How many people play a part in your day-to-day food preparation? Chances are there are a number of hands involved in getting a meal prepped and plated in a timely manner. Knowing this, it is crucial that your staff is educated on food safety. One of the foremost reasons for the outbreak of foodborne illnesses stems from cross contamination in the workplace. There are a number of situations where cross contamination can occur:
- Cutting boards, knives and other preparation equipment that aren’t cleaned and sanitized in between use with different food types (i.e. raw versus cooked) can result in cross contamination, and ultimately, illness.
Resolution: One easy way to implement food safety in the preparation phase is by investing in color-coated cutting boards to designate different food types to different colored preparation supplies. This will not only train your staff to keep different foods safely separated but will promote good food safety practices across the board.
- Dirty kitchen surfaces and any surface that hasn’t been cleaned and sanitized prior to and in between food contact can easily contaminate your food with germs. Therefore, it is crucial that proper cleaning and sanitizing is being practiced on a continual basis.You may want to invest in color-coated cleaning pails which distinguish your cleaning solution (green pail) from your sanitizing solution (red pail).
To be sure your cleaning and sanitizing solution is at the required strength, invest in our chlorine test strips which will measure the chlorine level and the overall effectiveness of your cleaning solution.
- Dirty cleaning supplies (i.e. towels, cloths, brushes) can just as easily cross contaminate food contact surfaces which is why it’s important to always have plenty of cleaning tools and linens on hand while being adamant about regularly washing them.
- Raw food items that are added to a meal without further cooking can cross contaminate as can the liquids from raw foods that could drip or make contact with other foods that are ready to serve. Resolution: Make sure that foods are covered fully and tightly in the refrigerator.
- Hands that have been preparing different foods can also cross-transfer germs and contaminate your food. Having adequate hand washing stations is not only incredibly important but also mandatory by your local health code. Be sure you have adequate hand washing stations near the wash rooms, the prep stations, and throughout the kitchen. There are also tools dedicated to reducing the risk of cross contamination, like these ice handling totes and supplies which make moving large amounts of ice easy while keeping dirty hands away.
Cross contamination is a real issue in the foodservice industry and one that can be contained with the implementation and understanding of food safety practices. To learn more about or to purchase some of our food safety products visit our website here, and feel free to call our sales crew at 800-319-0690 Monday through Friday 7 AM - 7 PM (CST).