5 tips to prevent cross-contamination at your restaurant

Ristorante piatti

Food poisoning is bad for your health, but it’s also very bad for business, especially if you run a restaurant. Unfortunately, it can be easy to transfer bacteria from food to food, or even person to person, that’s why you need to discover and implement these 5 ways of preventing cross-contamination.

  1. The Right Tools

You need the right industrial food machinery in your restaurant. But, you also need to make sure that you have separate pieces of machinery for different food types.

You’re not always going to have time to wash the knives you used with uncooked food before using them with cooked foods. That’s why you need separate preparation areas and equipment. This will dramatically reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

  1. Washing Hands

This is probably the most important tip to avoid cross-contamination. You and your employees need to wash your hands regularly and specifically after you’ve handed food before you handle something different.

Handling different foods without washing your hands between is like inviting bacteria to move between products.

In short, when you’re in a restaurant kitchen you can’t wash your hands enough!

  1. Cleaning

It’s also very important to clean the dishes and the sides where you’ve been preparing food. You need to use a good anti-bacterial spray when cleaning to make sure that bacteria can’t survive on the countertops.

Rinsing, even in hot water, is simply not enough to get rid of the bacteria, and you can’t see them to know if they’re there or not. That’s why it’s better to wash your hands, the counters, and anything else you’ve used.

  1. Pre-Prepared Food

This probably isn’t an option for most restaurant owners but pre-prepared food, that arrives packaged, is less likely to cause cross-contamination.

This is simply because you have less to do with it, reducing the risk of it contacting surfaces that have other bacteria on them. Because you’re barely touching the food you’ll reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

  1. Store Correctly

All foods should be stored correctly. This means observing the temperatures they need to be stored at and making sure you store everything in separate plastic or glass containers. These containers should have lids. If you can’t see in them, then label the containers to make it easy to find what you need. Opening all the different containers will increase the risk of cross-contamination.

Don’t forget that food is generally at the highest risk of bacteria flourishing if it’s kept above 40°F and below 145°F.

That’s why so many items are kept in the fridge and why all cooked products should be cooked to a minimum of 145°F, at the center.

Taking a few moments to assess your kitchen, and your staff will allow you to identify the risk areas and train everyone to ensure cross-contamination is not an issue.

It will help your business to flourish as, no matter how good your food is, you’ll struggle to recover from a case of food poisoning.

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