10 Golden Rules of Food Safety for Commercial Kitchens

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Today, researchers have found more than 250 foodborne diseases. Harmful chemicals and toxins can lead to illnesses after contaminating food.

If you have a commercial kitchen, you’ll want to be sure that food safety is number one. The last thing you want is for someone to go home sick and then tell all of their friends and family about their terrible experience.

Not only is health and safety important, but it’ll protect your reputation as a company. What can you do as far as food safety? Read this guide on the top food safety tips to ensure that your commercial kitchen is staying compliant and safe!

What Is Food Safety?

Food safety is regarding the storing, preparing, and handling of food in a kitchen. It reduces the chances of food poisoning, contamination, and other foodborne illnesses.

Have Proper Refrigeration

First, you’ll want to ensure that you keep everything stored properly, which includes refrigeration. You’ll want to check out these commercial fridges, designed with restaurants and other businesses in mind.

Check the thermometers inside of the refrigerators to be sure that they follow food safety guidelines. Alarms are an option to let you know if the temperature rises more than a safe amount.

Checking the Shelf Life

Consider having a cheat sheet with all of the information or a labeling system. The labeling system can have different colors to let you know how old the food is.

This can include foods that need to be eaten right away, within a day, or longer. Any items that are past their expiration date need to be thrown out.

Wash Your Hands

Everyone needs to wash their hands when they’re in the kitchen for food hygiene. Various bacteria could be lurking on your hands before you begin to prepare food. If you don’t wash your hands, it’s a great way to spread bacteria and potential food-borne illnesses.

Have a hand washing station if you don’t want your workers to clog up the sink for washing dishes. It’ll make it easier for them to not have to worry about running to the bathroom every time they want to wash their hands.

Plastic Gloves

Plastic gloves are a must! Be sure that you’re not disregarding the importance of plastic gloves either. For example, you shouldn’t be texting with your gloved hands and then touching food.

When you wear them for too long or they’re contaminated, it’s time to change them. When you handle items such as eggs or raw meat, it’s time to change your gloves as well.

Keep Sick Workers at Home

If a worker is sick, don’t let them come to work. This includes diarrhea or vomiting as well, not just a cold. Tell your workers to not come into work until they are 100% better.

Wash Food

Vegetables and fruit need to be washed properly in order to minimize the risk of bacteria or germs. Even with foods that need to be peeled, they still need to be washed first.

Consider buying scrub brushes to use while the fruits and vegetables are under running water. Use cold water to rinse the food. If you’re considering a special fruit and vegetable rinse, you’ll want to check with local and government authorities to see what’s allowed in your area.

Clean and Sanitize Equipment and Surfaces

Use a cleaner, bleach, or hot soapy water to keep areas clean. Check with your local health department if you aren’t sure what’s required. Reach out to the manufacturer of your equipment if you aren’t sure how to properly clean it.

Train Your Staff

Keep your staff up-to-date on food safety and handling. This should include proper training techniques. Every staff member should be fully aware of what to do and not do when it comes to maintaining a clean commercial kitchen.

Conduct Inspections

Performing regular inspections will let you know how everyone is doing with keeping up with food safety. It’s a great way to spot problems before they continue or become worse. This will ensure that you’re ready for any surprise inspections from the health department.

Using the Correct Cooking Temperatures

Keep your entire kitchen in the loop of proper cooking temperatures for different foods. Keep cutting boards separate when it comes to eggs, poultry, seafood, and produce.

When it’s time to cook items, you’ll want ground beef to be 155 F and chicken to be 165 F. Cooking at proper temperatures can help to prevent illnesses such as E-coli.

Use a meat thermometer to see what temperature the meat is before you remove it. There are different types of meat thermometers that you’ll need since every cut is different. It’ll also help to prevent cross-contamination.

Dangerous Temperatures

Be mindful of dangerous temperatures for food such as between 40 and 140 degrees. Harmful bacteria can develop within this range.

Store items in the refrigerator or freezer when necessary. Only take frozen items out when it’s time to cook it unless it states to defrost it first. Avoid allowing food to sit out for more than an hour.

The Top Food Safety Tips for Commercial Kitchens

After exploring this guide, I hope that you’re well-prepared to maintain these food safety tips in your commercial kitchen. If you aren’t sure whether something is safe or not, it’s best to heed on the safe side.

Be mindful of how long items can stay out for, whether or not they need to be refrigerated or frozen, and the proper temperature. If you enjoyed this article, check out our other articles today!

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