Commercial kitchens usually handle large quantities of food. The preparation, preservation, and handling of food at a commercial setup are different from our ordinary kitchens.
Many of these commercial kitchens have been closed due to poor food handling. If these kitchens are not health-prioritized, food contamination becomes common. Thus, diseases like food poisoning, diarrhea, and infections are common complain among clients.
Food Safety Tips for Your Commercial Kitchen
This article will discuss some mandatory food safety tips for commercial kitchen. Let us see what these tips are:
1. Washing Hands Frequently
One of the most basic principles for maintaining food safety is the practice of handwashing. There should be a rule of handwashing before entering the kitchen. It prevents bacteria from getting into the food and also eradicates cross-contamination. Here are a few tips for it:
- Create a separate hand washing sink. Keep a liquid soap and make sure that warm water is available.
- Put posters and reminders about hand washing.
- Educate employees about the proper procedure of handwashing. It means rubbing the hands for at least 20 minutes with soap before washing.
- Make sure that every employee washes their hand before touching the food.
2. Head Coverings and Uniform
Wearing a neat and clean uniform is ideal for maintaining health standards. Likewise, employees must wear a hairnet, so hair doesn’t fall into the food and contaminate it. Moreover, hair should be properly tied, and the head should be covered with a cap over the hairnet.
Additionally, the use of jewelry and colored nails should be forbidden, especially the chefs who are directly involved in food preparation should wear clean gloves.
In some kitchens, chefs are advised to use utensils for handling food, for example they can misk with a whisk instead of their hands, ladle with spoons only, and so forth.
However, some top chefs like using their hands, but touching the food with bare hands increases the risk of contamination. Therefore, the use of gloves or utensils is essential.
3. Rules to Avoid Cross-Contamination
Cross-contamination occurs in the commercial kitchen if raw and cooked food is not kept separately. In a large food setup, following rules is important for avoiding such mistakes. Otherwise, it can give rise to food-borne diseases.
Label the kitchen as well as refrigerator sections. Also, make sure that the raw food section is far away from the food that is ready to serve. Likewise, different forms of meat like chicken, fish, beef, etc., should not be mixed.
During the recent pandemic, commercial kitchens strictly followed ways to avoid cross-contamination. Since the virus can transmit quickly from even the packaging, it is important to keep things separately before disinfecting them.
4. Monitor Refrigeration
Maintaining refrigeration at an ideal temperature is imperative. Firstly, the concerned staff should know the temperature level.
Secondly, monitoring this temperature is important for food safety. Also, invest in good alarms that can notify in case of temperature changes.
Ideally, the temperature of the refrigerator section should at least be 40-degree Fahrenheit or below. On the other hand, the freezer section should be kept at 0-degree Fahrenheit.
Fluctuations in the temperature can infect the food and may result in food poisoning.
5. Check Gas Appliances
Make sure to check for gas leakage regularly. You should obtain a yearly gas certificate. In case if you are the tenant, your landlord will bear the gas safety certificate cost.
This certificate ensures that all your gas appliances are working in proper condition. Besides this, it is imperative for the safety of employees and clients as sudden gas leakage is harmful to everyone.
Additionally, gas leakage from the refrigerator can spoil its life and affect its work. If you monitor it every month, there are fewer chances of having problems with your refrigeration equipment, which can affect your food life.
6. Wash Vegetables and Fruits
Make sure to wash every fruit and vegetable before cutting. Also, wash them after peeling. It will reduce the chances of getting the germs into your food. Besides this, do not use any rotten vegetables or fruit. Commercial kitchens use professional cutters and equipment for cutting ingredients. Though they are quick and require less effort, detecting rotten fruits and vegetables becomes difficult.
But, make sure to involve manpower in it. The person responsible for putting the fruits and vegetables into machines should thoroughly check each item. Likewise, arrange a setup for bulk washing of ingredients.
If we do not take care of cleanliness in our ingredients, the germs can make the clients sick. Diseases like Salmonella will arise, and the brand’s identity will spoil in no time. Studies show that tomatoes are more likely to get Salmonella. Therefore, make sure to wash tomatoes twice before using them.
7. Check Expiry of Ingredients
When we have stock in bulk quantity, we can easily forget the expiry date of ingredients. Therefore, there should be systematic management of things that can let us know when certain products are about to expire. In this way, chefs can use the products that are near to expiry and discard the already expired ones.
One ideal way is to keep a digital record of stock and use software to get reminders about the expiry date. Furthermore, we can keep the products in separate sections. Products with an expiry date within a month can be kept in a red section. Likewise, the ones with a long expiry date can be kept in a green section.
8. Train Employees
Even if you are following all the above guidelines, training the employees about food safety is imperative. Each employee should know the consequences of showing negligence in food safety. Additionally, they should follow all the rules and guidelines for maintaining food safety.
Arrange regular workshops and keep reminding the employees about the significance of maintaining cleanliness in the kitchen.
Wrapping It Up
In short, every commercial kitchen should follow the food safety guidelines for providing clean and hygienic food to customers. It includes washing the meat, vegetables, and fruits before use.
Washing hands before handling food and using clean kitchen utensils is also important. Besides this, maintain separate sections of items to highlight the ones that are about to expire.
Do not mix raw food with cooked one. Try your best to refrigerate the ingredients at optimal temperature and maintain the overall hygiene of the kitchen.