The lack of professional Food Safety training to food handlers can ruin your business.
The last thing you want as a restaurant owner is to have your reputation ruined. Training your employees on maintaining quality control mechanisms and adhering to food safety standards is crucial for a safe successful business. Food handlers, and people in general, have a lot of misconceptions about food safety that may lead to business closure.
CHECK OUT THESE FIVE FOOD SAFETY MYTHS THAT CAN RUIN YOUR REPUTATION:
- COOKED FOOD CAN’T CAUSE FOOD-BORNE ILLNESS: It’s true that properly cooked food is unlikely to cause food poisoning, but there are plenty of ways that cooked food can become contaminated after cooking, making it just unsafe to eat. And here are few reasons: food is prepared on a contaminated surface or using contaminated equipment, food handlers don’t practice good personal hygiene, etc.
- IF IT LOOKS FINE AND SMELLS FINE, IT’S SAFE TO EAT: Spoilage microorganisms (some bacteria, molds and yeasts) can change the look, texture, flavor or smell of food, so it’s easy to tell if the food has gone bad. Pathogens, on the other hand, generally do not cause food spoilage and they are odorless and tasteless, so you can’t tell when food is contaminated with them. Pathogens are disease-causing microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, parasites and some molds.
- IF YOU CUT OFF THE MOLD, THE REST OF THE FOOD IS FINE: Many people think that if you cut or scrape the mold out of food, the rest of the food is safe to eat; the colorful patches of mold you see on the surface are actually just the tip of the iceberg. Like plants, molds produce thread-like roots that extend deep into the food. Most mold found on food products is harmless, but some molds can produce mycotoxins, which are toxic to humans and can cause serious illness.
- IT’S OK TO THAW FROZEN FOOD AT ROOM TEMPERATURE We should never defrost frozen food at room temperature or in a warm water bath. High-risk foods must be kept out of the Temperature Danger Zone (4°C–60°C), as this is the temperature range in which dangerous bacteria thrive. In fact, bacteria are among the fastest reproducing organisms in the world, doubling every ten to twenty minutes. Freezing doesn’t actually kill bacteria (another myth), which means that as your food thaws, bacteria can reawaken and multiply.
- YOU SHOULD RINSE RAW CHICKEN BEFORE COOKING IT: Washing raw chicken before cooking it does not remove the bacteria and can actually increase the risk of food poisoning. Splashing water from rinsing raw chicken under a tap can spread bacteria to hands, food preparation surfaces, cooking equipment, utensils and anything else within reach (water droplets can travel more than 50cm in every direction).
Food businesses need to be extra careful when it comes to food safety, as policies, procedures and the actions of the employees can affect the health and safety of the public. Remember, don’t confine your food safety training to managers and supervisors; extend it to all employees in your food processing unit, as they are the actual food-handlers.