Nothing is more important than maintaining a proper commercial kitchen space that is both clean and safe. Many high-profile restaurants and cafés that failed to follow food safety practices have been shut down.
When it comes to food preparation and handling, you must be extra careful as simple mistakes can lead to customers experiencing food poisoning or the restaurant experiencing an explosion. Besides the damage, you have a responsibility to ensure that your kitchen staff is completely safe.
To help you improve kitchen safety, we have prepared the ultimate post that shares the top tips. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in.
1. Everyone Must Constantly Wash Their Hands
One of the most important food safety tips that commercial kitchen managers need to keep in mind is ensuring that everyone constantly washes their hands. Things would only go downhill if the practice is not heeded.
Your hands carry bacteria which is why everyone has to wash their hands while working in the commercial kitchen, especially before preparing food. If anyone fails to wash their hands, they increase the risk of bacteria spreading to the food while it is prepared. Thus, it would result in customers getting sick.
A great way to get everyone to wash their hands at all times is by installing hand washing stations in the kitchen.
2. Always Wear Plastic Gloves
Since germs spread through skin contact, it is crucial that everyone wears gloves. But, it is important that the gloves are changed from time to time to ensure that they do not get contaminated. It would prevent the spread of germs to other ingredients.
Make sure to change gloves when handling raw ingredients like eggs and raw meat. Get everyone to wear gloves at your diner for the best results, from the chefs to the waiters.
3. Never Let Sick Employees Prepare Food
When anyone at the workplace gets sick, you should let them rest. Otherwise, everyone would end up catching the illness. Do not let a sick employee cook food. It would only result in customers reporting your restaurant for being unsanitary.
If anyone who has diarrhea prepares food, there is a high chance that your customers will get infected. Minimize risk by offering sick leaves to your workforce.
4. Wash Food Ingredients before Using Them
When using food ingredients, you must wash them first. Never use unwashed fruits and vegetables. Even when you have peeled the skin off, you should still wash them. This would help eliminate all the germs that are present inside the fruits and vegetables. Thus, you would get to be able to provide your customers with the right food.
Failure to wash food ingredients would result in germs traveling from the kitchen to the customer. In fact, it could even cause diseases such as Salmonella. Since Salmonella is prepared using tomatoes, you must carefully wash them.
5. Get Your Gas Appliances Inspected by a Gas Safe Engineer
The next food safety tip that you need to follow for your commercial kitchen is obtaining a gas certificate. It will help minimize the risk of harmful gas leaks or explosions. As you never know which gas appliances could cause trouble, you must have your gas appliances checked at least once a year.
Make sure that you hire a registered gas safe engineer for performing the gas safety checks. This tip helps ensure that both your customers and employees remain safe. Moreover, you are legally bound to get your gas appliances checked regularly.
6. Avoid Cross-Contamination
Cross-contamination is the number one cause of most food illnesses. It occurs when germs from raw food ingredients enter prepared or cooked foods. Some raw foods that you need to be careful with include eggs, seafood, and raw meats.
Always use separate utensils when dealing with raw foods and never use them with prepared foods. For instance, you should not use knives or cutting boards that had been used for cutting seafood.
7. Steer Clear of Expired Ingredients
Another food safety tip that you should follow is to never use expired ingredients. If you use expired ingredients to prepare food, you will end up causing harm to your customers. Hence, you must check all the expiry dates of the ingredients and throw away expired items.
Mark expiration dates by labeling them onto food items using markers and masking tapes. Whenever food ingredients are delivered, you must ensure that the expiration dates are checked. If any item is expired, you should return it immediately.
8. Store Foods at the Right Temperature
Food storage is something that you should never take lightly. You must be careful about the temperature at which you store food. The temperature depends on the type of food you store. There are two types of food storage options, as mentioned below.
- Chilled Foods: Store chilled food at 41°F or less. These food items cannot be taken out for over 3 to 4 hours. Otherwise, they would go bad, and you would have no option but to get rid of them. It is a good idea to install a thermometer in the commercial kitchen to ensure that employees are able to monitor the temperature.
- Dry Foods: When it comes to dry foods, you must ensure that they are stored in a bit chilled and dry space. Aim for a temperature around 50°F to 59°F to store the food properly. You will also need to clean and sanitize the food regularly to keep insects and pests away.
9. Provide Food Safety Training to Employees
Lastly, you must train your employees about food safety in the kitchen. It will help prevent the possibility of customers experiencing food poisoning. When you hire new staff, you must immediately train them before they start working. It would also help prevent food from going to waste.
After you have finished reading our post, you will be able to ensure food safety in your commercial kitchen. Since food safety plays a huge role in the success of every restaurant, you must never compromise on it. Follow each of the tips mentioned to keep both your customers and employees safe.