Food safety is important, especially when your business and the health and safety of your customers are on the line. Don’t take any chances or shortcuts. Use a food processing commercial kitchen. Build a reputation for going above and beyond requirements when it comes to food safety standards, and you will protect your customers, yourself and your business.
“An estimated 600 million— almost 1 in 10 people in the world — fall ill after eating contaminated food and 420 000 die every year.” — World Health Organization
The CDC’s Four Steps to Food Safety
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises the following food safety tips:
- Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often.
- Separate: Don’t cross-contaminate.
- Cook: To the right temperature.
- Chill: Refrigerate promptly.
Always Wash Your Hands
This should be common sense, but it's also the most important advice so we don’t want to skip over it.
Consider this: maternal mortality rates dropped in the mid-1800s after Ignaz Semmelweis suggested medical students wash hands with chlorinated lime solution, instead of plain soap and water, between performing autopsies and births. Further studies since have confirmed that handwashing with an antiseptic reduces the spread of germs more effectively than plain soap and water. In the 1980s the first handwashing guidelines were published. In 2002, alcohol-based hand sanitizer came into use and is now a standard tool to ensure our hands minimize the spread of germs and contamination.
Gloves are an extra barrier between you and the food, providing twofold protection. First, the gloves protect food from anything on your hands. Second, the gloves protect you from anything on the food that could potentially harm you.
Wash Food Properly
At OAFVC, there is a produce soak area where unprocessed fruits and vegetables are given a hygiene bath using Microkill, a bleach- and alcohol-free cleaner.
Separate and Store Food as Required
Be sure to separate meats from other food. Prepare and store meat separately. Each food must be stored at the proper temperature for optimal food safety. Never store food on the floor.
Food should be cooled to 41°F or cooler, using the blast chiller or freezer at OAFVC. Blast chillers and freezers prevent the growth of harmful bacteria by cooling contents down to a safe temperature quickly.
Don’t Let Anyone Be a Hero
Never let a sick worker prepare food. Your staff members are the best! They are super-dedicated and never want to disappoint you. But, if they're feeling even a little bit off, they should not prepare food, because this puts your customers at risk.
OAFVC Professionals Can Teach You All Food Safety Guidelines
These food safety tips are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to food safety. Make sure food safety is part of your business plan with this Business Plan Checklist.