One of the most important responsibilities of any restaurateur is the proper implementation of a food safety program. A lapse in food safety can spell the doom of your restaurant, and if you’re just opening a new restaurant, it can mean a delayed opening night.
Good food safety isn’t something you achieve once and then forget about. It’s something you practice every day your restaurant is open, from the moment product leaves the truck at the back door all the way through to the time the busboy clears the plates after your guests have finished their meals.
Below are 10 food safety tips from The Back Burner that will help you brush up your program. You have probably already implemented many of these strategies to one degree or another. Think of this a refresher course and the chance to learn something you didn’t know. And if you have food safety topics not covered here that really should be, let us know!
1. Shop For Suppliers – As all of the food recent food recalls have taught us, food safety doesn’t start when product comes off the truck at your restaurant. The supply chain is much longer than that, and things can go wrong well before you ever lay eyes on a box of tomatoes or a head of lettuce. Learn how to diversify your supply chain and hold it accountable.
2. Managing Temperature - One of the most important aspects of food safety is monitoring food temperatures and making sure it’s always out of the danger zone. Learn some effective strategies for managing temperature.
3. Proper Handwashing – All your food safety management strategies can go down the drain in a flash if one employee doesn’t wash their hands properly and then handles food. Learn how to train and supervise employees effectively here.
4. Be Your Own Health Inspector – Why wait for the health inspector to tell you what needs to be fixed with your food safety program? Be proactive and think like an inspector before they come to your restaurant. That way, your inspections will be a breeze.
5. In The Field At Turley’s – This venerable Boulder restaurant shares some of their food safety strategies for the benefit of all. There’s nothing like some real world experience to put things in perspective.
6. Understanding NSF and UL – Everybody’s seen the NSF and UL labels on products in their restaurant’s kitchen. What do those labels really mean? Learn more in this article.
7. HACCP - If you don’t know what this stands for, then you definitely need to read this article. Even if you do, you might learn a couple things about this core food safety program.
8. Data Loggers – If you don’t use this vital piece of food safety equipment, you might consider it after reading this article.
9. Vacuum Breakers And Backflow Valves – Clean water is vital to any food safety program, and increasingly health inspectors are looking at restaurant plumbing to make sure you are safeguarding the water supply. Some simple plumbing parts you can install yourself will make the inspector happy and keep your water safe.
10. Safe Seafood – Seafood handling can be especially tricky in a restaurant. Learn how to keep your seafood tasting great and your customers safe.