3 Tips on Properly Handling Food
Posted by Sarah B. on June 9, 2016 in Retail Focus

Gathering and eating food is part of human nature and an important component of a healthy lifestyle. But we sometimes forget that there are safety precautions that need to be taken when we prepare food. In a commercial setting, these precautions are especially important because the prepared food is consumed by the public—your customers. If you are operating with a team at your store or restaurant, it is important to remember that the leader sets the example and, therefore, following best practices and safety precautions is a must.


While a sushi restaurant faces different food safety challenges than an ice cream shop, there are some common denominators that we can all relate to:


  1. Ice. In a commercial setting, ice has two purposes—drinks and keeping food cold—and, of course, these should be kept separate. How separate? There should be completely different containment and equipment for each. Keep in mind, ice machines are considered food-contact surfaces, so they must be cleaned and sanitized as regularly as any other food-contact surface. A great article to review on this topic is The Sanitation of Ice-Making Equipment.
  2. Food temperatures. We have all heard of the "Danger Zone"—and I am not referring to the Kenny Loggins song from the hit ‘80s movie Top Gun. Rather, the "Danger Zone" is the temperature range of 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. When food is held in this temperature range, bacteria can grow quickly, which can lead to food-borne illness. Restaurant chefs, deli managers, and all those who lead teams that handle food need to be vigilant about reminding their team members to check food temperatures and, when in doubt, throw it out. All it takes is one case of something like salmonella to give your business a bad reputation that will be hard to beat.
  3. Food-Contact Surfaces. We often think of this category in too narrow of terms—it is not just countertops, trays, and containers, but rather any item that touches food, including utensils. To properly clean and sanitize, there are five steps: 1. Remove food residue, 2. Wash, 3. Rinse, 4. Sanitize, and 5. Air-dry. ServSafe of the National Restaurant Association provides additional information on this process.


So remember, no matter what type of food you are serving, serve it safely.

Sarah B. is our Retail guru
Sarah B. came to Acuity this year with a background in retail. She studied Interior Architecture in college and completed an online business education program through Harvard Business School. She also has a wide range of commercial insurance experience and has earned her Associate in General Insurance (AINS), Associate in Insurance Services (AIS), and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designations. This made her the perfect addition to the Acuity Mercantile team. If she could travel anywhere in the world, she would return to Italy. She spent three weeks there during college studying architecture and design and has wanted to go back ever since.

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