Using Disposable Food Handling Gloves and Other Food Safety Tips
Things like sending your servers home when sick or making sure that you properly wash utensils are second nature in the restaurant industry.
However, there are other, much less obvious food safety tips that you need to consider if you want to keep your staff and customers healthy.
For example, things like your menus, your salt and pepper shakers, and even booster seats for kids have all been found to have just as much -- if not more -- bacteria than your restaurant's restroom.
Furthermore, a recent study also found that those who dine out are twice as likely to get a food-borne illness as those who cook at home.
So, if you want to keep your doors open, you need to read on.
In this post, we'll tell you everything that you need to know about how to stop germs from spreading in your restaurant.
1. Wear Disposable Food Handling Gloves
We know that you already follow restaurant food and safety regulations by instructing your kitchen and waitstaff to wash their hands after using the restroom.
However, a quick rinse with soap and water often isn't enough -- especially in food prep areas.
As your restaurant gets busier, your staff might now always have time to wash their hands between every plate and ingredient.
Food handling gloves can help to serve as a barrier between the germs on a line cook's hands and the food you're serving to customers.
There are lots of different types of glove materials out there, and it's easy to choose the kind that will work best in your restaurant. If you need gloves that can handle exposure to high heat, but still fit tightly and let your cooks chop with ease, go for a latex option.
If your servers have latex allergies, or if you need a durable material that won't restrict movement, opt for nitrile gloves.
Instruct your team to switch out their gloves to a fresh pair after handling raw meat, if they cough or sneeze, or as soon as they notice a rip or tear.
2. Separate Raw and Cooked Foods
In the restaurant world, cross-contamination can happen in an instant.
If you want to limit the potential for food-borne illnesses, then you need to pay close attention to how you store your cooked and raw foods.
You need to make sure that, especially when it comes to a larger refrigerator or storage space, that you completely separate raw and cooked foods. This means no stacking of trays, and no putting raw and cooked foods on the same shelf.
It's also important that you check for leaks -- is the cling wrap from raw food coverings accidentally dripping onto the cooked food below it?
And when it makes its way to the kitchen, are you using separate cutting boards for your raw and cooked foods? What about different knives and other utensils?
If space allows, prepare these foods in completely different stations. Always do unannounced spot-checks in the kitchen to keep staff on their toes.
3. Keep an Eye on Temperature
Of course, you want to make sure that all the food you serve your guests is cooked to perfection.
No one wants to end up with a rare hamburger when they ordered it well-done, just as no one enjoys a piece of rubbery, overcooked chicken.
But temperature regulation is about far more than just taste. It's also one of the most essential food safety tips.
To make sure ground meat is cooked, aim for a temperature of 160 degrees. For eggs and fish, 145 degrees is best. If you're cooking chicken, keep it at 165 degrees.
You'll also need to make sure that food isn't left out for so long that it ends up spoiling.
This means that all of your perishable food should be placed back in the freezer or food storage area after two hours out on the counter. When in doubt, throw it out.
Finally, it goes without saying that, if you're serving raw or potentially undercooked foods in your restaurant (think tartare or shellfish) you'll need to properly warn your clients on the menu.
4. Disinfect Food Prep Areas
We know that you always take the time to wipe down tables in between customers.
But be honest with yourself: when was the last time that you completely cleaned out your freezer? How often do you disinfect the countertops in your kitchen and other food prep areas? And what sort of products are you using to clean and disinfect?
For best results, you should aim to do a weekly purge of old food products from the fridge. At least once a month, do a deep clean.
This means taking everything off the shelves, making sure that any filters have been replaced, and inspecting the fridge to make sure it's still working properly.
Never store food on the floor in a walk-in fridge. In addition to being a potential safety hazard, it also makes it easy for bugs and rodents to crawl into the containers.
Use These Food Safety Tips to Keep Guests Healthy
From always ensuring you cook at the proper temperature to routinely cleaning and inspecting your fridge, follow these food safety tips to keep guests and servers healthy and happy.
Use gloves to create a barrier between bacteria and your food, and make sure you're following restaurant food safety regulations.
Above all, make sure that you've properly educated your employees about the correct hygiene methods and rules they need to follow.
When you're ready to invest in the right tools to prevent cross-contamination and food-borne illnesses from ruining your restaurant's reputation, rely on us.
At My Glove Depot, we offer the gloves that you need to stop the spread of germs in your food prep areas, your fridge, and everywhere else.