Cross-contamination is a potentially harmful situation for patrons and employees of restaurants. When dealing with food, employees must be diligent in the handling of raw meat and other food items that may cause unintended sickness to patrons. Work surfaces, equipment, food, employee’s hands, and other items that come into contact with any food run the risk of cross-contamination. Preventing cross-contamination is relatively simple through education and by following the necessary steps for the health and safety of customers and the business.
Train the Staff
Every waiter, cook, dish washer, and every other employee needs education concerning the dangers of cross-contamination. When an employee is hired, and periodically during their employment, education and re-education must be followed. The habit of reminding employees that cleanliness is key is tied to a culture that favors health over speed.
Keep Hands Clean
“Employees Must Wash Hands” signs are found in every public bathroom and kitchen. Regular, thorough washing of the hands helps stop the spread of most pathogens. Hand washing needs to become an automatic response, especially after handling raw meat. This also holds true when an employee must reach down to the floor or use the restroom.
Keep Equipment Separate
Equipment is one area of a kitchen that is most easily contaminated. Knives, bowls, mixers, cutting boards, and any commonly used kitchen items carry the residue of whatever item was on or near it. Keep all of these tools separate from one another as much as possible. Use different bowls for mixing different food items. Designate particular knives for cutting meat and others for raw vegetables. Keep separate cutting boards for raw foods and meat. Washing all of these items regularly with hot, soapy water when you are finished with them will kill any pathogens, as well.
Keep Work Surfaces Sanitary
In addition to the tools used in the kitchen, keep work surfaces clean with a sanitizing solution. This means scraping the grill, wiping the counters, even mopping the floor – everywhere that a pathogen could potentially live. Scrubbing down the kitchen at the end of the day or scraping the grill in between meals is a necessity in order to maintain a clean and orderly kitchen.
Store Food Properly
By law, every restaurant must be particular on how and where food is stored. Even restaurants that utilize freezers must be cautious of cross-contamination. Keep foods such as meat and vegetables separate from one another. Never put these items together to thaw out.
Each different food has its own needs for handling safely, from beer to bratwurst. In each case, strictly observe defrosting instructions. When two different kinds of foods are stored too close, the cross contamination that is produced inevitably spoils the whole batch if left unchecked. In turn, this causes a restaurant to lose time, money, and valuable customers.
Even the most vigilant restaurant has the potential to find itself face to face with a food poisoning incident or other complaint related to cross-contamination. With proper restaurant insurance, like the plans offered by Blue Sky Insurance Agency, the costs associated with the clean-up of an unexpected event is covered and expert guidance on how to prevent future problems is provided.
About Blue Sky Insurance Agency
For over 20 years, family owned Blue Sky Insurance Agency has proudly specialized in insurance and tax services for Virginia residents. Our philosophy is simple: “If you can dream it, we can insure it.” We strive to provide value to our clients by establishing and building relationships and focusing on more than just rates. We are dedicated to providing holistic and strategically tailored solutions to protect all of your assets, and to provide peace of mind wherever life takes you. To get in touch with us, fill out a complimentary quote form, or call us at one of our two locations:
Phone: (804) 745-4044
PO Box 35674
North Chesterfield, VA, 23235
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm
Phone: (804) 404-2030
9932 Midlothian Turnpike
Richmond, VA, 23235
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm