Outbreak: A Food Professionals Worst Nightmare

If you have cooked in or run a restaurant in Melbourne, you know that you are playing to a tough crowd!  Not only does the city have great restaurants serving all types of food at a range of prices, but you will also find that it is a town with a long memory.

If you give your customers a great dining experience, you can bet that they will be back for more and that they will tell their friends, but if you mess up, word is certainly going to get around. Every restaurant manager fears a food poisoning outbreak, but if you work in Melbourne, you may have more reason than most to be frightened of it.

When you are looking at a food poisoning outbreak, you are looking at your restaurant getting a lot of publicity that it doesn’t need. You’ll find that you may be risking a citation or a warning at best, and complete shut-down at worst. This is how important adequate food safety and hygiene is to your restaurant.

Guests who are unlucky enough to eat at a time when your food safety isn’t as high as it should be may become quite sick, and while many cases of food poisoning can be quite mild, others are extremely severe or unpleasant. This is most common when children or people with weakened immune systems are exposed to tainted food.

Bacteria may easily exist on raw food like eggs, seafood, uncooked rice, or even raw vegetables.  For the most part, good washing practices and cooking will take care of the problems there, but if these foods come into contact with food that has already been prepared, the bacteria are able to pass themselves on. Some bacteria can even be transferred through unwashed hands onto food that is ready to serve. Other pathogens or bacteria will develop on food that as been allowed to grow too warm or that has begun to spoil.

There are many different ways to prevent a food poisoning outbreak. The first and most obvious thing that you need to think about is the fact that your staff need food safety training: to be taught how to handle and prepare food. Strict regulations about hand washing and sanitation on the food preparation floor are things that you really need to drill home.

You will also find that good storage, where raw food is never permitted to come in contact with food that is ready to serve is something that all staff need to be aware of. It is important to establish routine to ensure that staff form good hygiene habits.

The truth of the matter is that there is a multitude of different ways that a food poisoning outbreak can occur, but you don’t need to live in fear. Most restaurant managers aren’t experts in food safety, which is why they will enlist the services of a good food safety expert before anything goes wrong. If you want to make sure that nothing gets overlooked in the food safety of your restaurant, talk to an expert.  If you are cooking in Melbourne, you already know that you are playing to a tough crowd, so don’t make it any harder than it has to be!

Gavin can be contacted at gavin@agbsolutions.com.au or through his website at www.agbsolutions.com.au.

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