All startup businesses have to go through extensive research of government or state laws and administrative processes before their establishment. A restaurant startup is faced with double the work regarding food safety regulations, and this particular type of business requires quite an extensive opening checklist.
Food safety is essential for restaurants; it refers to the correct process of preparing and storing food to avoid the contraction of foodborne diseases. All restaurants must attain a food safety license or certificate verifying their food preparation and storage processes as safe and up to standard. As a startup owner, there are specific safety tips and tricks that you may not be aware of.
Here are ten valuable food safety tips that you should implement in your restaurant startup.
Every time you contact a surface, germs will be transferred from that surface to your hands. Therefore it is crucial to always wash your hands with warm water and antiseptic liquid or soap for at least 20 seconds before engaging in any food preparation process.
If you would like to avoid using water constantly, perhaps due to conservation purposes, use poly gloves every time you ensure food preparation or storage. Poly gloves are made from quality polystyrene material; they are light-duty and loosely fit in your hands for easy removal between tasks or after completing a task. The gloves are convenient in a busy restaurant environment.
As aforementioned, surfaces are layered with large amounts of illness-causing germs; hence you must thoroughly sanitize all surfaces used for food preparation and storage before conducting any work on them.
Another critical surface that should be kept clean at all times is the floor. The floor has millions of germs and pests that may be transferable through the air and lead to food contamination. Clean your restaurant floor with soapy water to kill existing germs and bacteria.
Do not use the same tools, i.e., cutting boards, knives, and plates, to prepare different food items. Separate the raw meat preparation tools from those of the fruits and vegetables to avoid cross-contamination.
Cross-contamination occurs when harmful germs and bacteria are unintentionally transferred from one food item to another. Perhaps use the color coordination method to avoid using the same tools for different food items, e.g., only use green utensils for preparing vegetables, blue utensils for raw meat, and so on.
Cross-contamination occurs not only during food preparation but also during the transportation and storage of the food. Hence, storing your food items in specifically designated areas is essential.
You must keep certain food items such as raw meat and poultry at freezing temperatures to avoid the growth of bacteria, fungi, and other illnesses causing microorganisms. To avoid pathogenic bacteria growth, you should always maintain the storage temperature for raw meat and poultry products at 40° F or below.
All food items must be thoroughly washed or rinsed before beginning with preparation. However, it is even more crucial to wash fruits and vegetables as they may still have dirt or residue from the ground. Always use clean cold water and a scraper brush for vegetables where necessary.
When you invest in your restaurant startup equipment, remember that every equipment or tool comes with a manual or guides on safely and adequately using it. Kitchen tools such as sharp knives, gas stoves, and ovens can all pose a threat to your safety. Misusing these tools may lead to a medical hazard occurring and may leave you liable for damage to property or worker compensation.
As mentioned above, operating specific kitchen equipment can be dangerous. Therefore it is crucial to ensure that all staff members who use the tools are well trained and well versed with the safety precautions of each device. Any physical harm that may occur to an employee in the workplace leads to a lawsuit due to a worker’s compensation claim.
Always wear closed-toe shoes during food preparation. The shoes will protect you from potential sharp objects that may fall on the ground as you cook and from other mishaps that may occur in the kitchen, such as broken glass, hot oil spills, and wet floors.
A kitchen is where you may use an open fire during food preparation. Open flame food preparation is standard in many restaurants; however, staff members must take proper precautions to avoid potential hazards. If you use gas in your kitchen, avoid open flames at all costs.
The best precautionary measure a restaurant startup can take against potential fire hazards is to have a working fire extinguisher close by with instructions on how to use it placed next to it.
One way to ensure that safety measures are abided by at all times is to use visual management. Visual management entails posting signs or infographics detailing safety instructions on walls around the restaurant.