Many of us have had to adjust to the new norms post COVID-19, such as working from home, staying in quarantine and the newest norm of eating-out turning into eating-in. Many food establishments have voluntarily closed their dining spaces in order to lessen the spread of the virus. They have chosen to adapt to a form of business that prioritizes take-out and delivery in order to operate safely - for the sake of their customers and employees. Offering delivery can help restaurants manage costs during COVID-19 and also allows them to easily transition back into normal working conditions. Restaurants often select a single third-party delivery service to partner with, yet this is an area in which they can save more money by insourcing their food deliveries. All you need to do is educate your own employees on the practice of food delivery. This new norm is very important to execute correctly if the food establishments want to guarantee quality service. Following safe food handling [...]
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Inventory management is a key aspect of practicing proper food handling safety. Likewise, when done accurately, it can ensure no food goes to waste and saves money. Inventory management begins at the door, before your food is allowed into storage. Assigning designated employees to manage inventory when it arrives will allow a smooth and consistent analysis. Food should be inspected by these employees and they should not accept anything broken, open, leaking, or at the wrong holding temperature. The employees should be thoroughly trained in doing so appropriately. Proper food inspection is covered in detail in our food safety courses. Once the shipment has been approved, the non-perishable foods should be organized in a pantry/ inventory room according to the First In, First Out (FIFO) method. This ensures that food with the closer expiry date is used in a timely manner - and does not go to waste by being thrown out, wasting money. A key storage method is to use containers that allow [...]
Lately, the importance of having a plan for sick employees has been greatly emphasized and brought to the forefront. Generally, and to a greater extent now with the outbreak of COVID-19, the workplace should practice a safe plan when managing sickness. The first step to dealing with sick employees is to already have a written policy in place. It is better to be prepared and have a plan set beforehand in order to take proper action when presented with the occurrence of a sick employee. Along with having a policy, make sure your employees are fully aware and understand it, to ensure no surprises. Your employees should take it upon themselves to report their sickness and have the right to know information like policies regarding sick pay. A qualified workplace coordinator should also be put in charge of the plans put into place. If an employee does call in sick, have them provide their estimated date of return. Usually, you would ask for evidence [...]
There are quite a lot of people who believe hand sanitizer is an appropriate replacement for washing one’s hands with soap when coming into contact with germs. But we’re here to inform you that hand sanitizer is only a temporary fix. You are highly recommended to immediately wash your hands with soap, upon being able to. Hands are the part of your body that come into contact with many outside factors and then come in direct contact with your face, allowing germs to be transmitted. This emphasizes the importance of hand hygiene and the importance of purifying the hands appropriately. There are a lot of upsides to hand sanitizers as a temporary fix, like it being so easily accessible (at least prior to COVID-19, that is!). The portable nature of hand sanitizer allows for you to quickly sanitize your hands at any time when soap and water are absent. Hand sanitizer protects against a lot of germs, but it is not 100% adequate. Certain [...]
House photo created by freepik When was the last time you reviewed your establishment’s sanitation plan? Sanitation plans act as a clear guide and reference for your employees on how exactly they carry out their cleaning and sanitation duties. An updated sanitation plan, however, might be necessary to responsibly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, just as many companies are adjusting their employee illness policies. We have gathered recommendations made by health departments for workplaces on preventing COVID-19 transmission considering the epidemiology of the novel-2019 coronavirus. Sanitation plans in essence outline the items/areas that are to be cleaned and sanitized, including the specific method(s), frequency and supplies to be used. The schedule set for an establishment but be closely monitored by management to ensure it’s being followed. As we mentioned when covering cleaning and sanitizing methods to prevent coronavirus transmission, the core elements of food safety practices are largely applicable as appropriate responses to COVID-19. Your employees should already been cleaning food and non-food contact [...]
Hand photo created by katemangostar - www.freepik.com Worried about having sick employees? An appropriate employee illness policy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is especially critical. Restaurants and other food-service establishments are particularly susceptible for being places where the 2019-novel coronavirus can be transmitted. An establishment’s employee illness policy is just one of the ways restaurants can help reduce the spread of COVID-19. PROBE IT’s food handler course covers the importance of having and following a proper employee illness policy. Standard illness policies should cover illnesses, their symptoms and the actions to be taken for the various illnesses an employee may have. Standard clauses to include is that employees should report to their manager (or person-in-charge) when they have the symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, nausea, stomach cramps, or fever. They should also inform their manager if they have been diagnosed with any specific foodborne illnesses, such as norovirus, Hepatitis A, or salmonella. In both cases, employees should be excluded from working, typically [...]
Banner vector created by pch Feel like 20 seconds is too long to wash your hands? Think again. 80% of the spread of common infectious diseases are credited to your hands. With the novel coronavirus being spread in much the same way, handwashing is not only critical to health and hygiene but an effective preventive measure from being infected. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that it takes about a minute to wash your hands properly from start to finish, and PROBE IT’s food handler course goes over these crucial six steps. Below are some of the tips included in our course on what to do and what to avoid to practice proper hand hygiene. MAKE SURE YOU: Use warm water: Wetting your hands before applying soap is necessary so that you can get a nice lather. Otherwise, the soap will not go anywhere. Warmer water is more effective in getting a better lather according to chemist Bill Wuest, which is our next point. [...]
Restaurant photo created by freepik Learning all you can about using bleach? Everyone has become more aware of disinfecting with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, with cleaning supplies running out throughout grocery stores. Cleaning your home, a section of a restaurant, or an entire facility is definitely a serious responsibility and can get overwhelming with all the information out there. Food handlers who have taken our online course and implement our food safety practices, however, have no need to panic because they already know how to best keep things clean inside-out, and coronavirus free. Before you run out to buy industrial-grade bleach, you should know that cleaning with soap and warm water can be just as effective while being more practical. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that soap disables the outer oily-like layer of the 2019-novel coronavirus, effectively killing it. This is especially important for dishes and other food utensils, which come into contact with people’s mouths as they eat. The steps [...]
Health photo created by freepik The world has come to a metaphorical and literal standstill in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic. The number of total confirmed cases has already reached four hundred thousand as we finish the first quarter of 2020. With a high infection rate and potentially serious symptoms, food service businesses have been scrambling to adapt. Don’t pull out those N95 masks just yet! Your customer’s safety can be solved much more simply. Our COVID-19 Food Safety Series is Probe It Food Safety’s effort to help guide food safety managers, handlers, and the general public on how to use food safety principles to protect themselves, their businesses, and their families. More detail on all of these preventative concepts can be found in our online food handler course. First, let us focus on how food handlers can help prevent the transmission of the 2019 novel-coronavirus itself. Although transmission of the coronavirus directly through food has yet to be confirmed by the [...]
Food poisoning seems to be the catch-all term for our bodies’ reaction to contaminated food. But there are many different kinds of “food poisoning” ranging from mild to severe. Some of us may not take safe food handling seriously, but the reality is that some foodborne illnesses can cause major health issues that could cause great harm or even death. Here are the most common foodborne illnesses, according to the CDC, and brought to you by Probe It Food Safety. Norovirus Considering that the norovirus comes from vomit and feces, it’s unsettling that this germ is the leading foodborne illness, more-so that restaurants are its number one source. Symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, stomach pain, headache, general aches and pains, dehydration Method of Transmission: small traces of vomit or feces enter your mouth, usually through contaminated food. If someone with the virus doesn’t wash their hands before preparing food; if your food is grown in contaminated water without being properly washed; or, if surfaces [...]