There is a lot of information out there about food safety, but what are the most important things to remember to handle food safely?
Here are 6 of the most important practices to implement when handling food that will help ensure that you are not spreading foodborne illnesses to the customers you are serving.
Wash your hands
The first thing you can do to handle food safely is wash your hands. Good personal hygiene helps prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses, and something as simple as washing your hands before handling food and between tasks can drastically reduce the risk of food poisoning.
Use sanitizer on hand contact and food contact surfaces. This includes all food prep surfaces, as well as cooking utensils. This will kill or reduce the amount of bacteria that may be lingering.
Separate Raw and Ready-to-eat Food
Use separate cutting boards and utensils for different foods, such as produce and poultry, to avoid cross-contamination.
Another way to prevent cross-contamination is to make sure that raw and ready-to-eat foods are stored separately so bacteria is not transferred from the raw foods onto the ready-to-eat foods.
Check Internal Temperature
Bacteria can multiply at the right temperatures, so to avoid food sitting in the temperature danger zone for too long, it is important to make sure that meat and poultry and cooked to their minimum internal temperature.
Store Food at Proper Temperature
When refrigerating food, the refrigerator should be below 41°F to keep bacteria from multiplying at an exponential rate.
Food handlers should stay up to date on their food safety training, knowing the best practices to prevent food poisoning, symptoms of food poisoning, and major foodborne illnesses they should look out for.