H1N1 flu outbreaks and food safety

Concern about swine flu makes food safety issues more critical
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One of our visitors, Tommy Orpaz, would like to bring to your attention two related online informative articles. With news about swine flu outbreaks slowly building around the world, the issue of food safety comes to the forefront.

First of the two articles is: By FE&S Staff at the Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazine

Below are some FE&S and other Reed Hospitality Group articles outlining solid food safety practices.?? Also, FE&S collaborated with sister publications Restaurants & Institutions and Chain Leader to create a more complete listing of articles and online resources regarding swine flu’s potential impact on the food service industry.

Food Safety Fundamentals
As part of Food Safety Month, Foodservice Equipment & Supplies presented a special interactive panel discussion covering today’s most pressing food safety issues, including the fundamentals.

The 10-Minute Manager’s Guide To Food-Safety Training
There are countless reasons to make sure hourly employees, and not just managers, are well-trained in food safety and sanitation. One reason: Hourlies are as responsible–if not more so–for food production as kitchen managers.

Restaurant Food Safety: Best Face Forward
“You have to monitor your fundamentals constantly because the only thing that changes will be your attention to them. The fundamentals will never change.”

Random Hand Washing Is Risky Business
No standards for clean hands or handwashing frequency exist, which means the process remains random. Is there any wonder poor hand hygiene remains the most frequently cited contributing factor in foodborne outbreak investigations?

Technology Adds a Measure of Management
Date marking. Time clocks. Temperature recording. Measuring is an established practice for all important processes in food service. Except when it comes to measuring one of the critical interventions against foodborne illness, hand washing.

Second Article – Stay Safe From The H1N1 Swine Flu: Food Safety Is Paramount

The standard USDA recommendations for food safety should be followed with even greater zeal during times of potential pandemic. To refresh everyone’s memory, the guidelines are:

1. Always wash hands and surfaces that have come in contact with meat and poultry products before and after handling food.
2. Do not cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry, fish, and their juices away from other foods.
3. Cook: Using a food thermometer is the only sure way to know that meat and poultry have reached the proper temperature to inactivate bacteria and viruses.
4. Chill: Refrigerate or freeze all perishable food promptly.

However, there are some more practical tips that can help you stay safe from H1N1 or any other influenza type of virus, as well as other infectious agents. These tips are well worth paying close attention to and following religiously:

  • Rare hamburgers should never be eaten. Ever!
  • When dining at a buffet or potluck remember that you should never consume any type of perishable or refrigerated food that has been left at room temperature for a period of time which exceeds 2 hours. This time period decreases if it’s warmer outside and becomes only an hour at 32 ??C / 90??F.
  • One third of all people admit to eating pizza the next day that has spent the night at room temperature! Don’t do!
  • With many supermarkets and delicatessens placing small samples of food out for tasting, most people don’t realize that those tasty little nuggets have come into contact with the potentially contaminated fingers of countless other customers.
  • There is a very easy rule for tartares, carpacci, sushi, sashimis, and raw shellfish: Don’t eat them!
  • Some dried or cured meats can harbour countless germs. Avoid them during times of potential pandemic.
  • Who is the gourmet chef who decreed that duck at pricy restaurants should be served rare? He/she should be made to eat it! You should never attempt to eat any poultry unless all of its cooked juices are running clear and don’t have a single trace of blood at all. Rare fowl, birds, or poultry of any kind is a one way express ticket to the morgue.
  • Some old-world recipes such as Sauerbraten call for foods to be marinated at room temperature, some for as long as several days.
  • Don’t purchase produce with mould, bruises or cuts.
  • Keep your foods fresh. Don’t stock up at bulk stores.

Get a calibrated thermometer and use it whenever you’re cooking anything.
Egg casseroles: 160 ??F / 71 ??C
Egg sauces, custards: 160 ??F / 71 ??C
Beef, Veal, Lamb, Pork: 160 ??F / 71?? C
Ham Fresh (raw): 160 ??F / 71 ??C
Ham Fully cooked (to reheat): 140 ??F / 60 ??C
Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Goose: 180 ??F / 82 ??C
Stuffing, cooked alone or in bird: 165 ??F / 74 ??C

When you’re preparing egg dishes, like quiche or casseroles, make absolutely sure that the entire preparation reaches a minimum of 160 ??F / 71 ??C all the way through.

Remember: Runny poached eggs, sunnyside ups, Caesar salad and sabayons using eggs that are either raw or barely cooked are a direct conduit for H1N1 into your system.

Stay safe!

Best regards,

Tommy Orpaz
Senior VP
+1 (818) 825-8167, +1 (972) 795-0231
Email: tommy.orpaz [at] greenedgesystems.com
Web: www.greenedgesystems.com

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