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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.

New Year’s Resolution for a Restaurant Manager – 3 Easy, Simple Improvements

 

 

 

According to Restaurant Engine, one of the biggest issues facing a restaurant manager is the hiring and training of staff.

 

ADP estimate that the true cost of hiring and training a new member of staff is $4,129 and takes an average of 42 days to fill an open position.

This means that while the hiring process is important, it’s also really important to have an effective, and succinct onboarding policy.

Always Food Safe have a few helpful tools that could help you as a Manager:

1. Have Fun & Interactive Training for Staff

Marketing Insider Group predicts that 75% of the workforce will be made up of millennials by 2020.

Millennials are known to actively engage far more with video-content, with 87% of all millennials preferring to learn using videos on their cell phone.

Always Food Safe’s training is a modern, alternative for the Millennial generation with our ANSI Accredited training being 100% online, video-based and fun and engaging.

Here is an example of our training for your reference – Watch Our Training Now

2. Continuous Training from a “Great Boss”

Research conducted by Inc. has shown that people leave their job for one main reason: lack of communication with their manager.

All employees want to feel appreciated, and that they are receiving the best training possible.

We understand that training a staff member takes a long time, so we do the work for you!

As an Always Food Safe customer we provide you with training material that will not only improve your staff’s knowledge but also make them feel more appreciated.

Take a look at one of our one-minute training videos.

3. Make Admin Easier for Yourself

We all know that running a restaurant involves a LOT of paperwork, but it does not have to!

Always Food Safe can provide you with a complimentary, management account that stores all certificates in one easy to use area.

Here is an example of what an account would like, it includes:

 

So, to make your life easier in 2020, get in touch today!

Either email help@alwaysfoodsafe.com or give us a call on 844.312.2011

Free Downloads for Your Kitchen

We’re here to help you be Always Food Safe, so take a look at our free downloads, that will help your staff in their everyday jobs.

 

Completing your Food Safety training is a huge step towards being always food safe but we know that always applying your learning in your workplace, is the way that you can play your part in keeping America eating safely.

Below are links to some free downloads that we feel will benefit you and your operation.

 

 

We’re always here to help!

  • Help sheets – download and use regularly
  • Top tips – simple ideas and reminders to be always food safe
  • Useful links – other associations and websites that can also help with great ideas and information

 

Who else can help?

Take a look at these web links and maybe even sign-up to their news alerts
they have some very useful information and services that will also help you to be always food safe.

The Best Ways to Optimize Your Restaurant’s Food Safety Checks

The restaurant industry can be as hot and cold as, well, the restaurant kitchen. There are a lot of moving parts and if one thing derails the whole thing could crash and burn. One thing is certain though, with great restaurant management, that whole crash and burn thing is far less likely! That said, there are a few things you can do to keep your restaurant kitchen running smooth and efficient.

1. Train Properly

A. Map out a detailed training program and use tools that will make things easier for your staff. Often, food safety training takes a trickle-down approach which puts much of the task on busy managers.

B. Always Food Safe provides food safety training and allergen awareness training completely online. It’s easy and affordable! It is a legal requirement across the USA to have at least one staff member Food Manager trained* and on duty at any time in your business. This training gives Managers the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to oversee the safe storage, preparation, and service of food in the workplace.

2. Reduce Food Waste

A. This can be done through proper food labeling and by careful planning. Do your customers often have leftovers? Track your inventory and pay attention to your food costs so you can avoid throwing money away.

3. Manage Labor Costs

A. Labor costs can be crippling to the restaurant industry. With the right tools and proper equipment your labor costs can be reduced and your kitchen even more efficient.

B. Download our helpful PDFs to help keep your restaurant kitchen organized and food safe!

Cross-Contamination and How to Prevent It

Cross-contamination is the nasty culprit behind many foodborne illnesses. That’s because pathogens can spread from food or unwashed hands to prep areas, equipment, or utensils. Even if the food is cooked correctly, meals can still be contaminated with pathogens if the prep process isn’t done properly. The CDC estimates that an average of 3,000 people die each year from foodborne illness so preventing such illness with proper food handling is of monumental importance.

Cross-contamination occurs when disease-causing microorganisms, like bacteria and viruses, are transferred from one food to another. As a result, cross-contamination is one of the leading causes of foodborne illness. This happens most frequently from unwashed cutting boards, hands, or kitchen tools.

So, how can you prevent cross-contamination? Start by making sure your staff has gone through proper food safety training so that your employees all have knowledge of how to properly clean surfaces and equipment and how to prepare and store food in ways that prevent cross-contamination. Aside from that, here are the basics that you need to know.

Wash your hands

Personal hygiene is critical to preventing cross-contamination. Washing your hands often gets rid of bacteria that could contaminate the food you are preparing.

Switch equipment for raw and cooked food

Using the same utensils and cutting boards for different foods, such as raw poultry and produce, can lead to cross-contamination. So, make sure you have a system in place to keep these utensils separate. Also make sure to wash and sanitize your utensils after each task to kill of the bacteria that might be lingering.

Clean and sanitize all work surfaces

Make sure that work surfaces are being cleaned after every task. It’s important to use sanitizer and not just wipe off the surface, since that does not kill pathogens.

Do not wash raw meat

In general, washing food removes bacteria. However, you should never wash or rinse raw meat before cooking it, since bacteria from raw meat and poultry juices can spread to other surfaces or utensils.

Cover raw food and keep it separate from ready-to-eat products

Proper food storage techniques can help prevent bacteria from spreading from one food to another. Cover raw foods to prevent any bacteria from transferring to ready-to-eat products and contaminating them. It is also best practice to store these foods separately to reduce the risk of contamination even further.

Use proper food safety labels

Clear food labels let employees know what food is being stored so they can properly separate food in a way that prevents cross-contamination. Having the date labelled ensures that employees know when to throw the food out.

 

For a more in depth look at cross-contamination as well as other ways to prevent foodborne illness, take our food handlers training course.

And watch this quick video to learn more about how to prevent cross-contamination.

Food Safety and Child Care

Unless you were living under a rock last year, you’re probably well aware of all the food recalls, CDC warnings, lettuce-free sandwiches. As we continue to learn about hazards and regulate food production, food safety training and awareness is more important than ever.

As the school year winds down many will be searching for summer childcare. While there are definitely laws pertaining to food safety and child care it’s not as widely talked about and regulated as the restaurant industry. Considering that children spread germs and illness faster than parents and caregivers can sanitize, we think it’s a subject worth talking about.

 

Foodborne illness is caused by eating foods or drinking beverages that are contaminated with germs like bacteria, viruses, molds, or parasites. These pathogens can spread rapidly and can be picked up in many different ways. If there’s one thing that’s universal to all children everywhere it’s that they have tendency to play with, touch, or interact with things that may not always be the most sanitary. Yes, we remind them to wash their hands, but it’s advice they don’t always heed.

 

Often, foodborne illness can spread from something as simple as a toy passing between kids. When you work with kids you know there’s very rarely a quiet moment. It’s easy to miss something simple. If you want to learn more about food safety or food allergens visit our website to register for our online training courses. You’ve got a million and one things to remember and take care of. We’re here to help create a food safety culture and it starts with education and implementation.

Liquorexam.com and Always Food Safe: The Ultimate Pairing

In general, a bartender job description includes many elements. Some of those duties may be:

 

  •        Prepare alcohol or non-alcohol beverages for bar and restaurant patrons
  •        Mix ingredients to prepare cocktails
  •        Plan and present bar menu
  •        Restock and replenish bar inventory as needed
  •        Provide an excellent guest experience
  •        Comply with all food and beverage regulations

 

Liquorexam.com is an online server and selling training program that teaches employees to serve and sell alcohol legally and responsibly. Each state has different training requirements so their website provides a pull-down menu to see what training programs are available for your state. In addition to liquor handler training, some states require bartenders to have food safety training as well. That’s why Always Food Safe has joined forces with Liquorexam.com to provide food safety training along with their liquor handler training. By combining our services with Liquorexam.com, we’ve ensured hospitality customers get the best experience possible. Their beverages and food are safe.

Even if your state doesn’t require food safety training for bartenders, it’s still a good idea, and honestly, the responsible decision to become certified in food safety. When you take a look at the bartender duties, you’ll see many of those describe tasks that require people to come in contact with food or kitchen equipment. If you’re looking to stay relevant in the ultra-competitive restaurant and bar industry, having that extra credential is a great idea regardless of your state’s regulations. Visit Liquorexam.com to learn more about their program or visit  https://alwaysfoodsafe.com/ to learn more.

Produce Food Safety

There’s a certain buzz that starts to develop as the weather warms, and we’re not only talking about the bees and flies. You start seeing neighbors working in their yards, people walking their dogs, jogging, and yes, planting their gardens. Farmers markets start to pop up and there’s just an overall excitement in the air. That said, chances are you’ll still purchase some of your produce at the grocery store and, as 2018 taught us, that can be risky. From tainted lettuce to the disappearance of sprouts on sandwiches, produce is an important part of food safety.

In 2015, the FDA enacted The Produce Safety Rule which federally regulated standards for production, harvest, and handling of fruits and veggies in an effort to prevent contamination that causes foodborne illness. This rule targets worker health, hygiene, and training, water standards, and equipment, tool, and building sanitation.

 

In spite of this rule, people still get sick from produce so it’s important to practice your own produce safety. Try to choose items that aren’t damaged or bruised and be sure to keep produce separate from raw meat and poultry. When choosing fresh-cut produce choose items that are stored properly in coolers or surrounded by ice.

 

Once home, make sure you’re washing the produce and countertops you’re using to prep them clean. Keep all produce, precut or otherwise, refrigerated at temperature of 40 degrees or lower.