Contaminated food is the most common cause of food poisoning. The transfer of infectious organisms from one surface to another renders food harmful.
The risks of cross-contamination can be reduced if employees follow food safety protocols properly. Make it so easy for them, they can’t help but follow the rules! We explain the simple ways to keep your kitchen cross-contamination free:
Every container needs a lid
Keep foods in containers with tight lids to keep sauces and juices from spilling into other containers. Plastic wrap and aluminum foil seems quick, easy and faster to clean up, but they are both big troublemakers. These wraps often flail about, letting bacteria sneak inside their poorly confined barriers. Kick them out of the kitchen and replace them with Cambro’s Camwear Pans and Seal Covers. Tight lids keep foods safe and secure while reducing handling.
Even on the prep line, lids are very useful in eliminating cross-contamination. Using Cambro FlipLids, lift the lid to access product without having to remove it and then place it down on the counter and then place it back on the food pan removes a possible contamination point.
Separate raw and cooked foods
After putting your raw and prepped foods in their designated containers, further decrease cross-contamination capabilities by separating the foods from each other. Prepped produce should always go on the top shelf, while raw chicken should be kept on the bottom shelf to prevent any escaped juices from getting on other foods. Organizing raw and prepped foods is easy when you’re using a clear Camwear container and lid because there’s is no guessing what’s inside. Need extra assurance? Cambro Storesafe Food Rotation Labels allow you to write the type of food, the day it was prepared and when it should be thrown away. Dissolve labels under running water or in a dishwasher when you’re finished.
Use separate cutting boards for different foods
You’re preparing meat on a cutting board, and after moving it to a pan, you put a head of lettuce on the same cutting board and get chopping. This is a big no-no! Keep these accidents from happening by using separate cutting boards for each type of food you prepare. Some kitchens like to use the color code system, where meat only goes on red cutting boards, greens go on green, etc. This system is extremely smart and so easy.
Keep pests and bacteria out from the start
Cardboard cartons used to transport produce are often vehicles for pests and bacteria to enter your kitchen. Don’t allow them to get in the door by designating an employee to receive the produce and thoroughly look through it. Unbox incoming produce and put it into Cambro Food Boxes to keep everything clean and safe.
Wash every surface, including your hands
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: wash your hands. After preparing raw chicken, wash your hands before grabbing the next item. Although using separate cutting boards decreases the chance of cross-contamination, juices can escape the boards and onto counters. Be sure to thoroughly wash your tools and surfaces after preparing different kinds of food. In storage areas, Cambro’s Camshelving makes it easy to clean up accidental spills and messes, plus a molded-in antimicrobial protection inhibits the growth of mold, fungus and bacteria on shelf plates.