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Top Tips to Safe Eating

We've all been hungry, tired and just want to find anywhere to eat.

However, more often than not this leads to bad food, service and experience. Here are a few tips to help you when trying to find a new place to eat.....

1. Proof of Certification

There are a couple things that we suggest that you do before you even arrive at a restaurant, but our number one tip would be to call ahead and ask about the certifications of the staff.

Ask about the cooks and servers food safe certifications. There are numerous options out there, so take note of what they say and check to see that it is legitimate.

Restaurant staff should always be Food Handler & Allergen Awareness trained, asked to see if staff are.

2. Do they take food allergies seriously?

This obviously is one that you only must worry about should you have allergies, although it is a great test for how food smart the staff member on the phone is.

Let them know of what your allergies are, whether it is gluten, peanuts, or dairy, and ask what sort of alternative they have. If they seem clueless about the question, start looking for another restaurant.

3. Reviews - Trust people's feedback

This may require only a quick Google search. A bad report is going to be the first thing that a search brings up, but keep in mind the amount of time that has passed since that incident.

Consider the reviews, if a restaurant has survived from a previous failure and the reviews suggest that it has cleaned itself up accordingly, you may use your discretion. You can always excuse yourself if you make a visit and it does not appear as the reviews had suggested.

4. Look for Red Flags

Brazen restaurants put their staff in the open so that everyone can watch their practices.

It’s a good start for trusting the sanitary practices of their staff, but you should consider what the practices are for the prep work, or what is done behind closed doors. If the staff appears orderly, and prepared, you can relax, red flags are obvious: handling food without gloves, preparing food on unclean surfaces, not washing the hands when leaving the restroom.

5 Foods to Help with Spring Allergies

It’s no secret that, for many, spring can be quite the pain. Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. So yes, the snow is melting, the temps are warming, and summer is on its way, but spring also brings with it itching, sneezing, and watery eyes for those who struggle with allergies. Prescriptions drugs or over-the-counter meds help, but can be quite expensive. The average cost of treatment can range anywhere from $3-$3,000 depending on the frequency and treatment method.

 

Food, when prepared and used safely, can provide many benefits. One of those benefits is that certain foods can help reduce allergy symptoms. Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you go out and find rare, exotic, or strange foods. These are things you can find at any local grocery store and, as we roll into spring, should consider stalking in your fridge:

 

Pineapple:

Aside from being just a fabulous, crown-wearing fruit, pineapples are a great source of Bromelain. This enzyme is used to reduce inflammation, especially of the nose and sinuses.

 

Foods Rich in Probiotics:

Yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, and the popular fermented tea drink, Kombucha, are all excellent sources of probiotics. These foods produce healthy bacteria which can help with a number of ailments. You could not only get help with your allergies, but also strengthen your immune system and have healthier skin too!

 

Local Raw Honey:

A spoon full of honey helps your allergies subside (we hope you sang that in your head to the Mary Poppins song). Get ready to have your mind blown: raw honey will help relieve watery eyes, congestion, and pretty much most allergy symptoms because it contains the very pollen your allergies stem from!

 

Vitamin C:

Vitamin C works as a natural antihistamine and, luckily, there are a lot of different foods that contain high amounts of it. Since our bodies don’t naturally produce or store vitamin C, it’s important that we get it from other sources. Here’s a surprise though, strawberries, sweet yellow peppers, parsley, broccoli, and kale all have more vitamin C than oranges!

 

Food safety is more than reporting on the latest foodborne illness outbreaks. It’s important to recognize all the ways food can impact our lives.

 

Why is Food Safety So Important?

How many times have we heard someone complain of a stomach ache or nausea and claim it was something they ate? How many times in the last year have we read headlines and news stories about the latest food illness outbreak? Chances are, you or someone you know can relate to both of those scenarios. “Food poisoning,” or reactions stemming from foodborne illnesses have become so common it’s hardly alarming anymore. In fact, each year, 48 million Americans suffer from foodborne illness in some manner. Leafy green vegetables are the most commonly cause food sickness.

 

Food illness is caused primarily by several pathogens. Most people are familiar with E. coli, Listeria, Norovirus, and Salmonella. These are just a few of the pathogens that can cause sickness if food isn’t properly produces, stored, transported, and prepared.

 

Food safety is important from the ground to the table and everything in between. We often overlook the dangers of food illness in the early stages of food production. Food safety is critical because we have to create a food safety culture; one where food illness isn’t normalized.

 

Beyond preventing illness, food safety also allows you to enjoy quality food at the peak of its flavor and taste. Food safety practices also allows us to get the fullest nutritional value of our food. Food safety also saves you time and money. Often, the proper food safety practices are more efficient.

 

Proper food safety means fewer sick people, less food waste, and more money saved. Learn more about food safety certification courses on our website!

Always Food Safe partner with Food Recovery Network

Always Food Safe are delighted to have partnered with Food Recovery Network. Their mission was to recover perfectly good food, that would otherwise be thrown away, and donate it to hunger-fighting nonprofits. Food Recovery Network is the largest student movement that seeks to fight food waste and hunger in America. By the end of the first school year, the group had recovered and distributed 30,000 meals.

70% Turnover in the Restaurant Industry

According to statistics from the National Restaurant Association the turnover rate in the restaurant industry is over 70%!

This staggering figure is actually an increase on 2016, so why are people not staying in jobs for the long term?

Here are 3 main reasons:

  1. One third of working teenagers are employed in restaurants, that equates to 1.6 million workers, however, many move on to other professions, or college; so these roles are relatively short lived.

 

  1. Students also play a big role in the restaurant industry, with 27% of eating and drinking place employees being enrolled in school. So, this means when they go home for summer, or finish college altogether, they leave their job in the restaurant industry and start their chosen profession.

 

  1. During the holidays, many restaurants have to employ seasonal staff to cope with demand. Over the summer season up to half a million extra jobs are created to deal with the demand. However, when it is quieter the jobs no longer exist.

 

Looking for work in the food industry?

If you’re looking for work in the food industry it’s important that you have your Food Handler qualification before applying for roles – this will give you a distinct advantage over the competition.

The Cost of Re-Hiring: $5,864 a Staff Member

With the employee turnover rate for the restaurant industry at 70% for the second consecutive year it must feel like you never have time to do what you’re good at; running a restaurant!

Not only is staff turnover time consuming, stressful and more than likely to cause you to work every day of the week, it is also expensive.

Think of the advertising, interview and training costs for every new employee. Cornell University Center for Hospitality Research put the cost at $5,864 per employee.

This is money that businesses just throw away ever year, when there is a simple way to stop employee turnover – EMPOWER YOUR EMPLOYEES, it’s that simple.

How can you empower your employees?

Three words: Training, Training, Training!

Forbes’ research found that 28% of all employees quit within the first 90-120 days of employment, due to a lack of training and support.

And in just 6 months staff will have forgotten 90% of the training methods you taught them, so it’s important to make continuous training part of your business culture.

When staff receive training, they feel valued, appreciated and see potential within their job. This makes them less likely to leave, as they see a clear future with the business.

A lack of training can make many employees feel underappreciated and can become disillusioned with their role within the organization.

How can Always Food Safe help your business?

Always Food Safe can make your life as a restaurant manager a lot easier, and will please your local health inspector to no end on their next visit.

Not only do our online Food Handler courses teach your staff everything they need to know to keep themselves and your customers safe, but we will provide them with continued training while working for your business.

Every two months we send out an email and video link to your staff members with a two to three-minute update/refresher on certain key food safety topics. For example: Temperature Control, Hand Washing or Personal Hygiene.

Six times a year a learner has the opportunity to refresh their understanding of key food safety points. We believe we are the only company to offer these unique points, and why many major businesses chose our company.

If you want to begin your businesses journey to employee engagement give our team a call at 1-844-312-2011 today.

Sanitizers & Detergents - What's the Difference?

What’s the difference between detergents and sanitizers?

The major difference between detergents and sanitizers is that a sanitizer kills 99.9% of pathogenic bacteria – meaning it reduces bacteria to a safe level.

Important things to remember:

  • To kill or reduce pathogenic bacteria to a safe level, items and equipment must be sanitized after having been cleaned with a detergent.
  • A sanitizer must be used AFTER cleaning with a detergent, because a sanitizer cannot remove grease and dirt.
  • The sanitizer must also be left on the surface long enough to work properly; this is called the 'contact time' (always check the manufacturer’s instructions).

A detergent removes dirt, food waste and grease.  - a sanitizer kills pathogenic bacteria

What should you clean with detergent?

  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Storage shelves
  • Garbage containers

What should you sanitize?

The items that you need to sanitize depend on their use and if they come into contact with food. For example:

Hand contact surfaces:

  • Anything that is frequently touched by your hands
  • Remember cross-contamination!

- Think about handles, doors, coolers, freezers, drawers, faucets, and switches

  • For front of house, you should sanitize the order tablets (if applicable)

Food contact surfaces:

  • Any surface that comes into contact with raw or high risk foods. - These will include, cutting boards, preparation tables and work surfaces
  • Also, don’t forget, knives, tongs, and other utensils including containers, pots, and pans
  • Food processing machinery such as slicers, mixers, and meat grinders

Cleaning supplies:

You also need to sanitize wiping cloths as they are a major source of cross contamination and we are going to deal with them separately.