Why Restaurants Should Have a Consumer Advisory

Almost all full-service restaurants offer food that can be served undercooked: steak, eggs, tuna, sushi, oysters, etc. In fact, many customers prefer it. The FDA requires a consumer advisory to inform the customer of this risk. In the FDA Food Code, there are 2 points to the consumer advisory: Identifying the food items it pertains to with an asterisk Health statement The health statement should say something like this: "Thoroughly cooking foods of animal origin such as beef, eggs, fish, lamb, pork, poultry, or shellfish reduces the risk of foodborne illness. Individuals with certain health conditions may be at high risk if these foods are consumed raw or undercooked." Not … [Read more...]

Double Hand Washing Is Essential

Did you know that when restaurant and other food-service employees use the bathroom, they have to wash their hands in the bathroom and then again before they return to their duties? That's right—a double hand washing! The FDA food code specifically states that double hand washing is necessary before workers go back to their duties. There are 3 essential reasons for this hand washing policy: It's a simple yet very effective tool in reducing the possibility of a foodborne illness occurring in a facility. Customer perception should be a concern. If an employee comes back from the restroom and continues to take food to tables, etc., without going back to the kitchen first to wash … [Read more...]

No Bare Hand Contact Battle Heads to North Carolina

Recently we watched as Oregon restaurant chefs were successful in convincing state officials to opt out of the "no bare hand contact with ready to eat foods" rule from the 2009 FDA Food Code. They cited increased waste from extensive glove use and a disconnection in the food handling process if they aren't able to directly touch food items. Now North Carolina is in the same position. North Carolina has adopted the 2009 Food Code. This means that on September 1 chefs will no longer be able to handle food with bare hands. Just like Oregon, chefs are upset about it. One restaurant owner, Spero Poulos, actually said that he can't tell when mushrooms are bad unless he can feel them. That's a … [Read more...]

A Restaurant Manager’s Guide to Passing a Health Inspection

Passing a health inspection can be very difficult and may sometimes seem impossible, but policies and procedures can be put in place to help any manager handle a surprise health inspection. Employees have already been trained on keeping track of temperatures, wearing gloves, washing hands and managing their drinks according to the 2009 FDA Food Code, but what can a manager do to make sure these procedures are followed when an inspector shows up? First and foremost, it's extremely important that a manager walk through with the inspector. All employees should be trained that when an inspector arrives, the manager needs to be notified immediately. A manager should accompany the inspector so … [Read more...]

No Bare Hand Contact Rule Confuses Oregon Restaurants

Oregon restaurants are all up in arms about a new health rule set to go into effect July 1. No bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods first surfaced in the FDA Food Code in 1993, when states and restaurant industry professionals worked together to apply a comprehensive approach to hand washing as well as limited bare hand contact with food, but it has taken until this year for Oregon to join the discussion. Many Oregon restaurants see this rule as unnecessary. The 2009 FDA Food Code, the most recent version, doesn't allow bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods, and Oregon restaurant operators don't like it. They're afraid it will cost more money and lead to more waste, and they're … [Read more...]