SOME COMMON FOOD SAFETY RELATED VIOLATIONS IN NEW YORK.
This list does not include all food safety violations. Food Safety is important. Food Safety is done throughout the entire operation the moment the doors are open and even off hours. And food safety issue lurk in every corner. Training and proper Food Safety skill are needed to maintain a good and safe food establishment. Getting a Servsafe certificate is a good step. Call Westchester Food Safety and let’s get started today. The Food Manager’s Safety Protection Certification is an important tool needed and required by the Health Department.
1. KEEP YOUR COLD FOODS COLD! Routinely monitor your refrigerators and make sure potentially hazardous foods are held at or below 41°F.
2. KEEP DRINKS COVERED AND PROPERLY STORED! Employees need beverages (kitchens are hot!), but make sure they are covered and are stored below and away from foods and/or food equipment.
3. KEEP YOUR FOODS FRESH! Regularly check produce for mold and keep alcohol bottles capped to prevent fruit fly contamination. Learn about FIFO (First In First Out).
4. USE SANITIZER! This is one of the first things a health inspector looks for. If active food handling is occurring, sanitizer needs to be set up and used to wipe down utensils, cutting boards, etc. Use your test strips to ensure proper concentrations: 50-200 ppm chlorine or 150-400 ppm quaternary ammonia.
5. STORE TOXICS AWAY FROM FOOD & FOOD PREP ARES! To prevent any chemical contaminations, toxic chemicals need to be stored away from foods, food equipment, and food preparation areas.
6. HAVE A THERMOMETER & TAKE TEMP READINGS! You are required to have and use a food thermometer. Make sure there are thermometers everywhere including inside your cooling units, freezers. Make sure you keep a temperature log nearby and take minimally 2 temperature reading every day. They must be documented. This includes all fridges. All food held in cold and hot holding units. This is crucial for food safety. Keep your logs and keep them for a couple of years at best.
7. LABEL YOUR TOXICS! If you take a toxic chemical out of its original container and put it in a spray bottle, make sure the spray bottle is clearly labeled. Put a clear well written label in the new container and keep away from the food prep area!
8. WASH YOUR HANDS SIGN Employees must have a wash your hand notification near or around the sinks, Especially the bathroom. The signs must read: Employees Must Wash Hands Before Returning to Work. Consider in Spanish as well.
9. USE SINKS PROPERLY! Hand sinks shall be used for handwashing only! Make sure employees aren’t using hand sinks to rinse utensils/rags, dump food/ice, or to fill containers. Misuse of a hand sink can prevent another employee from washing their hands when needed. Also, don’t use the produce washing sink as a hand sink – that’s unsanitary!
10. KEEP HOT FOODS HOT! Hot potentially hazardous food shall be held at or above 135°F. Use your thermometer regularly! This must be included in your temperature logo reading done twice a day. Random checks are a great idea as well. Train staff well.
11. PROVIDE HOT/COLD WATER! It is very important for sanitation that your facility has enough hot water - hand sinks need to be 100°F or above and three-compartment sinks need to be 110°F or above.
12. WASH YOUR HANDS! Teach employees to do proper 20-second hand wash:
Upon arriving at work.After returning from restroom.After coughing, sneezing, eating, drinking, touching their skin/hair.After handling raw meats.After taking out the trash.After handling money.After an interruption.After handling soiled dishes.
13. PESTS! Prevent pest infestations by keeping your facility clean and uncluttered, and by sealing wall holes and having tight-fitting exterior doors. Go the extra step and have a PCO at minimum once a month.
14. COOL YOUR FOOD! Taking too long to cool off cooked foods is a frequent cause of foodborne illness. During lengthy cooling, disease-causing bacteria may grow in potentially hazardous foods. If the food isn't cooled from 135° F to 70° F in two hours or less, then from 70° F to 41° F in four hours or less, enough bacteria may grow to cause a foodborne illness. Again, use your thermometers! Use enough food being held in the hot holding unit for the day. Save yourself the cooling process.
15. NO BARE HAND CONTACT! Touching ready-to-eat foods (i.e. foods that will not go through a further cooking process prior to serving) with bare hands increases the risk of foodborne illness. Train employees and bartenders to use gloves or utensils when handling foods such as salads, garnishes, cooked foods, breads, or when plating foods.