure that the food they prepare is safe for consumption and free of any harmful contaminants. Thankfully, in depth food safety regulations assist in reducing the chances of cross-contamination.
One of the most productive methods is to implement a food safety management system that includes a workflow checklist. The checklist should contain all of the daily functions performed that are specific or customized to the type of kitchen, plant or facility.
For example, your entire food safety program should cover every step related to avoiding cross-contamination and food poisoning, such as how to safely prepare and handle ready-to-eat food in a kitchen where employees will also be touching raw food.
Additional useful food safety tips to add to your checklist include:
- Preparing raw foods in an area that is separate from cooked foods
- Using separate equipment for different food types like cutting boards and cutlery
- Sanitizing all work surfaces after they have been used for preparation
- Storing foods separately, such as placing raw chicken in plastic bags when thawing next to cooked meats
- Ensuring that all kitchen uniforms are laundered properly in an industrial washing machine
- Ensuring that employees wash their hands with hot, soapy water and dry thoroughly with paper towels after handling foods and after using the restroom
- Feature a hygiene program in the employee handbook and in new employee training.
Temperature Monitoring to avoid cross contamination
Another way to keep your food and kitchen safe in addition to preparing food properly is to implement a food temperature monitoring process. When certain foods fluctuate outside of safe temperatures, they can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and other contaminants. This is especially true when it comes to meat and fish.
Keeping foods in the proper temperature range and never combining them with foods at improper temperature can make a big difference when it comes to avoiding cross-contamination.
Many kitchens rely on their employees to diligently conduct regular temperature checks, but manually checking temperatures can create more problems than they solve.
An owner cannot always be in the back of house, meaning they may not see if an employee neglects or pencil whips a temperature check. When temperature tracking is manipulated it appears as though temperatures were recorded at the correct intervals when in fact they were not. This can lead to long term inaccuracies and introduce the potential for cross-contamination.
Manual logs also force owners to be on-site to review and approve them. This is time consuming and often overlooked.
Ultimately, inconvenient and high-risk manual temperature recordings can mean being unaware of fluctuations in temperatures until food has already spoiled or until a customer complains. This threatens the very livelihood of the business, placing them in danger of non-compliance with HACCP regulations, threatening their certification.
Solutions for Accurate Workflow Processes and Safe Temperature Monitoring
Operational accuracy and efficiency are two of the most critical aspects of a safe kitchen. ComplianceMate’s full suite of automated workflow checklists and wireless temperature sensors helps owners streamline their entire operations while maintaining a safe and auditable kitchen.
Digital checklists eliminate pencil whipping while assisting employees in navigating the proper steps to ensure food safety and associated corrective actions and ultimately maintaining HACCP compliance. Owners and managers are able to access all checklist data from any web enabled device for up-to-the-minute tracking and accuracy.
ComplianceMate’s wireless temperature sensors offer Bluetooth capability, portability, and long battery life. Built with quality materials, these sensors can transmit data through concrete, stainless steel, and more up to at least a ten-mile radius.
The temperature sensors automatically record and report temperatures and send notifications and alerts when temperatures go outside of the required range. The data is stored in the cloud and can be viewed at any time from anywhere.
The customizable dashboard provides a hierarchical view into the real time data for all locations. From the dashboard the data can be analyzed and reports created as needed.
ComplianceMate solutions help meet the HACCP food safety initiatives, monitor for any cross contamination and assist in keeping your environment clean and operational efficiency. Call us today at 678-346-0380 to learn more or request a demo at compliancemate.com