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Getting Your Playbook for Food Safety Organized

As anyone who has ever worked in a foodservice operation knows, from the time food is received in your establishment to the time it is served to your customers, following proper food safety practices is crucial. What many don’t often think about is this time really should extend from the time the manager places their orders with their suppliers (including which purveyors you utilize), through the time the food is consumed – even if that consumption occurs off your premises and days after the original order was picked up by the guest. This is something that has certainly been highlighted by the pandemic as customers across the nation are utilizing take-out, curbside to go, and third-party delivery options more so now than ever before. Last...

Food Safety Resolutions for the New Year

Finally, 2020 is in our rearview mirror and we can all turn the page to 2021! Resolutions for the new year might be more of the same from prior years (lose weight, exercise more, less screen time, etc.) OR you may have identified new practices to implement in your operation. If the latter, likely goals included some practices related to food safety – especially given the turmoil of 2020 and heightened concern by customers. It is our philosophy that attention to safe food handling practices is a win-win for any operation because of the direct relationship between food safety and food quality, which in turn leads to customer satisfaction. This past year has also demonstrated that attention to safety can affect the bottom line. Thus,...

To Toss or Not to Toss? That is the question.

Our first blog for the month emphasized the basic safe food practices needed to keep you and your guests healthy (and happy!), especially during these times of COVID. The impact of foodborne illness can range from an uncomfortable few days to hospitalization or death. Foodborne illness IS preventable and the steps taken to keep food safe also maintain quality of food, and ultimately profitability. Think of attention to food safety as part of quality control and a win-win business strategy. Knowledge about food safety can be helpful when controlling costs as making wise decisions when determining the fate of unserved food can affect the bottom line. “When in doubt, throw it out”. You’ve likely all heard this old adage one too many times. This saying...

Holiday Food Safety Controls

In case you have not noticed - the holidays are here! We have seen store decorations up since mid-September and early bird deals advertised for several weeks, stretching the typical Black Friday deals throughout the month as retailers strive to ensure market share, while following increasingly stringent mandates for physical distancing Typically, foodservice operations are very busy during the holiday season, catering parties and hosting gatherings. With reduced capacity allowances, limits on gatherings, and social distancing, chances are this stream of revenue will be less than in previous years. As operators, regardless of type of foodservice, the focus continues on safety, quality, and ultimately profitability. And with the COVID pandemic still in full throttle (although it appears a vaccine may become available later this month),...

Proper Cooling: Your Food-Safe Culture Demands It

Last week, we had a great webinar presented by Dr. Paola Paez from the Center for Food Safety in Child Nutrition Programs at Kansas State University.  If you were not able to join us, please feel free to go back and review the webinar to learn some valuable ways in which you can implement safe cooling practices in your foodservice operation. In a perfect world, if any amount of cooling of food products within your operation was done, there would be a blast chiller.  Blast chillers are designed to expel hot air from the environment, whereas a regular cooler is only equipped to keep cold air, cold.  But, they are an expensive investment (estimate of $5,500 - $10,000 for counter model!) and once you invest...

Welcoming Guests Back into Your Establishments

After three long months suffering through the COVID-19 pandemic, we are finally starting to see restaurants and other foodservices across the United States begin to reopen operations.  It is likely that more and more restrictions will be lifted across the country in the next few months with operations trying to recover from losses of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Last month in our blogs, we discussed getting back to the basics in terms of employee health and hygiene, temperature controls, and cleaning and sanitizing fundamentals. This month, we expand on that discussion and merge with guidance offered by health authorities for reopening, and elaborate on a few resources available for foodservices, compliments of FoodHandler.  Several entities have started to release guidance, including the Food and Drug Administration,…

Recipe for a Positive Food Safety Culture

For the past few years, we have referred to the importance of developing a positive food safety culture within foodservice operations. The workplace culture is basically a reflection of “this is what and how we do things here”.  Manufacturing and construction companies often proudly post the number of days “accident free” as a reflection of their workplace safety culture.  In foodservice though, everyday has to be foodborne illness free – otherwise the operation may not be in business for long! So what are the elements of a positive food safety culture? In past work at Iowa State University, a doctoral student led focus groups within various types of foodservices to identify elements of a food safety culture in order to better define the pieces of…