It's Friday night and you get the chance to relax and unwind with your favorite food served at your favorite restaurant. While savoring every bite of your favorite steak coupled with a nice bottle of wine, have you ever thought about the manner by which these were prepared before the waiters serve them to your table? At present, the managements of many restaurants usually take for granted and overlook the emphasis on food safety procedures in their kitchens and dining halls. As a result, food-borne illnesses can result from this lax attitude. Food-borne illnesses can break any restaurant business into devastation.
Food handling practices are very vital to keep foods safe to eat. The naïve attitude is very dangerous especially to the consumers, and so local municipalities have already required food handlers health cards as part of the overall requirement for restaurant employment. The prospective employee must apply for a health card at the local health department. He or she will then be required to attend a series of classes which are designed to instruct them how to handle food properly and inform them about the hazards of food-borne diseases. In some areas, the health department may offer classes on a voluntary basis.
The health department has a broad knowledge about the proper handling and preparation of food. It has a wide repository of comprehensive literature that can be a source of vital pieces of information for those who want to venture into the food business. When you participate in these programs, or when you provide a food handling class to other people, you are already contributing to the campaign for a safer, cleaner and healthier restaurant business. Also, you are helping to put restaurants in the good graces of the local health departments in each area because food safety is a valuable practice that must be adhered to by every restaurant or food facility. After all, it is the responsibility of restaurant managements to ensure that people who eat their food are safe from food-borne diseases.
The following is a list of the most common causes of food-borne diseases which must be carefully taken into consideration.
- Time and Temperature: It is a basic knowledge that foods which must be kept warm should be kept warm and those which must be kept cold must be kept cold. When a food handler fails to cook, cool or hold foods to the appropriate time and temperature, the food items may start to degrade or deteriorate.
- Poor Hygiene: On the part of the food handler, some hygienic measures must be followed. He or she must wash hands properly and frequently. Also, handlers who are ill should not be allowed to hold foods.
- Cross-contamination: This is the case wherein food is contaminated by harmful microorganisms when it is transferred from one food surface to another. Food contamination can take place when food handlers fail to clean and sanitize the food preparation ares, gadgets and tools that they use to prepare and cook food.