Get a Restaurant Food Safety Plan in Less than 30 Minutes

Managing food safety in a restaurant can be a daunting task. Oftentimes it can be such a big job that it doesn’t get done at all. Restaurants can’t afford not to have a food safety plan given the amount of contaminated food delivered each day. At the very least, try to commit 30 minutes at the start of each shift for food safety. If each manager can do this, it will greatly reduce the chance for foodborne illness.

Get a Food Safety Plan in Less Than 30 Minutes |

If you only have 30 minutes, this is what you should focus on:

1. Check all cold-holding units.

Temperature problems are a major source of foodborne illness. Verify the food is at the right temperature. If it’s not, call a repair person to look at and fix the unit. Move the food to another unit working properly. To save time, have the kitchen staff keep temperature logs. Checking the log book instead of each unit can keep you on schedule. Look in our Manager’s Toolbox for temperature logs and cold-holding logs you can download and use.

2. Double check all food storage areas.

Make sure raw meats and cooked foods are stored properly. All food not stored on the top shelf or cooling should be covered. Never store food on the floor.

3. All hand-wash sinks need to be fully stocked with soap, towels and hot water.

Fully stocked hand-wash sinks are vital to building good hand-washing habits.

4. Check dates of prepared food.

Discard any prepared potentially hazardous food held for more than 7 days. Also, make sure prepared foods are properly labeled and dated.

5. Talk to staff about employee food and drinks.

These things should be kept away from food and equipment used for serving food to customers.

6. Check that all food-prep areas have a sanitizer bucket.

These must be used to sanitize food-contact surfaces between tasks to prevent cross-contamination. Be sure to check the concentration frequently and change the water when necessary. For more info, check out our article on labeling sanitizer buckets.

7. Keep all chemicals away from food and prep surfaces.

Make sure they are all labeled with their common names.

8. Train staff on these important points.

Having a well-trained staff will help managers save time by only having to verify that these tasks are taking place. A staff that’s educated about food safety will be able to help reduce the amount of time it takes to correct any problems.

All it takes is 30 minutes before each shift to check these important areas. You’ll reduce the chance of foodborne illness and increase the chance for a good health inspection. If managers don’t have time, delegate this task to another employee. The more employees you bring into this process, the more educated your staff will be on food safety!


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