A significant part of keeping you and your customers safe is understanding the importance of food safety. From taking temperature control seriously to managing your personal hygiene, there’s a lot to think about.
Although, one thing you may not have considered before is the risk of the food itself. When not stored or cooked correctly, some foods put the consumer at more risk of foodborne illnesses than others. Let’s take a closer look at these food types.
Pathogens, which are disease-causing organisms, are almost everywhere you look. Their presence in raw chicken can put people at increased risk of food poisoning when safe food handling practices aren’t followed.
The three most common pathogens found on raw chicken are campylobacter, salmonella, and listeria. Safe handling, storage, and cooking can significantly lower the risk of them causing any harm.
By taking an online food handlers course to gain your food handlers card, you learn plenty of important information about putting these food safety practices into play.
Always wash hands and equipment in hot soapy water when handling raw chicken. Doing so can prevent cross-contamination. Refrain from placing cooked chicken on plates used for raw chicken, and use separate chopping boards, as well.
When storing raw chicken, cover it and place it on the refrigerator’s bottom shelf below all other food. Thaw it completely in the fridge or microwave and not on a bench or under running water. Once thawed, cook within 24 hours, and do not refreeze.
If you are cooking chicken to use it later, move it through the ‘danger zone’ quickly by placing it in the fridge as soon as possible after cooking.
A food safety course outlines safe cooking practices for chicken, which includes making sure chicken is cooked thoroughly before serving. Bone-in chicken should be 180°F, while all other chicken should be 169°F. Always cook until the juices run clear, and use a meat thermometer to check.
Depending on the seafood type, many different pathogens can be present that lead to serious illness. By applying safe handling practices, you can potentially prevent the spread of ciguatera and histamine poisoning, among others.
One of the most important things to consider is where your seafood comes from. In the hospitality industry, only ever purchase seafood from reputable suppliers who follow safe practices themselves.
Once you take over ownership of the seafood, you can continue those practices to keep your customers safe.
This can involve:
- Using live shellfish within two days of harvest
- Don’t eat shellfish that died while stored
- Don’t cook or eat shellfish with broken shells
- Clean your hands, surfaces, and chopping boards with hot soapy water
- Cook fish and shellfish thoroughly to kill parasites, bacteria, and viruses
- Cover shellfish in the fridge with a wet towel
- Store fish in sealed containers
- Defrost frozen seafood in the fridge before cooking
Everyday food products like milk, butter, and cheese, can be at risk of contamination. Even if you use these products often in your workplace, don’t underestimate the value of safe food handling.
Make sure dairy is within the use-by or sell-by date before using in products you’ll be selling or serving to the general public. Never allow dairy products to be at room temperature for more than two hours. Some cheese types with high moisture content like mozzarella should also be left at room temperature for short periods only.
Fortunately, many of our dairy products’ pasteurization process makes them far safer for us to consume. Although, we need to do our part through safe handling. Never return any cream or milk to its original container, and cover opened butter in the refrigerator. If you freeze butter, wrap it tightly in plastic or foil.
Eggs may look innocent, but this food type can be harboring incredibly dangerous bacteria. When preparing egg dishes of any kind, ensure you clean your hands, work surfaces, utensils, and equipment, with hot soapy water.
Always cook eggs until both the yolk and white are firm. All dishes, including casseroles that contain eggs, should be cooked until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F.
Keep Your Customers Safe With A Food Handlers Certificate
There is a lot to learn and remember when it comes to food safety. Although, it’s all important to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses and cross-contamination.
While on-the-job training can help make these essential tasks familiar, an official course can also be of value. If you are a food handler in Texas, it is the law that you become certified.
TABC Pronto offers a course to obtain Texas food handlers certificate for just $6.99. There’s no final exam, and you can be qualified in less than a day. This TXDSHS-approved course is fast and easy to do online and can shed light on what it takes to keep yourself and others safe. Enroll in the course today!