Each month we examine food safety violations from real kitchens and explain how to fix them—or avoid them altogether! Every foodservice operator knows food safety is the most important standard in kitchen. Read on to see what common mistakes your operation could be making and what your health inspector wants to see when dropping by unannounced. This month’s violations come from multiple restaurants within Tucson, Ariz.:
Violation: “Prepared foods not marked with discard dates or were kept beyond such dates.”
In previous installments of Real World Food Safety Violations, we’ve highlighted the frequent problem of missing labels on containers. However, when we looked at the violations in Tucson, they had labels, but they were written incorrectly. After purchasing your Cambro StoreSafe Food Rotation Labels, be sure to train your staff the right way to fill them out. Labels must include:
- Type of food
- Date food was added
- Date food expires
Not only do containers need to be labeled with the discard date, they need to be thrown away on that date too. Train employees to look for food that needs to be discarded as part of their closing shift duties to decrease the likelihood that it’ll be overlooked.
Violation: “Dispensing scoops stored in food containers.”
Food safety protocols require scoops to be stored separately from food containers. The most common instance you see this combination is with ingredient bins. Make it easier on yourself and your staff by purchasing ingredient bins that have a designated place to hold scoops when they aren’t in-use. Cambro Ingredient Bins have an S-Hook included to conveniently hang its scoop on the front of the container. They’re also designed with a hygienic, clear sliding lid to reduce unnecessary opening and handling. Pair with Camwear® Scoops for an unbeatable combination.
Violation: “Uncovered topping containers at self-serve hot dog station.”
Covering your containers at self-serve areas doesn’t have to be a pain. Choose lids with a handle and a notch to securely cover containers while making them easy to open and take out toppings. Cambro has two great lid options for this exact purpose: Camwear Notched Cover with Handle and Camwear FlipLids®. Camwear Notched Cover with Handle allows the user to hold a cover in one hand and a utensil in the other. Ideally, cross-contamination is avoided because the user doesn’t need to set the cover on the counter to reach the container’s contents. However, when a customer versus an employee is using the cover, you don’t have much control on their lid-using training. To ensure absolute food safety in this situation, choose Notched Camwear FlipLids. They easily flip open while leaving room for utensils to be kept securely in their place.
Violation: “No temperature measuring device for high-temp dishwasher.”
We often see violations involving temperature problems. After seeing this restaurant cited for both temperature problems and no measuring device, we thought it might be important to remind operators that such a device needs to be available for employees when there isn’t one built into your dishwasher. In addition to the dishwasher, thermometers for the oven, freezer and refrigerator are imperative to keep these areas at safe temperatures. These thermometers are especially useful during unexpected power outages.
Need a refresh on your food safety protocols? Check out Cambro’s StoreSafe Store Fresh information on how to keep HACCP best practices consistent in your operation.