Hospitality Focus on Safety: Food
Food Safety basics are important for fighting foodborne illnesses. These guidelines should be closely followed to reduce the chance of illness from food.
- Every member of the food and beverage department must be certified for, and adhere to, safe food handling and service.
- Always wash hands with water and soap before and after handling each food item.
- When purchasing food or receiving food orders, ensure that no packaging is torn or leaking. Return any items that are past the “Sell-By” or “Use-By” dates.
- Always refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours if temperatures are moderate. Refrigerate within 1 hour when the temperature is above 90 °F (32.2 ºC).
- Ensure the temperature of your refrigerator at or below 40 °F (4.4 ºC) and freezer should be at or below 0 °F (-17.7 ºC).
- Cook or freeze fresh poultry, fish, ground meats, and variety meats within 2 days and whole beef, veal, lamb, or pork, within 3 to 5 days.
- Perishable food should be wrapped securely in order to keep it fresh and prevent cross-contamination.
- Do not expose canned goods to freezing temperatures, or temperatures above 90 °F. Discard cans that are dented, rusted, or swollen.
- Keep raw meat, poultry, fish, and their juices away from other food. After cutting raw meats, wash cutting board, utensils, and countertops with hot, soapy water or in a sanitizer.
- Always cover and refrigerate marinating items.
- Allow frozen items to thaw slowly in the refrigerator, ensuring that juices from thawing items do not drip. These items may be refrozen, if not used.
- If a faster thaw is necessary, place the item in a sealed bag and submerge in cold tap water, changing the water every 30 minutes or defrost in the microwave. These faster-thawed items must be cooked immediately after thawing and cannot be re-frozen.
- Cook all raw, whole meat items to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F (62.8 ºC). Cook all ground meat items to a minimum internal temperature of 160 °F (71.1 ºC). Cook all poultry to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F (73.9 °C).
- Hot food should be held at 140 °F (60 °C) or warmer and cold food should be held at 40 °F (4.4 ºC) or colder.
- Perishable food should not be left out more than two hours at room temperature or one hour when the temperature is above 90 °F (32.2 ºC). Discard any food left out longer than safe times.
- Use cooked leftovers within 4 days.
- Reheat leftovers to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (73.9 °C).
In the event of a food related injury or illness:
- Follow the guidelines for the incident found in the Emergency Binder.
- If you feel you may have incurred an injury of any kind, report it immediately to your supervisor.
- Maintain staff presence at any hazard until it can be cleared.
- In the event of 2 or more reports of food poisoning, secure all ingredients and inform the CDC. Follow procedures outlined in your facility’s Emergency Binder.
- Be very clear on whether you require immediate medical attention, imminent medical attention or request additional accommodations to prevent injury in the future.
- Report the incident to the Risk Management Team.
- Inform the staff of the incident and make corrections to procedures or errors to ensure that this incident does recur.
June McCreight began her career in the hospitality industry as a housekeeper in 1996. In the years since, she has risen through the ranks, learning maintenance, front office, sales and revenue management, property management and district management, bench management and opening team management. She has trained hundreds of hoteliers and won many awards for her management successes. In 2011, June wrote and published, The Strangers in My Beds, a fictional novel based strictly on the strange events of her career in hotels. In 2014, June partnered with her father, a very accomplished software architect, and opened the business, Coba Enterprise Management, LLC with a very unique and specialized CMMS (Computer Maintenance Management System) software for hotels.