As a restaurant manager or owner, you have a long list of important factors that all work together in making your business thrive. Social media presence and positive online reviews certainly go a long way in helping customers find you. The atmosphere and customer service will play a huge role in keeping people happy and planting the desire to return.
However, one element of running a successful restaurant might be more important than anything else: food safety. From managing perishables, right storage conditions, food stock to serving customers fresh, delicious meals; food safety is an integral part of any restaurant. Besides, people often find it challenging to manage these factors and end up with extra expenses incurred due to re-ordering ingredients, negative customer feedback and chaos.
In order to avoid such chaos and mishaps, consider following below tips and manage your restaurant efficiently:
Know What Matters
This issue goes deeper than just pleasing the health inspector or checking off a box on a list of things to do. According to the Australian Institute of Food Safety, having a restaurant that consistently meets the requirements that Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) are looking for can ultimately mean that your customers will avoid any complications from foodborne illness. Thus, saving you from potential litigation or bad reviews. Here are some important tips to ensure that you are managing and storing perishable food items safely and healthily.
Store Items in the Right Place
Not every item should be shoved in the back of a fridge or left on a counter in the kitchen. If you are focused on keeping food safe to eat, you need to put it in an appropriate place. Storage areas that are dark and dry can help maximise the storage time of perishable foods. Sunlight can break down fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, E, K, and D, and uncontrolled humidity or temperature can invite degradation from mould and other contaminants.
Keep Things Cold
Cold temperatures can help protect the integrity of perishable foodstuffs by preventing bacterial growth or excessive ripening. Keeping your storage cool and dark (away from direct sunlight) will prevent food from spoiling. Dark storage units will slow down food degradation. Besides, it also prevents spoiling of food items and preserves food quality. Anything that belongs in dry storage should stay at temperatures between 10°, and 20° C. Freezers must be in good working order and keep food in a completely frozen state, maintaining a temperature of 0° C.
Never wait to schedule important maintenance or emergency thermoking fridge repair if you are worried about the perishable food items being transported to your locations or sitting in your restaurant refrigerator. The temperature ranges described above are essential to prevent food poisoning caused by food stored at the wrong temperature.
First In, First Out (FIFO)
Get in the habit of rotating your stock to feature any items that must be used first. Not only will this reduce waste, but it will allow you to ensure that nothing is being used past its expiration date. The most significant advantage of this method is that it ensures minimal food wastage. Use labelling to indicate the “best if used by” dates, and always put new stock behind existing items. Besides, it helps divide your freezer, refrigerator and pantry areas into well-labelled sections, keeping “must-use” items in the areas that are easiest to reach. Labelling or carefully marking the name and the production date allows the staff to determine safe-to-use ingredients and discard unnecessary food items.
Restaurant managers must train the staff to keep a track of expiration dates and ensure to use fresh food items only.
Give Everything Its Place
Storing perishable food items in your restaurant can be easy when assigning each item its place. For example, it’s good practice to store ready-to-eat or fully cooked items on the top shelf (being extra careful to wrap them tightly. Raw foods, including meats and fish, should be placed lower down in the refrigerator, with whole eggs and ground meat at the very bottom.
Pantry items can be stored in groups, but using labels on shelves can ensure that you always know exactly where to find the ingredient you are looking for. This also helps your efforts to stay up on inventory and ensure that your newly stocked items are placed behind their existing counterparts.
With an eye to the tips above, you can easily stay on top of your establishment’s food safety. This, in turn, will give your customers the confidence to keep coming back over and over again.