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 expects to see when dropping by unannounced. This month’s violations come from multiple restaurants within Daytona Beach, Florida:
Violation: Cardboard used to line food-contact shelves.
If your shelving is lined with cardboard and you’re reading this right now, immediate action needs to be taken. Shelving that is used to store food should always be food safe on its own without needing a barrier like cardboard to be added. If your shelving isn’t hazardous, but you’re using cardboard to keep your small items from tipping over, you’re unintentionally making it hazardous, and the health department doesn’t find that acceptable. Escape the potential food safety problems by choosing Camshelving. Not only does Camshelving have molded-in antimicrobial Camguard to protect your food, it has a lifetime guarantee against rust and corrosion. As for those pesky falling ingredients, Camshelving has the option of solid shelf plates—eliminating the need for a lining of any kind.
Violation: Proof of required state approved employee training not available for some employees.
Requiring your employees to take state approved food handling and safety training is one of the smartest (not to mention law-abiding) things you can do. When your employees are properly trained on food safety protocols, it decreases the chances that your customers will get sick. Every foodservice operator’s top priority should be the health and safety of their customers. No matter how short staffed you are, it is imperative to take the necessary precautions to train your staff correctly. If every staff member was food safety trained, more likely than not there would be less violations committed in restaurants each day.
Violation: Employee with ineffective hair restraint while engaging in food preparation.
This food safety rule only benefits you—why wouldn’t you want to follow it? Every foodservice employee has heard about a customer complaining about a hair being in their food. Hair is one of the most common and unappetizing items that can be found in a customer’s food. Protect your business, your employees and your customers by requiring employees to restrain their hair while cooking. Not only does this decrease the chances hair will end up in a customer’s meal, it deters employees from touching their hair while they’re preparing orders. Regulations vary from state to state, but we suggest requiring any employee with hair that could contact exposed food to use a hair restraint such as a hat, net or clothing.
Violation: Food stored on floor, case of melon in walk in cooler.
Leaving food on the floor: just don’t do it. Food should always be kept at least six inches off the ground. This is to protect food from contaminants like chemicals and critters. As soon as you receive a shipment, transfer food into food safe containers and put it on shelving or dunnage racks. This extra step takes a bit more time than dumping a cardboard box of melon on the floor of the walk in, but it is a worth while food safety procedure. Not only does it keep your walk in cleaner and more organized, it protects your food and, by extension, your customers.
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.