Restaurant Food Safety

HACCP for Restaurant Kitchens

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When cooking in a commercial kitchen it is important to leave your own kitchen habits at home. As a restaurant owner or employee you have a responsibility to ensure that the food coming off the kitchen line is safe for customers to eat. Bend food safety rules and you risk not only contamination issues but a PR nightmare if your restaurant is associated with any kind of food poisoning. When in doubt, throw it out.


HACCP for Restaurants

The HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Point) program, available through trainings such as ServSafe, is designed specifically for commercial food distribution and restaurants. The HACCP program is based on the idea that careful monitoring of food from delivery to serving it customers can prevent food contamination. For example, taking the necessary precautions when perishable food is delivered, like immediate refrigeration, identifies a critical point in food safety. Many restaurants require all kitchen staff to go through a food safety program, like ServSafe.  

Restaurant Kitchen Cleaning

Regular cleaning of your restaurant kitchen is a given (right?). Some cleaning jobs need to be done every shift, such as wiping down prep surfaces with disinfectant or changing the sanitation water. Other jobs need to be done daily- taking out the trash or rotating stock in the walk-in, while others are done monthly- such as cleaning the freezers.

Finally there are some cleaning jobs that happen quarterly or yearly, such as cleaning the hood of the kitchen grill. Failing to do these jobs on time can result in bacteria build up and potential food safety problems. Read on for a complete list of restaurant kitchen cleaning duties.

Employee Hand washing

One of the most powerful tools in public health is proper hand washing.

Proper hand washing can prevent the spread of everything from the common cold to H1N1 and Hepatitis C. Your employees should know the correct way to wash their hands (versus a three-second rinse under lukewarm water). Demonstrating the correct method of hand washing, as seen here, can help reduce the chances of contamination through food handling. Remember that “All Employees Must Wash Hands” signs should be posted in the rest rooms. Employees should also wash hands when they handle dirty dishes, raw food, garbage, as well as when they eat, cough, sneeze or been exposed to any bodily fluid.

By implementing a HACCP program, regular kitchen cleaning and educating employees on good hand washing practices, you will greatly reduce the risk of unsafe food conditions in your restaurant.