Restaurant Management: Avoiding Cross Contamination

I have no idea if you’ve ever seen this awesome show called “Bar Rescue,” but one of my favorite episodes is where the host, nightlife expert Jon Taffer, goes into a kitchen when he sees a woman cross contaminate food in the kitchen and goes crazy. He screams at the cook, he screams at the owner, gets in his face. It’s awesome. But it was all for a purpose.

For those getting into the food business, cross contamination is when you spread bacteria (potentially harmful bacteria) from one piece of food to another. Probably the most common way it can be done (which is what got Taffer all mad in the episode I previously referred to) was when the cook touched raw chicken with her bare hands and then touched something else without washing her hands. Cross contamination can be potentially harmful as it can cause food poisoning. So here are some quick tips to avoid cross contamination and potentially getting people sick:

-Provide plenty of space so staff can have lots of food in one area.
-Clean your utensils and equipment before and after use. And don’t forget to sanitize!
-Have the proper cleaning and sanitizing materials and tools available.
-Use rubber or plastic cutting boards instead of wood.
-Have separate cutting boards for raw and cooked foods.
-Train employees how to sneeze and cough properly. And make sure they wash their hands often.

Remember: if you get people sick in your restaurant, it can shut your whole restaurant down. Be safe, and be careful.

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