Four Main Steps In Maintaining Food Safety – Foodborne illnesses can be significantly controlled with four simple steps. Food safety measures, including cleaning, preparation, separation and refrigeration, are fundamental requirements for a safe food service establishment. These 4 food safety steps help prevent the spread of any type of contamination in your food service establishment. A food safety management system is necessary to ensure that these food safety activities are carried out regularly. The essence of most food safety measures is prevention. If the food has gone bad, there is little that can be done. In this way, food workers strive to prevent the spread of contamination and thereby prevent food spoilage and food poisoning. It is the responsibility of every food worker to ensure that the food they prepare is prepared to the highest food safety standards. This goal can be easily achieved with 4 steps to ensure food safety. Food processors play a huge role in protecting public health from foodborne illnesses. Part of every food regulation requires food businesses to meet strict food safety standards. In the past, food service establishments have been linked to a large number of foodborne illness outbreaks. People with weak immune systems, such as the elderly and pregnant women, are at significant risk of such incidents. This shows how important having food safety systems in place is for the food business. Perhaps one of the most advanced ways to ensure food safety today is through the use of food safety software. Learn more about the 4 essential steps to ensure food safety in this article. What are the 4 steps to ensure food safety? There are many different ways to ensure food safety. Some steps target specific food safety threats, while others aim to create an overall safe and clean work environment. Food safety systems include basic and advanced food operations to maintain food safety. The food industry has identified four basic steps that are essential to any food safety approach. They lay the foundation for even the most basic food safety system. The four simple steps to food safety include: Cleaning Cooking Cooling Separating Below we discuss each step in detail, how they contribute to food safety and how they can be achieved in your food business. Clean cleaning means eliminating foodborne pathogens, including bacteria, viruses and other microbiological hazards, through a series of operations. This step applies throughout the food business: on food handlers, food contact surfaces, floors and other areas. About food handlers. Because food handlers have direct contact with food and the tools used to prepare it, this makes them a potential source of contamination. Therefore, food handlers must maintain cleanliness at all times, which can be achieved through the following steps: Practice proper hand washing. Hand washing should be carried out in several standard steps: Step 1: Rinse your hands with water. Step 2: Wash your hands with soap. Step 3: Rub your hands together, palms together. Step 4: Rub the backs of your hands. Step 5: Rub your fingers together as you weave. Step 6: Rub the base of your thumbs. Step 7: Scrub your nails (Note: You can use a soft bristle brush.) Step 8: Wash your wrists. Step 9: Rinse your hands well. Step 10: Dry your hands with a clean towel or tissue. Step 11: Turn off the faucet with a disposable paper towel. When washing your hands, make sure you have the right tools, such as soap, a brush, and paper towels if necessary. In addition to performing tasks in a specific sequence, hand washing for at least 20 seconds is essential to effectively remove potential pathogens. Proper hand washing is perhaps one of the best ways to prevent the spread of contamination in a food facility. More information on how, where and when to wash your hands can be found here. If necessary, use disposable gloves correctly. Another way for food handlers to minimize contamination is to use disposable gloves. It is recommended that food handlers wear gloves when handling ready-to-eat foods since these foods are no longer subject to any other processing. This operation does not replace hand washing, although gloves are worn. There are times when it is necessary for a food handler to wear gloves, such as when employees have open wounds. On Food Contact Surfaces and Utensils Food processed in your facility passes through several food contact surfaces before it is ready to be served. Therefore, all surfaces, tools and utensils that will be used in these processes must be clean and free of any potential hazards. Cleaning of contact surfaces must also be accompanied by sanitary treatment and performed in a certain sequence. For a more effective cleaning process, follow these basic food safety precautions: Step 1: Clean surfaces or tools by hand, removing all visible food particles. Step 2: Wash with warm soapy water. Step 3: Rinse the surface with warm water to remove any soap residue. Step 4: Soak surfaces, tools, utensils and utensils in the sanitizer of your choice, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Step 5: Allow the sanitizer to dry naturally. About Food While not all foods, such as raw meat and poultry, need to be pre-washed to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria, other ingredients should be cleaned first. Always wash fresh produce, such as fresh fruits, vegetables and grains, before using them to remove any contaminants potentially present. Washing should only be done with running water and a clean food brush, without using a disinfectant solution. Cook Food preparation is considered a critical control point in virtually all food safety systems. This operation is often used as a final step to control or eliminate foodborne pathogens in food. For this process to be effective, it must be accurate. Different types of food must be cooked to the appropriate internal temperature to be safe. To ensure that the foods you serve are always safe to eat, follow these steps: Always use a properly calibrated bimetal or digital food thermometer when measuring the internal temperature of your foods. Use the cooking temperature chart as a guide for the recommended internal temperature of the food you are cooking. Unless otherwise directed, allow cooked foods to rest for 3 minutes before slicing. All refrigerated cooked leftovers should be thoroughly reheated in the microwave or oven to 165°F (74°C). Before serving, keep food warm at 145°F (63°C) to prevent potential and unwanted microbial growth. Refrigeration Refrigeration is the operation in which food is kept at low temperatures to control the unwanted growth of harmful microbes such as bacteria in food. In the temperature danger zone, which is 40°F to 140°F (5°C to 60°C), pathogens can grow optimally and spoil food faster. Refrigeration can be achieved by refrigerating or freezing the food, depending on the required storage duration. Regular monitoring on an ongoing basis is necessary to achieve effectiveness. Exposure to a dangerous temperature zone for about a few hours can make the food unsafe to eat. When refrigerating food, remember the following notes: Refrigerate food at 39°F (4°C) or colder to protect it from spoilage. Freeze food at freezer temperature 0°F (-18°C) or lower. Store cooled leftovers quickly in shallow, airtight containers and refrigerate as soon as possible. Use the two-stage cooling method before refrigerating or freezing food. Arrange food in the refrigerator and freezer in order of degree of doneness. Foods that require high safe cooking temperatures should be placed at the bottom, and ready-to-eat foods at the top. Always keep refrigerators clean. Separately, a huge problem in any food business is cross contamination. This problem can spread food safety hazards very quickly and cause widespread outbreaks of foodborne illnesses. The best solution to the problem of cross-contamination is to implement a strict protocol for separating tools and utensils used to store raw ingredients from ready-to-eat foods. Additionally, zone your kitchen area to reduce the chance of cross-contamination. Here are some more tips to prevent cross-contamination: Separate raw meat, fresh produce, poultry and egg products into grocery bags or shopping carts. Always use separate cutting boards and knives for preparing raw and ready-to-eat foods. Always clean and sanitize food contact surfaces, utensils and utensils used to prepare raw foods before substituting ingredients. Store raw materials in airtight, shallow containers to prevent cross-contamination during storage. Read more about helpful food safety rules and tips here. Why are four simple steps important to ensure food safety? Four simple steps to food safety serve as minimum standards for food handling practices. These are some of the most basic practices that need to be done consistently in any food business. Although they are basic, they are necessary to make the food plant environment safe and free of food contamination. Cooking, cleaning, cooling and separation are further developed in other food safety management systems. For example, food preparation is specified with critical limits in the HACCP food safety plan.

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