Food Handling Safety. Maintaining a safe and clean work environment is critical in preventing foodborne illness. Bacteria and other harmful elements can grow on dirty surfaces and contaminate food.
A work area that looks clean should not be considered a sanitized environment. As a food handler or restaurant owner, make sure that your food handling meets sanitation standards. And that you are delivering safe-to-eat food to customers.
Food can become contaminated at any stage during preparation, distribution, and production. Every individual along the production chain should be equipped and trained in food safety. Unfortunately, most of the food handling facilities (such as restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, institutional cafeteria, etc.) do not give due attention to sanitation. This is why a great majority of people experience foodborne diseases.
Why is food safety important?
According to World Health Organization, more than 200 diseases spread through food. This fact highlights the importance of making sure the food we consume is not contaminated. Such contaminated can be harmful chemicals toxins, parasites, viruses, and bacteria. To improve the situation, read the World Health Organization’s Five Keys to safer food. This helps countries promote safe food handling practices and procedures. And educates people associated with the food industry.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 48 million Americans fall prey to foodborne illness annually. Restaurants and other places food is processed or handled have an obligation to ensure consumers are protected against foodborne health issues. It can take only one incident to tarnish your brand. Honeycomb hairnets can prevent hair entering food; it only takes one annoyed customer to damage your reputation.
Food safety tips and basics
There are 4 basic principles of food safety: clean, separate, cook, and chill. Use food service wipes to clean anything that comes into contact with food, or is a food contact surface. Separate raw meat and seafood from cooked items to prevent cross-contamination. Preparing various food items, such as meat and poultry, at an optimal temperature also helps to kill pathogens. Besides that, refrigerate food promptly.
How to improve food safety
How can you establish food-safety practices without spending too much money and time? The following are some of precautionary measures you can consider and put in place for enhanced food safety:
- Reduce the risk of non-compliance from workers throughout the food handling system.
- Simplify sanitation practices by adopting easy-to-use sanitizing food equipment.
- Proper food handling and sanitation (consistent cleaning of food contact surfaces with all-encompassing products such as quat disinfectant cleaners)
- Dry hands with a clean towel, disposable paper towel or food service wipes
- Instruct your workers to wear and change disposable food gloves frequently
- Ensure supply chain compliance with recommended food-safety practices.
- Always use recommended and approved products to ensure food contact surface sanitation.
Personal hygiene and affordable solutions
Apart from training programs, provide employees with enough facilities and sanitation products to improve your sanitary conditions. Food service wipes, for example, are an inexpensive and valuable sanitation item.
Help your staff improve hygiene without doing anything complex or difficult. Use polyester towels made to ensure food contact surface sanitation. Get food service towels, Quaternary Disinfectant Cleaners, and other proven food safety products in bulk. Better prepare your facility to meet sanitation requirements.
Personal hygiene is especially important for food handlers and food servers. Employees with infected sores or cuts should not be allowed to prepare or serve food.
Employees who have anything to do with food or food contact surfaces must be given training so that they can understand the idea of personal or environmental hygiene. Food handlers are people who manufacture, prepare, process, deliver, transport or serve food. Even people who clean equipment and premises should be aware of sanitation and cleanliness.
The impact of sanitation
The significance of food workplace sanitation goes beyond regulatory actions. Cleaning activities must done in a manner that will not harm workers.
There are some sanitation tasks that require staff to clean potentially dangerous equipment. But, having a proper sanitation apparel and safety gear can improve the productivity of your food business.
Food safety has become a vital global public health issue as consumers suffer from many foodborne diseases. Health concerns from foodborne pathogens make it mandatory for the food industry to take actions to mitigate the situation.
Regulatory authorities and government agencies worldwide are putting their efforts to enhance food safety so that no one suffers following the consumption of food items.
Start improving food sanitation conditions at your facility. Provide employees with simple and affordable solutions. Use food service wipes, food gloves, and disinfectant cleaners.
Keep your restaurant’s reputation intact and keep customers coming back. Put in place recommended food safety practices and stock approved food handling products. Find food safety janitorial and disposable goods at Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies.
Justin Hines is an author at Harmony Supply Blog. With over a decade of experience working with cleanrooms, controlled environments, and industrial manufacturers, Justin Hines provides content to Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies.