The step-by-step approach to a safe food environment


Follow these SafeSteps Food Safety Guidelines

Protecting your foodservice operation and your customers from foodborne illness is easier than you might think. By simply following a few basic food safety guidelines you can create a healthier, safer environment in which to prepare and serve food:

1. Cleaning & Sanitizing:
It is important to wash, rinse and sanitize all food-contact surfaces including cutting boards and countertops after each use. Cleaning removes food particles and sanitizing kills the bacteria that cause foodborne illness. All dishes and utensils must also be washed and sanitized manually or in a dish machine. Air dry all items - do not towel dry.

2. Employee Hygiene:
Hands are the principal transmitters of dangerous bacteria. That is why all employees should wash and sanitize their hands before work, after using the restroom, sneezing or coughing, handling raw food, taking a break, eating or smoking, touching their face or hair, taking out the garbage. Use hot water, soap hands thoroughly, rinse and dry with disposable hand towels or hot-air dryer.

3. Cooking Temperatures:
Cooking food to the proper temperature is one of the most important measures you can take to ensure food safety. Safe temperatures for cooked foods are: 74 degrees C / 165 degrees F for poultry - 66 degrees C / 150 degrees F for pork - 54 degrees C / 130 degrees F for beef - 60 degrees C / 140 degrees F for everything else. Cooked foods must be held above 60 degrees C / 140 degrees F. Quickly heat leftovers to 74 degrees C / 165 degrees F. Use a thermometer to check food temperatures. Make sure thermometers are cleaned and sanitized prior to use.

4. Safe storage & Handling:
Keep storage areas and food-transporting equipment clean and sanitry. Store cooked and ready-to-eat foods away from raw foods. Refrigerate food so that the food temperature is always 7 degrees C / 45 degrees F or lower. Cool leftover foods as quickly as possible to 7 degrees C / 45 degrees F. Do not put large amounts of hot food in the refrigerator - too many hot items in the refrigerator at one time can increase the temperature inside to unsafe levels. Always store cleaning products, chemicals and pesticides away from food.

5. Serving Food Safety:

Your dining room is the primaru place where customers judge the cleanliness and sanitary condition of your facility for themselves. First impressions are extremely important. So it's imperative that you keep the dining area clean and sanitary not only for food safety reasons, but for business reasons as well. Make sure all dishes and tableware are spotless.


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