Whenever dealing with food, especially raw meats, there is a slight risk of harmful bacteria getting onto cutting boards, utensils and counter tops, and contaminating your food as a result. The last thing your restaurant needs is to give your customers food poisoning. Luckily, with the proper precautions, cross-contamination is preventable.
Obviously, the best way to prevent bacteria from spreading is to keep your staff and kitchen clean. Ensure your team washes their hands with soap and hot water before and after handling food. Use hot, soapy water and a clean cloth to wipe down kitchen surfaces and spills. After preparing every food item, wash any cutting boards, dishes, bowls or utensils you used before moving on to the next dish.
When storing and refrigerating food, it is important to keep the raw meat, poultry and seafood separate from produce and other foods. A good way to ensure separation is by placing these foods into individual sealed plastic bags or color-coded food storage containers. This prevents the raw juices which can contain harmful bacteria from dripping onto other foods.
Color-Coded Food Prep
To go along with the color-coded food storage containers, using dedicated, color-coded cutting boards and utensils for each type of food cooked in your kitchen is another excellent way to ensure your kitchen stays organized when it comes to cross-contamination prevention. Because the colors span different stages of food prep, there is never a question about what food is being prepped where and which container to collect food from. Our friends at Rubbermaid have embraced the color-coded foodservice concept 100%. They offer a color-coded foodservice system that includes seven colors (white, red, yellow, purple, green, brown, and blue) and promotes safe habits for avoiding cross-contamination and keeping customers safe.
Overall, kitchen sanitation and organization is not something to be taken lightly. Investing in storage and food prep solutions that will help make your kitchen run safely and smoothly is essential.