At rescue missions, food safety and sanitation are as important as nutritional adequacy. The homeless population is more vulnerable to environmental hazards and food borne illness than the average person. Therefore, we must exert adeqaute effort to ensure that they do not become exposed to toxins and bacteria that cause foodborne illness.
These are the most common food handling errors that cause people to get sick from eating contaminated and unsafe food:
Failure To Properly Refrigerate Food
This can apply to raw foods as well as partially prepared items and ready-to-serve foods.
This can happen at all stages of preparation and serving, especially in transportation of food.
This allows germs that contaminate food to grow to sufficient numbers to cause illness.
Germs from sneezing, coughing or from infected wounds on the hands can spread and contaminate food.
Exposure to raw foods and soiled utensils that are contaminated with germs cause food borne illnesses.
This slogan could be posted in certain areas to make your food service workers more aware of food safety.ARE YOU PRACTICING SAFE COOKING?
Read more about the Proper Use of Thermometers
Other point so remember:
The following is from the guide "Keeping Food Safe to Eat" provided by U.S.D.A. Food and Nutrition Service, P.S. 1371.
It should be posted in your kitchen and all food preparation and serving areas.
Keeping Food Safe to Eat
Food handlIng, sanitation, and safety in school food service are regulated by State. county, and city health department codes. Become familiar with the regulations to prevent foodborne illness.
Handle and Store Food Properly
Be aware of the condition In which perishable foods are delivered. Be sure frozen foods are frozen solid and refrigerated foods feel cold. Certam factors can shorten a foods useful life, such as too much handling or Improper temperature control before delivery.
Date incoming food items to help rotate stock property. Placing oldest food out front will encourage the use of the foods on a "first-in, first-out" basis.
Maintain Strict Cleanliness
Keep Hot Foods Above 1400 F
Bacteria grow rapidly between 600 and 1250 F (including room temperature). Avoid holding foods in this temperature zone. If the serving of a hot food must be delayed, keep it at a holding temperaturebetween 1400 and 1860 F. Although steamtables are designed to maintain holding temperatures, do not hold food on a steamtabie for more than 2 hours.
Keep Cold Foods Below 400 F
Check refrigerators and freezers frequently with an appliance thermometer. The refrigerator should register 400 F or lower. The freezer should read 00 F or lower. Keep a daily log of temperature readings.
Based excerpts from Foodservice for the Homeless by Jane Broughton.