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A Closer Look at Food Safety

In any food business,proper food safety measures should always be in place. Here are some tips to ensure that the food you serve passes through sanitary hands and a hygienic environment:

1. Know the proper way to handle chicken.
According toa study, poultry is the most common cause of food-borne illnesses in the U.S. Thus, restaurants should make sure to handle their poultry with care. Place chicken in a disposable plastic bag before storing in the freezer to keep juices from seeping into other food, use different knives and cutting boards for raw and cooked chicken, and wash hands every time.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued an additional warning: Do not wash raw chicken, as this increases the chance of spreading pathogens like salmonella—juices can linger in the sink or on surfaces, causing cross-contamination. While it is still not a common food safety practice, it may be worth considering.

Focus instead on making sure chicken is properly cooked, with an internal temperature of 165°F (about 74°C).

2. Ensure proper storage of perishable items.
Implement a first-in, first-out (FIFO) rule for ingredients and label ingredients with dates to prevent serving anything expired. Refrigerate perishables, like those from your frozen food supplier, within two hours of cooking or delivery, or within one hour if it’s a hot day (above 90°F or 32°C).

Also perform regular maintenance checks on freezers and refrigerators; if these chillers aren’t running at the proper temperatures (40°F or around 4.5°C or below for refrigerators, 0°F or around -17.78°C for freezers), you risk bacteria growth and spoilage of food items.

3. Observe proper hygiene to meet food safety standards.
Remind kitchen staff to ALWAYS wash and dry their hands thoroughly ( after going to the toilet, handling waste, taking a break, handling raw food; after sneezing, coughing, or touching parts of their body, and even after handling money).

Apart from frequent handwashing, kitchen staff should also tie their hair and wear hair nets to keep strands from falling into food. Employees should also advise their supervisors if they’re feeling under the weather, especially if they have symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or the flu, which may be passed on to other employees, or even customers.

4. Be mindful of allergens.
Review your menu and determine if there are any potential allergens in your offerings. Typical allergens include nuts, gluten, and dairy. Transparency makes your customers feel safe.. Train your wait staff to ask customers about any allergies and report these to the kitchen. Kitchen staff should also be mindful about avoiding cross-contamination from allergens. While there currently aren’t any local regulations for restaurants regarding food allergens, your guests’ safety should be a top priority.

5. Educate the staff regarding food safety regulations.
Kitchen and wait staff are likely to remember the rules if they are properly informed about the how-to’s in the kitchen. Invest in food safety training seminars for your food handlers as this can greatly reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses.

6. Work with trusted suppliers.
Keep your business safe from food outbreaks by partnering with established suppliers with reliable products. Certifications from International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) are added security to make sure that the products you buy are fresh and safe.

Great Food Solutions (GFS), the food service arm of San Miguel Pure Foods, has plants and that adhere to stringent safety standards so you can be assured of quality products every time. Contact GFS through(02) 8632-2000or visitgreatfoodsolutions.comto find out more about their products and services.

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