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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.

Pest Control

According to research conducted by Time Magazine  poor pest control was the 5th highest reason for foodborne illness in the restaurant sector.

Here at Always Food Safe we want to highlight to you the main problems, how to solve them and some best practices for you to keep in mind.

What are the main pest problems?

Pests fall under 4 main groups, these are:

  1. Insects – flies, moths, ants, cockroaches and wasps
  2. Stored product pests such as beetles, termites and weevils
  3. Rats, mice and racoons
  4. Birds

Food premises are very attractive to a pest, because your establishment will contain everything they need, such as: food, warmth, moisture, and shelter. If they get in they’ll be like a kid in a candy store!

Prevention – Stopping pests becoming a pest

Don’t give pests a sniff, just clean as you go! If you keep a clean workplace there will be a much lower chance of having a pest problem.

Clean as you go should be the motto for you and all of your staff – don’t give pests a chance to find food, so if you spill some food make sure it’s cleaned up immediately!

It’s also important to pest proof your building overall, this can sometimes be called denial of access – if you pest proof your building you will make it much less likely for pests to be able to gain access insider your building.

However, if the worst happens and you do get a pest in your premise, don’t wait, contact , they will eliminate any pests.

We recommend the use of PCO, as they are the experts.

Best practice suggestions

Now you know the main pests, the problems and how to prevent them, we wanted to give you a few best practice tips to help you and your staff on a day to day basis.

  • Firstly, regularly inspect the building to check for evidence of pests.
  • Make sure you check deliveries carefully - some pests have entered food premises in packaging, vegetables, fruit, cereals and grain.
  • Check stored goods regularly and rotate stock.
  • Keep food covered at all times.
  • Never leave food in the preparation area when you are closed or overnight.
  • Store food off the floor in suitable containers.
  • Report any signs of damaged, torn, pierced or gnawed packaging.
  • Report any signs of pest activity – droppings, dead bodies, gnaw marks, unusual odors, nesting or unusual noise.
  • Store food waste in trash containers with securely fitting lids.
  • Keep doors and windows closed unless you have correctly fitting screens.
  • Report any sighting or signs of pests to your supervisor immediately.

Cooking Temperatures

As a business in the food industry it’s important that your team understand what temperature different food groups need to be cooked at to keep your customers safe.

Click on the link to get the USDA recommended safe minimum internal temperatures: http://bit.ly/2qaBXVc.

You must hit these temperatures and times as a minimum – A good control measure is setting their cooking temperatures at a higher level, for a longer time. Just to be safe!

Hot holding food

The most important rule is to keep food at a minimum of 135F or above.

It’s important to stir food regularly to make sure all parts of the food stays at this temperature.

Best Practices for hot holding

  1. 4 hours should be the maximum time you hold hot food
  2. Never add new food to old food! Make sure you throw the old food away, sanitize the serving dish/cutlery and replace with new food.

Best practices for re-heating food

  1. Only remove food from the cooler just before re-heating. The food must be re-heated to 165F for 15 seconds
  2. Never use hot holding equipment to re-heat food more than once. You must throw away food after it has been re-heated once.

Cooling Hot Food

Cooling hot food is the biggest cause of foodborne illness in America

As a company we believe that in most situations 2 hours (The FDA say 6) is too long for food to be left in the Temperature Danger Zone, we recommend doing this within 30 minutes.

Best practices for cooling hot food –

  • Whenever possible use large, shallow trays and pans (two to three inches deep) for cooling food, because the larger surface area helps to speed up the cooling process
  • Divide hot food into smaller or thinner portions
  • Use an ice bath. Transfer the hot food to a clean, cold container and place the container in a larger one that holds ice or water. Add new ice or cold water at regular intervals to speed up the process
  • Stir or rotate food while it is cooling
  • After removing cooked roasts and whole chickens from their juices, transfer the food to a clean, cold container with enough space for air to circulate and make sure it is covered
  • Cover and protect all food from cross-contamination while it is cooling
  • Keep regularly checking the temperature of the food to make sure you do not leave it in the Temperature Danger Zone longer than necessary
  • Never place hot food in a cooler as this will raise the temperature of the cooler and cause condensation that could cross-contaminate other foods

Never cool food at room temperature.

Tips for Sourcing Fresh Ingredients

“Buying Local” is a huge trend and as we see globalization continue to create longer and more complex food supply chains, it can be tough to source fresh ingredients to meet the needs of a restaurant.

Using locally sourced ingredients offers advantages for chefs and customers alike. Working directly with local farmers is a great way to boost the local economy and, cutting down on how far your meat and produce has to travel, will reduce your carbon footprint.

With the emphasis on Responsible Growth for businesses and the ever-popular “farm-to-table” movement that has consumers demanding for locally grown foods, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that sourcing local, fresh ingredients is more than a health trend; at this point, it’s business savvy.

So how can you stay competitive and still meet the bottom line? Here are some tips on sourcing fresh and local ingredients that will help you get started.

Hit up those Farmers Markets

The farmers market in your area is a great place to pick up the freshest produce and support the community. In addition, it’s an opportunity to form connections and network with the producers who have the ingredients you need.

Another perk is that even if a particular farmer doesn’t sell the produce or meat and dairy you need, chances are they can point you in the direction of someone who does. That’s the benefit of working within a community.

You can also develop connections with growers associations and cheese-maker guilds through networking at the farmers market.

After making those connections, you’ve opened the door to communicate with the producers during the off-season. You can discuss the ingredients you’ll want to buy in the future to ensure a plentiful supply of fresh, tasty food a few months down the line. Be specific about what you’ll be willing to purchase and the quantities you’re interested in.