Commercial Cooking Equipment Food Safety Tips

Cooking Equipment Food Safety Tips

Food safety is one of the most important things in a commercial kitchen. Since September is Food Safety Education Month, it is a good time to freshen up on some food safety tips for cooking equipment to keep yourself and customers safe.

What causes foodborne illnesses?

One of the most common causes of foodborne illnesses is from not storing, holding, cooking, or cooling foods at proper temperatures. This is because temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, also referred to as the “danger zone,” stimulate a rapid growth of pathogenic bacteria. Another common cause is from cross-contamination. Bacteria can transfer from raw foods and their juices when staff prepare foods on contaminated surfaces or do not properly wash their hands.

How serious are foodborne illnesses?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), roughly one in six people (48 million people) in the U.S. fall ill to foodborne illnesses every year. Of those people, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die annually. Due to this, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that foodborne illnesses cost the U.S. economy more than $15 billion each year.

You can prevent foodborne illnesses with these simple commercial cooking equipment food safety tips.

Cooking equipment food safety tips:

  • Regularly clean your equipment and other surfaces that food comes into contact with.
  • Cook food to the proper safe minimum internal temperature.
    • 145°F for raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts.
    • 145°F for fish.
    • 160°F for ground meats.
    • 160°F for egg dishes.
    • 165°F for raw poultry.
  • Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature to ensure foods are fully cooked. You should also not rely on color and texture to indicate safely cooked food.
  • Have broken oven doors fixed. This can result in uneven cooking due to heat leaking out.
  • Do not let cooked food sit out for more than two hours at room temperature.
  • If not being served right away, then place cooked food in chafing dishes, preheated steam tables, warming trays, and/or slow cookers to maintain a temperature of at least 140°F.

Additional food safety tips:

If you want to ensure proper food safety with your refrigeration equipment, then RSI’s blog to learn more tips.

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