By Fabio Montoya, Owner, MG Food Safety
Prevent food borne illness with these basic tips:
Proper hand washing is absolutely critical to food safety. The total hand washing process should last at least 20 seconds and involve antibacterial soap, hot water, vigorous scrubbing of the hands and forearms, and a dry and clean paper towel or electric dryer.
Food should be kept out of the temperature danger zone – which is the temperature range, between 41 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit, where bacteria grows and reproduces.
The thermometer is arguably the most important and essential tool in the kitchen. A chef without a thermometer is like a farmer without a plow. It should be used to make sure all foods are cooked to their correct minimum internal temperatures.
Chicken is one of the common components of our diets, but it is also one of the most dangerous ones because of the salmonella bacteria it carries. To reduce this bacteria, chicken should be cooked to its minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cross contamination is directly linked to biological contamination. An effective way to avoid cross contamination is to clean and sanitize all surfaces and equipment that come in contact with food.
A food borne illness outbreak occurs when two or more people become ill after consuming the same food from the same place.
Having an approved and reputable food provider is the best way to prevent the spread of toxins and parasites in seafood.
Foods that are prepared in the establishment and that were properly cooled can be safely stored below 41 degrees Fahrenheit for up to seven days.
Failing to the check concentration of a chemical sanitizer – like chlorine or QUATS (Quaternary Ammonium Compounds) – can lead to chemical contamination.
All equipment must have a NSF or UL stamp or seal – which guarantee that the equipment is safe to come in contact with food.