Cooking meals for large groups can be a daunting task, whether you are a professional chef in a fancy men’s or women’s chef coat and bib apron, or a junior cook in your crisp white cook shirt. Not only do you have to worry about preparing the right meal, but you also have to make sure that it is safe to eat. Foodborne illnesses are a common problem in commercial kitchens, but there are many ways to prevent them from occurring.
Educate your staff on food safety and hygiene
One of the best ways in which to avoid problems regarding food borne illnesses is to educate the staff on safety and hygiene. This means teaching them about the dangers of cross-contamination, how to properly cook the meals, and the importance of hand washing. Staff should also be taught how to identify signs of food poisoning in order to get help quickly if someone becomes ill.
In addition, staff should also be trained on proper personal hygiene and dress. For example, chefs should avoid wearing jewelry while cooking as it can be a potential source of contamination; they should also always keep their hands clean with soap and water before handling any food items at all times in order to avoid spreading bacteria onto them.
This is especially important if you are running a busy kitchen where people may not have time for hand washing or other hygiene practices between orders so make sure that everyone knows how important these things are.
Implement a food safety plan that is tailored to your business
A food safety plan is very important for a commercial kitchen. It is the key to keeping your customers safe and happy. You need one that has been tailored specifically for your business, so you can ensure it meets all of your needs and expectations as an owner or operator in charge of maintaining safety standards within the workplace.
There are many different kinds of plans out there but they usually include things like:
A list of ingredients used in each dish (and their sources).
The number of people who will be working with each ingredient.
Any special tools or equipment needed to prepare a dish safely (i.e., gloves and masks).
If you don't have one yet, take some time today to create your own food safety plan. It is easy enough; just outline how much of each ingredient should go into every meal, what temperature it needs to be cooked at, how long before serving can occur without compromising quality or flavor and anything else that might affect its shelf life once served up on plates for customers' enjoyment.
Regularly clean and sanitize all surfaces and equipment in the kitchen
A commercial kitchen requires a lot of cleanups. Make sure your staff knows the importance of cleaning and sanitizing surfaces, utensils, equipment; anything that might have come into contact with food during preparation or storage. Cleaning will help remove bacteria from these areas; however, it won't kill them off completely which is where sanitizing comes in handy.
In addition to daily cleaning, regular deep cleaning is also required. This means taking everything apart and cleaning every nook and cranny. It is also a good idea to have a designated area for dirty dishes so they don't contaminate clean surfaces.
It is important to keep in mind that sanitizers can only do so much; they won't be effective if used incorrectly or if there is any residue left on surfaces. Staff should be properly trained on how to use them and what to look for when it comes to cleaning the kitchen.
Make sure that all food is properly stored and labeled
Improper storage of food items is another reason to cause contamination. Make sure that all items are properly labeled with the date it was prepared. This will help you keep track of which items have been in the fridge for too long. It is also important to store them at the correct temperature. Hot items should be kept hot and cold items should be kept cold.
If there is a power outage, make sure to keep an eye on the temperatures until power is restored. The last thing you want is for your refrigerated or frozen items to spoil because it wasn't stored at the correct temperature.
Use proper cooking methods to prevent bacteria from growing
Cooking certain food items in the proper way will ensure that the bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses are killed. Make sure to cook meats such as beef, pork, and poultry to the correct internal temperature. Use a meat thermometer to make sure that the meat is cooked all the way through.
Don't forget about other foods that need to be cooked properly in order to prevent food poisoning. Cook eggs until they are firm and don't eat them runny. Don't eat unpasteurized dairy products either, and be sure to cook vegetables until they are soft so that any harmful bacteria will be destroyed.
Train your staff on how to spot signs of foodborne illness
Staff training is essential in a commercial kitchen, and everyone concerned needs to be properly trained on how to detect signs of foodborne illness in their own kitchen and those around them.
By following these simple tips, you can help prevent foodborne illnesses from occurring in your commercial kitchen.