Does your restaurant have direct contamination?

This is a good example that is repeated not only in independent restaurants, but also in many franchise systems; the bad design is copied over and over again; food is fully exposed to contaminants.

There is talk of direct contamination when food is exposed not only to the direct environment but is openly exposed to the customer and employees.

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 the customer's reach and lack the proper sneezeguard protection for food. This is very typical of pizzerias, sandwich shops, salad 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.

Take into consideration that a simple 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!

Now You Have The Complete Picture?
A Simple Vertical Glass Is Useless

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 on 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.

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