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Serving Foods Safely

Serving Foods Safely

The Culinary Institute of America

The potential to transmit food-borne illness does not end when the food leaves the kitchen. Restaurant servers should also be instructed in good hygiene and safe food-handling practices. Hands should be properly washed after using the restroom, eating, smoking, touching one’s face or hair, and handling money, dirty dishes, or soiled table linens. When setting tables, never touch the parts of flatware that come in contact with food, and handle glassware by the stems or bases only. Carry plates, glasses, and flatware in such a way that food contact surfaces are not touched. Serve all foods using the proper utensils.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Cleaning refers to the removal of soil or food particles, whereas sanitizing involves using moist heat or chemical agents to kill pathogenic microorganisms. For equipment that cannot be immersed in a sink, or for equipment such as knives and cutting boards during food preparation, use a wiping cloth, soaked in a double- strength sanitizing solution, to clean and sanitize between uses. Iodine, chlorine, or quaternary ammonium compounds are all common sanitizing agents.

Small equipment, tools, pots, and tableware should be run through a ware-washing machine or washed manually in a three-compartment sink. After sanitizing, equipment and tableware should be allowed to air-dry completely, because using paper or cloth toweling could result in cross contamination.

Careful sanitation procedures, proper handling of foods, and a well-maintained facility all work together to prevent a pest infestation. Take the necessary steps to prohibit the potential harboring of various pathogens caused by pests.

Reprinted by permission from The Culinary Institute of America, The Professional Chef, 8th Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2006).