The difficult part about bacteria, parasites, and viruses is that they multiply quickly and undetected on food. They don’t normally produce an odor or change the physical appearance or texture of food. Unlike popular belief, freezing food doesn’t kill contaminates, all it does is slow them down. Once the food is thawed, microbes can be recharged and ready to filth up all your deliciousness. Refrigeration can also impede the contamination process, but the only way to destroy dangerous microbes is thorough cooking.
The good news is, it’s easy to prevent food-borne illnesses. Proper cooking and handling practices are essential. Here’s some easy-to-follow tips, courtesy of One Fat Frog Restaurant Equipment, to help ensure no one gets sick dining at your establishment…
• This should go without saying, but always handle food with clean hands. Always wash them hands for at least 25 seconds with warm, soapy water before and handling raw meat, poultry, eggs, shellfish, produce, awww heck just do it before and after handling anything and everything.
• Never defrost food on the kitchen counter! Always use the refrigerator, cold running water, or the microwave.
• Always refrigerate while marinating food – never, ever do it at room temperature.
• Be sure to wash all unpackaged fruits and vegetables under running water just before eating, cutting, or cooking. Always scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush. Dry produce with a paper towel to further decrease the risk of bacteria.
• Keep all raw meat, poultry, seafood, and their juices away from ready-to-eat food. Cross-contamination caused by bacteria, parasites, and viruses can spread from one food product to another easily, so this step is crucial to prevent illnesses and lawsuits out the whazoo.
• Always cook food to the appropriate internal temperatures. Use a meat thermometer to be sure.
• Common sense on this one: keep cold food cold and hot food hot.
• Refrigerate or freeze foods in a prompt manner and properly. If cooked foods sit at room temperature for more than two hours, they’re probably not safe to eat anymore.
• Make sure your coolers aren’t over-packed. The cold air needs room to circulate.
• Always reheat foods to at least 165 degrees F. This will kill off any bacteria or other ickies that may have grown after the food’s temperature has dropped outta the safe zone.
• Every week, make sure to wash dish towels and sponges in hot water through a washing machine.
Following the above guidelines is critical to the safety of your patrons and the well-being of your business. Never slack on them!
One Fat Frog • 2416 Sand Lake Road • Orlando, FL 32809 • 407-480-3409