When you enroll in a Texas food handlers course online, there can be a lot to earn. While it’s all included in an easy-to-follow format, it’s not always easy to remember everything off the top of your head.
However, suppose we told you there were just four steps to food safety. In that case, you may find it much easier to remember what’s expected of you in the hospitality industry. We’ll show you what’s involved in those four steps below.
Step 1: Clean
Wash your hands, wash utensils, wash surfaces, wash everything. Germs and bacteria that make you sick survive on anything that hasn’t been cleaned, such as counters, cutting boards, and your hands.
Always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds every time you change tasks. For example, you would wash your hands before chopping meat and again once you have finished chopping meat.
You might also double wash if you have been to the restroom. For example, you can wash your hands once when you’ve finished using the toilet and then again when you get back to the kitchen to resume food prep.
Always wash utensils and surfaces after each use, including cutting boards and anything that has held or will be holding food. Don’t forget about fruit and vegetables, either. They can be rinsed under clean, running water.
Step 2: Separate
The second step to food safety involves separating everything to avoid cross-contamination. For example, you would use one cutting board for fresh vegetables, then another for raw poultry, meat, and seafood.
All utensils, surfaces, plates, and cutting boards must be thoroughly cleaned before and after use to prevent potentially harmful cross-contamination.
Separate also refers to how you must store food – separately. Make sure raw and cooked produce are sealed and stored separately from each other.
Step 3: Cook
After being careful with your cleaning and separating, it’s now time to focus on cooking. Always use a food thermometer in the thickest part of meat or poultry to ensure it’s cooked enough. Food should also be kept out of the danger zone once it’s cooked, which is between 40°F and 140°F.
If you are going to be microwaving food, make sure you do so thoroughly and follow the instructions on the packaging. For example, some manufacturers tell you to let food stand for a few minutes after cooking.
This isn’t so you don’t burn your mouth but, instead, so heat from the hotter parts of the food can be absorbed into the colder parts. Don’t forget to brush up on minimum temperatures for cooking to keep yourself and your customers safe.
Step 4: Chill
We don’t mean chill out; we mean refrigerate or freeze your food correctly! Bacteria multiply quickest between 40°F and 140°F, which means you must move food through this danger zone quickly.
Make sure your fridge is at 40°F or below and your freezer at 0°F or below. Always place perishable foods in the refrigerator within two hours, and put leftovers in shallow containers to speed up the cooling process once in the fridge.
What you may also not know is that thawing and marinating food in a fridge, rather than on a counter, is best practice.
Learn Other Food Safety Tips With TABC Pronto
When you enter the hospitality industry, there can be so much to learn. Brush up on those essential skills with a food handlers safety card from TABC Pronto. You can be on top of hygiene, food safety, and other crucial skills in no time. Why not enroll in this convenient, 100% online course today?