The Manager Is Responsible For Knowing The Food Sanitation Rules
Many rules must be observed to keep the kitchen safe and clean. One of the main reasons why food safety training courses are so important is because it’s easy to forget some of these rules without being reminded frequently, especially when they aren’t as relevant to your everyday job as others.
So here are essential food sanitation rules that managers should make sure they know and enforce, even if they don’t have to deal with much of the behind-the-scenes work themselves!
Know the Cleanliness Rules
One of your roles as a manager is to ensure that staff members follow safe hygiene standards in every aspect of their work. As a manager, you are legally liable for any illness or injury caused by food poisoning.
This means you must ensure your employees know and practice proper hygiene, such as hand-washing before handling meals, keeping kitchen surfaces clean, and maintaining good personal hygiene when preparing meals.
The need to emphasize these practices should be addressed at staff meetings, with periodic reminders about how important they are in preventing illness or injury from occurring because of food contamination or improper preparation methods.
You’ll also want to point out unsafe behaviors early on; never assume people will pick up on it without prompting because some may not be as diligent about following health codes as others.
Understand Sanitation Zones
Not every kitchen in your restaurant is safe to eat in. You may have high-use, high-risk areas where contamination can quickly spread.
For example, suppose you have a butcher station that doesn’t require much washing (or any at all). In that case, employees will likely get their hands dirty and go straight to making sandwiches or plating salads.
If you want customers to dine safely at all of your tables, make sure managers know which zones are off-limits and how big those zones are so they don’t send waiters into dangerous territory. The riskier an area is, the more hand sanitizer stations you’ll need nearby.
Keep sanitizer close by when it’s needed most. That way, you won’t run out before lunch service ends. Having an easy way to keep up with supplies also means that even when you’re not looking directly at your dispensers, you’ll still be checking them frequently enough to notice when something needs refilling.
With automatic sensors from companies like Intermec available now, you have to look over your shoulder occasionally and refill as needed it’s almost as good as having eyes on everything around the clock! Even better, ensure workers only use clean utensils during critical points in preparation.
Maintain Cold Food Temperatures
Refrigerators and freezers should maintain temperatures below 41 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re having difficulty meeting these conditions, install an extra freezer or cooler to store perishable foods.
Remember that different types of food require different temperature ranges: meats should be kept in a separate area from vegetables, dairy products need to be held at higher temperatures than either meat or produce (to avoid spoiling), and so on.
Keeping your coolers clean will also help ensure that everything stays fresh as long as possible. Remember: Maintaining cold food temperatures helps keep your customers safe!
Prepare Ready-to-Eat Foods Properly
When working with ready-to-eat foods, following proper food safety practices is essential. For example, if you have a meat slicer or need to transport hot soup, ensure that your staff properly cools and reheats these items.
In addition, be sure that your staff wears clean uniforms and always wash their hands before and after handling ready-to-eat foods.
Finally, set up a schedule for cleaning equipment and sanitizing surfaces but only when no other tasks are taking place (such as serving customers). This schedule ensures that cleanliness doesn’t get in the way of productivity.
Keep Utensils and Equipment Sterile
Before using any cooking utensils or equipment, it’s essential to ensure they are clean. If you use reusable items (spoons, bowls, etc.), rinse them with hot water and sanitize them.
To sanitize items like cutting boards, wash them with hot water and soap and then spray them with 1 part bleach to 10 parts water; let sit for 30 seconds before rinsing with hot water again.
Make sure you keep all cleaning products out of reach of children; even though they might be diluted in water, these mixtures can still harm young kids if swallowed.
Wash Hands Before Handling Food
Having clean hands and effective hand washing procedures helps prevent bacteria from spreading to food, food surfaces, and workers.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends washing hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds while avoiding contaminating other surfaces, using running water if available.
And remember: hand sanitizer does not substitute washing with soap and water because sanitizers don’t eliminate all germs on your hands and those germs will make you sick if they touch your mouth or nose.
So wash up! If a sink isn’t handy, use a paper towel to turn off faucets, then open doors so air can dry your hands.
Keep Raw Meat, Poultry, and Seafood Separate From Other Foods
Avoid letting raw meat, poultry, or seafood touch other foods (including countertops and utensils!) while preparing them.
It’s OK to keep these items in separate areas of your refrigerator while they are being prepared; be sure to thoroughly clean and sanitize those surfaces before moving on to another food.
Be sure to wash your hands after handling any raw meat or poultry and all utensils used during their preparation. Finally, don’t forget to clean your sink after washing raw meats, fecal matter from those foods can contaminate other foods and cause illness if it isn’t washed away properly.
As a restaurant manager, you must deal with many government regulations. And as if dealing with health inspections and other agencies wasn’t enough, there are also some basic expectations from customers.
For example, you should always use separate cutting boards for meats and produce; don’t let your employees touch their faces or hair before handling food items; ask them to wash their hands every time they return from using the restroom; etc.
Suppose you learn about these things and ensure your kitchen staff knows them too. In that case, your reputation will be better protected and so will your business’s health.