If you serve food to the public, it is essential that you understand ServSafe rules and how to keep people safe from foodborne illnesses. According to the World Health Organization, about 600 million people around the world become ill due to contaminated food each year. This is almost one in ten people. To protect public health and prevent foodborne illnesses, keep these tips in mind.
Wash Your Hands
You should wash your hands frequently anyway, but it is especially important when you’re handling food. Washing hands with soap and hot water removes germs that could otherwise end up in somebody’s food. Wash your hands before you begin cooking, after handling raw meat, and regularly throughout the process. The more often you wash your hands, the less of a chance germs will have to transfer themselves from your hands to the food. It is a simple step to incorporate into your routine, so make sure that you prioritize it.
Be Careful About Cross-Contamination
If you are trained in ServSafe, you know the dangers of cross-contamination. Raw meat contains bacteria that are generally killed when you cook it. However, if the utensils you use for raw meat are also used for other food, those germs might contaminate something else. Make sure you keep your meat or allergens separate from the other ingredients. Use certain utensils specifically for those foods. If you think there might be some cross-contamination, throw out the contaminated food and start over. It might cost you a little extra time and food, but it’ll prevent foodborne illnesses.
Refrigerate Food Promptly
Most food that isn’t being eaten right away needs to be refrigerated. While they are safe out of the fridge for a little while, the risk of bacteria growth increases the longer the food is out of refrigeration. Make sure that you are putting things back in the fridge as soon as you can safely do so. Part of ServSafe is knowing which foods can stay out and which need to go back in. If you serve food that’s been sitting out for too long, you risk exposing someone to the disease.
Foodbourne illness is a serious problem and it is important that anybody handling food is aware of it. By keeping these tips in mind as you prepare meals for the public, you’ll decrease your chances of spreading these illnesses.