Another Typical Case Of Operational Blindness

Updated: May 1, 2020

Today more than ever proper food handling has become a priority. It is a professional, ethical, and moral responsibility that no longer starts and ends within the food industry but also for the general public.

Hygiene is not just about food handling but also how the food is stored and prepared, as well as how the restaurants choose to display them.

Many restaurants within the QSR and FCR use cold and hot tables to display food. However, in some instances, these items are placed way too close to customer's reach and lack the proper sneeze-guard protections for food. This is very typical of pizzerias, sandwich shops, salads bars, taco shops, shawarmas, etc.

The food tables provide faster service during peak hours and lower labor during slow periods of sales, however, this way of displaying food, even though it has its pros, has many cons and it is the responsibility of owners, managers, and staff how their products are displayed and handled and to have in place the right sneeze guard.

Using sneeze-guard? please take into consideration: * A cough can travel as fast as 50 mph and eject almost 3,000 drops at once. However, sneezes win: they can travel up to 100 mph and create more than 100,000 drops. Yikes!

We have found serious health offences that can have consequences on the customer's health.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find in our operational audits that the food safety protocol (Reception, storage, preparation, food display, and handling leftovers) is not carried out, both in an independent restaurant as well as in franchises.

When we talk about food handling anything things are not negotiable, they're either right or wrong, and the consequences of not doing the right option may have serious consequences over the customer's health and the entire staff.

Many restaurants do not even prepare their food within their installations, the food is received from third parties or from the commissary itself and the food is kept warm during long periods without the right rotation.

There are basic steps that must be done, such as:

  • Always follow local sanitary regulations.

  • The sneeze guard should cover the entire food area

  • The use of disposable gloves for food handling must be mandatory.

  • Use the USC system in the food display area. (Uncover, Serve and Cover the food container)

  • No employee who appears to be ill should be accepted to work.

  • All food handling employees must be trained in safety and hygiene protocols.

  • Every employee who works behind a counter must wear a food mask, disposable gloves, and hairnets.

  • In many places, the installation of a hand sink near the back counter it's mandatory

  • Always the FIFO system must be carried out.

  • Never pour new products into a container that has a previous product.

  • Managers must adequately monitor food handling and food display.

**American Lung Association

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