According to the Food and Drug Administration, 43 percent of restaurants in the U.S. do not separate raw animal products from other foods appropriately. This is alarming because incorrect food storage is a main factor in foodborne illness outbreaks, which costs the U.S. between $5 billion and $17 billion annually in medical care and lost productivity. And on top of that, health inspectors will monitor for proper food storage at your restaurant when they arrive unannounced, so you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared. (Download our Health Inspection Guide for all you need to know.)
To help protect the health of your employees and customers, as well as your bottom line, educate your staff on these proper measures for food storage:
- Wrap food properly before storing it. Leaving food uncovered can lead to cross-contamination. Cover food with tight-fitting plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Place meat as low as possible in freezers and refrigerators. Even if it placed in a sealed container, meat and meat dishes should be stored below other items so their juices cannot drip down and contaminate other food items.
- Store food only in designated storage areas. To prevent possible contamination, keep food away from dishwashing areas, cleaning supplies, garbage containers and restrooms.
For more ways to help your staff improve food safety, watch our 5 Common Food Safety Mistakes video and download the resource. For details on what you and your staff can do to make sure your restaurant is ready for an impromptu health inspector visit, click below for our Health Inspection Guide.*Food and Drug Administration; FDA Report on the Occurrence of Foodborne Illness Risk Factors in Selected Institutional Foodservice, Restaurant, and Retail Food Store Facility Types; 2009
*Texas AgriLife Extension; Bacterial Food Poisoning, Al B. Wagner, Jr.; November 2008; United States Department of Agriculture; Food Safety and Inspection Service; June 2013
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