-   OR   -

Home / Archive by Category "Uncategorized"

Archives

SafeFood is Served Here: Check√

A Checklist Approach to Food Safety In our first blog this month, we discussed risk-based inspections and their importance in any foodservice operation—and we promised to provide you with a risk-based checklist to assist you with daily risk mitigation strategies. Because we appreciate structure and routines (hey, we are RDs or registered dietitians, aka real detailed!) we thought this checklist approach might be useful for managers and their staff in monitoring the safety of food served in their operations. The key with any checklist is to keep it specific, yet simple. This blog will focus on a checklist for back of the house functions (in September we will provide a sample checklist to address front of house food safety action steps). The checklists cover the…

Risk-Based Inspections–Risk Nothing®

Every day we make decisions that have a risk component—what happens if we do something and what happens if we don’t?  While some of you may be risk takers in some parts of life, risks related to food safety should not be taken because the consequences are too great—the possibility of a foodborne illness causing customers to get sick, and maybe even die, not to mention the negative publicity for the operation. For those of you who read our blogs routinely, you know that we always end with the FoodHandler tagline—Risk Nothing.  In recent years, you probably have noticed a shift in the approach that environmental health specialists are taking with your routine health inspections.  Today, most are conducting what are called risk-based inspections.  In…

Auditing Glove Use

Most food workers know the basics of glove use, but the real question is “What do they actually do?”  We recommend that managers/supervisors take time to audit glove use practices in their operation.  This is a way to check that staff are doing what they are supposed to be doing to keep the food safe by using gloves correctly. FoodHandler® has a glove audit form on their website that you could use for making these observations.  This form could be used on a quarterly basis to document the good behaviors (catch people doing things right!) and to identify corrective actions needed. Audit Managerial Practices The first step is to make sure employees have the tools they need. Start by checking whether or not you are providing…

Put the Gloves On!

When you hear “Put the Gloves On” you typically think that a fight is about to ensue.  Well, in foodservice that is exactly what gloves do—put up a fight against contamination!  Gloves provide an extra measure of prevention for foodborne illness when used correctly.  So, in this month’s blogs, we will talk about gloves and how they can be used in your operation to “fight for food safety”! The FDA Food Code, upon which local food codes are based, requires that gloves be used when handling any ready-to-eat (RTE) foods.  RTE foods are those that do not have a heat treatment that can kill bacteria—such as raw fruits and vegetables, bakery items, deli meats, and cheeses, to name a few.  Gloves can be used when…

Best Practices for Food Storage

This month we are discussing best practices for storing food to ensure quality and safety. Proper food storage can reduce food waste, therefore improving food cost. Earlier this month we covered points to include in communication with vendors such as unit size and package materials. In this blog, we will focus on food storage in the operation. Depending on the scope of your foodservice operation, you might have a variety of storage materials and containers in stock. Key considerations in maintaining quality and safety of food in storage is to protect from deterioration due to exposure from air, moisture, and light, and to protect from contamination. So having the right-size storage container will minimize excess air, which can hasten deterioration. Clear, plastic containers provide visibility…

Food Storage for Food Safety -And Quality!

Smart operators know that the way food is packaged and stored will affect the safety and quality of the product. Food that is poor quality frequently gets tossed, upping costs. Paying attention to storage materials and packaging is a best practice to maintain food quality. The lines between food processors and foodservice are blurring. It seems more and more foodservices are using in-house processing techniques, whether through smoking meats, use of sous vide, cook-chill, or preservation of summer produce as many farm to foodservice programs do. It is critical that proper packaging materials and processes be used. In this blog, we will focus on considerations when communicating with vendors. Later in the month, we will address the types of food storage materials that will best…

Taking Care of Business through Employee Productivity

In the firstblog for May on the topic of Workplace Productivity, we covered some indicatorsthat could be used to track performance effectiveness. This blog discussesstrategies to maximize performances of the workforce - because we all know thata foodservice is dependent on staff to meet an organization’s goals. Helping staff “work smarter, not harder” can improve overall efficiency of labor inputs and lead to better quality, safer food. All of us can identify someone who gets in a tizzy when the work pace increases. This is the person who is always in reactive mode rather than being proactive with planning tasks. You know, the person who makes multiple trips to the storeroom for supplies rather than gathering their thoughts and identifying everything needed with one trip. ...

It’s All About Numbers: Performance Measures to Enhance Operational Effectiveness

We all knowfoodservice operations are busy places! There is a continual balancing act betweenmanaging the resources needed to prepare and serve safe, high quality food, andcontrolling costs in order to stay in business. Owners, operators, and staffare all challenged to be efficient and effectivein completing duties and achieving results. This is known as productivity.Another definition for productivity is the effective use of resources toachieve operational goals. But here is the question - how do we know that our operation is productive? There are anumber of performance measures that can provide feedback to managers regardingeffectiveness. In this first blog for May, we will discuss some of these toolsand how they might be used for a foodservice. These assessments can track theeffectiveness of many aspects including operational,...

Training How To’s

In our first blog earlier in April, we covered the fundamentals of training for foodservice staff reviewing the Who, What, When, Why, Where and How. In this posting, we will dive deeper into the How-To part. We know most Persons in Charge (PIC) of a foodservice know best practices related to food safety and sanitation. The challenge is in how to communicate this to staff in a way that 1) it will be heard, and 2) it will be acted upon! There is a great deal of diversity among those who work in foodservice operations. In your operations, you may have staff with various cultural backgrounds, ages, and ways they best learn. Research has shown that including a variety of approaches when communicating with staff…

Training – The Answer to Everything?

Will training of staff fix everything that is wrong with the workplace? Well, not really, although it certainly is identified often enough as the silver bullet! Someone not doing something the right way? Send them for training (or retraining!) As Dr. Kevin Roberts covered in the recent SafeBites Webinar  about development of the workforce, training staff is key in building a strong food safety culture in any foodservice operation. This first blog for April will address the fundamentals of training.Later this month, the second blog will focus on some “how to’s” that you mightuse. Often the Person-in-Charge (PIC), who is knowledgeable about food safety andhas earned a Certified Food Protection Manager Credential, is designated asresponsible for employees’ safe food behavior. Yet, the PIC may not...
1 2