Blog posts of '2020' 'March'

Salaried Manager Training during the Coronavirus outbreak

 

As the Coronavirus continues to sweep across the USA and “Social Distancing” is becoming a standard operating procedure in America, the restaurant industry is being hit harder than most by this procedure.

With this in mind, it is important to make the best out of a bad situation and use this time where your establishment may be quieter or in worst case scenarios forced to shut down to make sure all your Food Protection Managers are trained and certified.

It is a mandatory requirement across the USA that there is at least one certified food protection manager on duty during hours of operation. Does your business comply with this?

If you don’t, then training and certification is essential

Staff can complete training in their homes:

All of our training is online, meaning that your managers can complete the mandatory training in their homes.

The training is video-based and will be far more engaging than other training programs out there.

Exams can be proctored at your location:

When it comes to getting certified all exams must be overseen by a proctor. Normally that means you have to send managers out to an exam center. With Always Food Safe you can proctor exams internally, meaning managers do not have to go to crowded exam centers to take their exams.

Training can save people’s lives

Excellent Personal Hygiene is the number 1 way to prevent the spread of the virus. So, training your staff on these essentials is not just mandatory, it could also save someone’s life.

Personal Hygiene in Food Safety

Good personal hygiene is important in most situations, but it’s especially crucial for food handlers in a kitchen setting. Proper food handling, which includes good personal hygiene, is an important element in food safety.

Good personal hygiene habits go a long way with customers. You are handling their food, and they want to see food handlers that look professional and put-together, as opposed to food handlers that follow poor hygiene habits.

But personal hygiene isn’t just about appearances—it’s about preventing food poisoning. Everyone carries a certain level of bacteria. Touching your eyes, mouth, nose, hair, or clothing, and then proceeding to touch food without washing your hands promotes the spread of that bacteria.

Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to having good personal hygiene and avoid spreading bacteria from yourself to the food you are preparing.

Hand Washing

Following proper handwashing technique is of the utmost importance, as it prevents the spread of foodborne illnesses. Hands should be washed and dried before handling food and in between tasks such as taking out the garbage, handling raw foods, breaks, and touching clothing, hair, or face.

Correct handwashing involves the following steps:

  1.      Wet your hands with clean water and apply soap
  2.      Lather the soap
  3.      Scrub your hands for 20 seconds and make sure to get the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails
  4.      Rinse off the soap
  5.      Dry your hands with a clean towel or hand dryer

Dirty Clothing

Dirty clothing can lead to cross-contaminationwhen bacteria transfers from the garment to the prepared food. Wear a clean uniform at the beginning of each shift and change when necessary. Dirty uniforms should be stored separately from clean ones and stored somewhere outside of the kitchen, and uniforms should be washed after use.

Disposable, single use gloves should be worn and changed frequently. If you have a cut on your hand, it needs to be completely covered with a bandage and cleaned regularly.

Overall Health

If you feel sick or have an illness that is contagious, you should not be handling food. It is incredibly easy to spread bacteria, especially with an illness that is easily transmitted through food.

If you’re experiencing symptoms such as:

  •        Vomiting
  •        Diarrhea
  •        Sore throat with fever
  •        Jaundice

you should not go to work until your symptoms are gone for at least 48 hours. Let your boss know when you are experiencing these symptoms, or other issues like a cold or contagious eye infection.

 

As a food handler, make sure you undergo proper training to understand safe food handling practices. Learn more through our online, video-based food handlers training course.

And learn more about personal hygiene and food safety through this video.

 

Hosting an Allergen-Free Party

Approximately 150 million people cope with serious food allergies. That means that if you plan on hosting a large party, chances are that you may have a guest in attendance that has a food allergy or sensitivity. Whether you’re throwing a party for your friends or your child has a birthday party coming up, it’s important to understand all the tips and tricks for throwing an allergen-free party so that all the guests will feel safe and full.

 

Before you start making a list, grocery shopping, and food prepping, you need to do some early planning with your guests. Either call your guests or request they send in their food allergies along with their RSVP. Request they notify you of the severity of their food allergies, too. For instance, someone may have a deadly food allergy. If peanuts are even in the same room as them, it could trigger an anaphylactic response. Others may have a more minor allergy, where they can be in the same room as the ingredient, but consuming copious amounts of it would put them at risk for a bad reaction. Perhaps you have an abundance of guests that follow a vegan diet; you may decide to throw a dairy-free, meat-free party. If there’s only one or two vegan guests, opt to make a special dish or two for them. And if you can, choose foods that are already dairy-free or meat-free. Sometimes alternatives to these foods aren’t always the most appetizing. Especially if you aren’t used to cooking that type of food, it’s best to just choose simple options.

 

A buffet-style option might be the best way to ensure everyone feels satisfied when they’re done eating. Consider a food that requires plentiful toppings, like a taco bar or baked potato bar. Toppings should be clearly separated and include individual serving utensils in order to prevent cross-contamination. Include multiple options to appease everyone, from the vegetarians and vegans, to the gluten-free party-goers and the ones following special diets for weight loss. Whether you decide to have one main dish with toppings galore, or you decide to make several complex dishes, an ingredient list for everything is an absolute must.

 

When you’re cooking, you need to be especially mindful of cross-contamination. If you have someone with an allergy to fish, make sure it is prepped carefully so that it does not contaminate any surfaces other food will touch, whether it’s your knife, cutting board, frying pan, or oil it’s being deep-fried in. You also need to practice good hand hygiene as you cook and serve the food.

 

Throwing an allergen-free party doesn’t meant that you can’t have a bountiful spread of multiple options. Get creative and stick with organic, whole ingredients as much as possible.