Restaurants deal with hundreds of kilogrammes of food every day — but they don’t cook all of those in one day. They usually store their produce, especially if they only receive the goods on a weekly basis. The problem, however, is not all of their staff know how to store food properly.
Food storage is a crucial part of food safety, and it is the responsibility of the restaurant owners or managers to ensure that their staff observes safe practices at all times. Once ignored, food safety can lead to foodborne illnesses that may affect the customers, as well as the staff.
If you’re an owner or manager of a restaurant, here are a few safe food storage practices your employees must observe:
1. First In, First Out
Train your staff to follow the ‘first in, first out’ rule when stocking produce. Every delivery day, your employees should always place new stock behind older produce. This way, the produce that was delivered first will be used ahead of the others in the kitchen, too. With a proper stock rotation, you can prevent food wastage, as well as spoilt food being served to your customers.
2. Meat at the Bottom
Anyone with a food handlers certificate in NSW knows that meat should only be stored in the lower part of the fridge. By following this rule, you can safeguard against any contamination that may arise from meat juices dripping onto other produce. So, always remind your kitchen staff to keep the meat at the bottom of the fridge.
3. Use Airtight Containers
Some kitchen staff members resort to placing food in a container without a lid, covering it with only a foil before storing it in a fridge. They fail to realise that food usually starts to spoil from the moment that air gets in contact with it. So, it is essential that you remind your employees to use airtight containers always when storing food.
Since you can’t oversee your kitchen staff at all times, you can hire or assign one member as a food safety supervisor. This person will be responsible for ensuring safe food storage and handling practices in the kitchen at all times. This way, you no longer have to worry that a customer will get sick because of the food your restaurant serves.