Save Handling of Foods in Restaurants Leads to Food Safety

The presence of harmful pathogens in foods leads to food safety risks as they can cause foodborne illness. Symptoms of foodborne illness are vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain and sometimes flu-like symptoms with fever, headache and body ache. All foodborne illnesses might not be dangerous, but some can become chronic and even life-threatening. Handling food safely is important for reducing food safety risks.

Washing hands and surfaces

All food businesses must provide warm water, soap and cleaning agents and ensure that personnel that handle food

  • wash their hands with warm water and soap especially after using the toilet
  • wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item
  • launder kitchen cloth towels frequently in the hot water
  • wash fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water
  • scrub farm produce with a clean produce brush
  • clean the lids of canned or tinned foods before opening them

Separate raw meats from other foods

Food safety in restaurants means that food handlers must

  • separate raw meat, poultry, fish and eggs from other foods in the refrigerator
  • use separate cutting boards for vegetarian fresh produce and for non-vegetarian foods
  • not place cooked foods in utensils that have been used for storing meats, fish, or eggs unless they have been washed with hot water and soap
  • not reuse marinades that have been used on raw foods

Cook to the right temperature

Most restaurants might not use a food thermometer but the best way to ensure food safety is to use a thermometer. Cooking foods to the right temperature destroys harmful bacteria and ensures food safety.  Also the cooking personnel must

  • cook foods to at least 63° C to 71° C and meats and poultry to 74° C
  • cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm and only use those recipes in which eggs are cooked or heated thoroughly
  • stir and rotate foods when using a microwave so that cooking is even
  • make sure that gravies, sauces and soups reach boiling point when they are being reheated

All personnel must know storing temperatures

Storing temperatures are important so the foods do not deteriorate and cause food safety risk

  • Dairy products must be stored in the refrigerator at temperatures of 2°C to 4°C
  • Non-vegetarian foods must be kept covered in food grade plastic or stainless steel trays at 2°C to 4°C
  • Fresh seafood should be packed in ice, stored at –1°C to 2°C and used as soon as possible
  • Frozen foods should be stored at –18°C or lower.

Proper Refrigeration

For food safety restaurant personnel must be aware that they must

  • Refrigerate foods and perishables within two hours of cooking or purchasing
  • Marinate foods only inside the refrigerator
  • Divide larger portions of food into smaller portions for quick cooling in refrigerator
  • Not thaw foods at room temperature but inside the refrigerator or in cold water or in the microwave
  • immediately cook foods thawed in cold water or in the microwave

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