Monthly Archive for May, 2009

6 Top Food Mistakes Your Restaurant and Kitchen Staff Make Every Day

Each and every day kitchen staffs all over the world are making mistakes that could cost you the restaurant owner money. Not just on food that is returned and not paid for, but on health code violations and possible lawsuits from people that get sick from eating at your dining establishment. It is time for you to step and take note of what is going on in your kitchen.

Number One: Bacteria
Your number one concern in the kitchen needs to be keeping food and cooking utensils bacteria free. Bacteria are usually present on raw foods such as eggs and seafood, chicken, raw rice and some fresh vegetables that have yet to be washed. Knowing this, walk into the kitchen of your dining establishment and see how often the same hand is going from raw to cooked without being washed.
Cooks can be seen grabbing raw meat and seafood to cook and with the same hands that they may have wiped on a dirty towel they go and touch vegetables. Proper hand washing by kitchen staff is very important to help limit the spread of bacteria from food to customers. Along with proper hand washing, making sure that foods are cooked properly will help kill bacteria.

Number Two: Labels and Dates
Everything in your kitchen should be marked clearly with a label. This will help eliminate waste. Kitchen staff will only open or take what they need, if you keep items clearly marked you are guaranteeing that items that do not need to be opened aren’t. Once a container has been opened put the date on it. If you are putting food that was fresh in a container, label it and put a date on it. The last thing in the world you want is rotten food coming out of your kitchen.

Number Three: Always Use Clean Utensils
Kitchen staffs are infamous for using dirty utensils in a hurry. I am not saying that they are using filthy utensils to serve food, what they are doing is taking the tongs that were used to get the tomatoes and taking them and using them to grab fish or rolls from the oven. Make sure that they are always using a clean utensil for different foods. Clean pots and pans to kick in. Glasses and plates need to be clean. I have lost count of the number of time I have gone to a restaurant and been given dirty silverware. This is just plain carelessness and it could be costly.

Number Four: Not Using Fresh Ingredients
In a pinch, they forgot to order staff may be tempted to use food that is slightly past its useful date. Make sure that you staff understands the importance of using fresh ingredients. Tainted food can cause illness and in some cases death, which can mean you are facing a lawsuit.

Number Five: Leaving Food in the Window for Too Long
We have all gone to a restaurant and gotten our food and it looked like it had been sitting in the sun for about two days. Then you bite into it and not only is it dry, but it is cold. This is how bacteria can resurface. When food is done and ready it needs to go out to the table.

Number Six: Touching Their Hair
I have seen servers and cooks and prep personnel stand in the kitchen, play with their hair, adjust their ball caps, pick at their arms, touch their face… and then put those same hands on food. Proper hand washing is essential and is often overlooked. This can cause food poisoning, Hepatitis and salmonella.