Keeping Food Safe This School Year
Following a recent wedding in Iowa, the bride became suspicious when her husband was sick the day after their event. She also heard from many of her family and friends who attended her celebration that they were sick too. During an inspection at the restaurant that provided food for her event, it was discovered that the meat served hadn’t been kept cold enough. In total, 51 guests ended up becoming ill from the food that was served. While this may seem like an extreme example, this issue could affect any organization that serves food. Restaurants, event venues, even organizations like childcare or assisted living facilities could accidentally serve unsafe food to their customers or patrons. Ensuring all food is stored at the proper temperature is critical to preventing these types of illnesses.
Storing food safely
Keeping perishable food properly chilled is the best way to prevent the growth of different bacteria that can make people sick. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides these tips for storing food safely:
- Refrigerate or freeze food right away. Don’t let food sit out at room temperature for more than two hours (one hour if the air temperature is above 90 degrees).
- Keep appliances at the proper temperature. Refrigerators should be kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and freezers should be at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Check appliance temperatures on a regular basis and document these checks.
- Check storage directions on labels.
- Be alert for spoiled food, and use ready-to-eat food, such as lunch meat, as soon as possible.
- Follow other recommended safe food handling techniques such as cooking foods to a safe temperature and cleaning and sanitizing food preparation
By ensuring food is properly stored, organizations can avoid causing dangerous foodborne illnesses in their customers or patrons.
This information was provided by our partners at West Bend Insurance Company.