17 Dec The Importance of Food Service Safety
Food is a physiological requirement. Without food, the body cannot sustain itself. Food is also rich in history, with historical significance across all cultures. The Irish Potato Famine, The First Thanksgiving, Marie Antoinette telling the French to eat cake when they didn’t have bread – all of these are historically important and rooted in food.
December is Worldwide Food Service Safety Month, so as many of us gather together this month, it’s essential to take a moment to consider food service industry standards, its impact on our health and wellness, and the hygiene necessary before, during, and after the preparation of our meals.
Ancient cultures were aware of the importance of food safety, even if they didn’t understand the science behind why we sometimes got sick. Those cultures preserved food by smoking and sun-drying it. In hot climates, heavily spiced foods preserved food and improved flavor. In France, they have an entire department devoted to protecting certain types of foods and how they are prepared and labeled. In the 1900s, food safety and labeling became paramount as people became sick in more significant numbers and health inspection and safety protocols became the norm.
Tips for Both At-Home Cooks and Restaurant Chefs
- Wash your hands. This is a given for all cooks anywhere, but washing your hands before and after preparing food is crucial.
- Don’t serve food when you’re sick. Don’t let your servers come into work sick if you’re working in a restaurant. If you’re at home, don’t be the one cooking or running dishes if you have the sniffles.
- Cooking equipment should always be cleaned and sanitized.
- Food should be stored in a way to prevent cross-contamination.
- Label everything. Whether it’s expiration dates or allergens, a sound labeling system is essential in ensuring the health and safety of diners.
How Shoe Cover Magic Can Help
While we don’t expect most people to wear shoe covers in restaurants or at home cooking, one significant part of food service safety is processing and preparing foods in factories, farms, and other locations. Shoe covers are crucial in preventing contamination or cross-contamination. Since they’re sterile, you don’t risk tracking in outside contaminants on the bottoms of your shoes. Also, they’re safer because of the non-slip and non-skid surfaces. Nevertheless, spills happen, and they improve traction and help employees avoid dangerous falls in the workplace. When combined with gloves, hairnets, and other protective equipment, shoe covers dramatically improve food safety, quality, and hygiene in our food production.
Like many restaurants, businesses, and food service establishments that have struggled to stay open amidst the pandemic, it’s important to thank the food service workers who keep us safe and healthy – regardless of where they fit in the supply chain.