When operating a restaurant, several specific guidelines must be followed for health safety. One of the most vital is the prevention of cross-contamination with food. In this process, pathogens are accidently transferred from a surface or food to another food, causing it to be contaminated. Learn some tips to prevent cross-contamination at your restaurant by reading below.
Put a Personal Hygiene Program into Action
One of the first things that should be considered when it comes to properly protecting against cross-contamination and spreading pathogens in food is personal hygiene. In a restaurant, this is vital. Quality hygiene among staff in restaurants is pivotal to prevent contamination of the food being served to customers. Instituting a proper personal hygiene program will let employees know it’s an expectation of your establishment that they maintain the right cleanliness for themselves. This involves proper handwashing, hand care, and use of gloves. The program should also address things such as bathing, wearing clean clothing, and the use of proper hair restraints. All workers that handle food should only come into work healthy. Those who’ve reported being sick should not be allowed to be present until they’re well again.
Require Hand Washing Regularly
Handwashing is vital for safety and public health in restaurants. Not only do employees need to be washing their hands before they begin handling any food and after coming back from the bathroom, but they also need to be washing after handling any food such as raw meat, seafood, or poultry. You shouldn’t be handling any of these right after the other without washing your hands either. This is an easy way for cross-contamination to occur.
Use Separate Equipment and Utensils
When prepping and handling different types of food, you need to use a separate pieces of equipment and tools for each one. Some of the most common examples of this are cutting boards and knives. You never should be using the same cutting board and utensils on your vegetables that you use on meat. Always have different sets of equipment and utensils cleaned and ready for this reason. You can even color code each set so employees know which to use for which food, making cross-contamination even more less likely to happen.
Clean and Sanitize All Your Surfaces and Equipment
This is one of the most important tips to prevent cross-contamination at your restaurant. Any surfaces that are in areas where food will be present or prepared must be constantly well sanitized. Makes sure any utensils used are getting washed and sanitized after every task. Pathogens can easily transfer to food from unclean surfaces. This is especially one of the important rules to follow when cooking meat. Meat is commonly susceptible to this kind of contamination.