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Restaurant Management 101: Safe Food Storage

by kenzie on January 17, 2015

The commercial kitchen is a busy place, producing meals for diners and guests.  Volumes of raw food and ingredients pass through the kitchen – from the delivery truck to the storage room, to the kitchen and lastly, to the plates of happy and satisfied customers. With the volume involved, it is necessary to ensure that with every step of the process, the food is clean and safe for consumption.

One of these key steps in the chain is in the storage of the food. Restaurants need to set up and implement safe storage policies. Here are some important considerations for safe food storage:

-          Storeroom setup. The storage area should be carefully designed, with the thought of how the wholesale restaurant supplies will be stored. The storeroom should be well ventilated so that moisture does not collect to cause mold and mildew. It should be equipped with pallets and shelving units so that any products stored do not touch the floor (at least 4 to 6 inches off the floor) or the walls (at least 18 inches farther from outer walls).

-          Repack and label. Products that are supplied in bulk such as flour or sugar are best repacked into containers that can be tightly closed and labeled. This can prevent contamination from outside sources and slows down the process of spoilage, since the air-tight containers seals off the air, which contributes to the spoilage of food.

-          Keep vermin away. Before using the storage area, have it treated by a licensed and experienced pest control specialist. This ensures that the fumigation and treatment is safe and you can now use the storage room to keep your food supplies. To ensure that there are no entry points for rodents and insects, make it a policy to close the doors and seal any cracks and gaps. If you need to deal with vermin, use bait boxes only when needed.

-          Keep cleaning products away. Any cleaning product or poisons should be placed inside its respective storage space and never in the food storeroom. These chemicals or insecticides must also be kept away from any restaurant equipment, dinnerware and supplies.

-          Label and date food before storing inside the freezer. When storing raw and perishable ingredients inside the freezer, place them in containers with its proper label and the date when it arrived. When storing meats, always place them at the bottom section, to minimize the risk of any juices contaminating or leaking onto other containers.

-          Institute the FIFO rule. Staff should be mindful to follow this rule: First In, First Out. This means that food ingredients are to be consumed according to the order they come in. As a matter of procedure, maintain a rotation system where the “oldest” food (based on their used by dates) are placed in front and the “newer” food pushed behind, so that during busy times, the staff can still easily follow the FIFO rule.

-          Take note of temperature control considerations. Low temperatures do not kill the microorganisms that cause spoilage. However, lower temperatures still work to slow down the growth of these microorganisms, so keep your refrigerator between 34° to 40° F. When storing the containers, be sure to place them apart and not too close, to ensure that the cool air circulates around the container. Do not store or stack too many items.

Throw out dubious packages. The cost of a food-borne disease is much greater than the cost of these raw materials. If you have any doubts about whether a food item is still safe for consumption, throw the item out.

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Your child requests to have a party at school so that he gets to invite all his classmates. With a little careful planning, you can ensure that your child has an enjoyable party with his friends.

Here are some of the things you can consider when planning your child’s birthday party at school:

-          Contact your child’s teacher. Give your child’s teacher a call or make a visit to arrange for the details of the party, if it is allowed by the school. Contact the teacher to ask when the event can be held. The teacher may prefer to hold all such events during recess or lunch time. When calling the teacher, also ask about any rules you need to take note of.

-          Work with the teacher to make the event a learning activity. Provide a Do-It-Yourself activity, where they can decorate or make their own snack. Alternatively, you can hold an art activity. Research on grade-appropriate activities but consult with your child’s teacher first to determine just how much time you have.

-          Prepare the snack pack with the time limit in mind. Bring snacks that do not take time to serve or prepare. For instance, rather than taking a cake that needs slicing, give the students cupcakes. Rather than bringing a jug of juice and cups where you need to pour out the juice one by one, go for individualized drinks.

-          Follow the school’s policy on allergies. More often than not, one of the important rules you need to follow is the school’s policy on what not to bring and what not to include in the food. Food that triggers allergies can be potentially life-threatening. For one, nuts are a common allergen so be sure to use materials and ingredients that do not come into contact with nuts. Also ask the teacher about any other allergies that a student may have. The school may also have a policy on bringing only healthy snacks, rather than sweets that can induce a sugar high.

-          Make it short and sweet. Bring the necessary supplies so that the party does not take too much classroom time.  For instance, bring plastic food trays and cutlery, as well as other birthday necessities such as a match and napkins (for when spills happen). Work to stick with the allotted time provided by the teacher. If you have a game, make this simple. Also, bring the necessary cleaning supplies so that you can quickly pack the trash and wipe up any messes.

-          Think of the timing. When will you be coming to give out snacks? If the event will be before lunch, be sure not to take desserts, as this will ruin the children’s appetites.

-          Don’t rely on the teacher to do all the work. Be present to help out in the distribution and clean-up. If you cannot be there, ask a friend or another volunteer to help out, if the teacher asks.

-          Give appropriate goodie bags. Ask the teacher if you can give out simple goodie bags. Some schools forbid candies and toys, so bring useful items such as school supplies. If you are not allowed to give out the bags, you can give the class a gift such as a story book.

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Choosing Take Out Disposables for Your Restaurant

January 7, 2015

Doggy bags and take out containers are just par for the course in a restaurant. This means your dishes are so good, customers can’t help but want to take them home! Actually, take out and delivery can be a great source of income for the restaurant. However, you need to choose the right disposables to […]

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Baking Tips for Better Results

January 2, 2015

Even after the holiday season’s flurry of activities has died down, you can still keep your home or commercial kitchen busy with baked goodies – moist cakes, pies with flaky crusts or cookies that are deliciously chewy. But baking has its share of potential fails and mistakes. But take heart, these mistakes can actually be […]

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Stocking Stuffers for the Kitchen

December 16, 2014

Do you have friends who love to cook? Then you already know what to give them – kitchenware! It does not have to be heavy on the budget, just simple things you could stuff in their stockings. However, when shopping for kitchen equipment to be given as gifts, always bear in mind that it should […]

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From Your Kitchen: Homemade Food Gifts This Holiday Season

December 11, 2014

Rather than buying a generic gift, why not produce these out of your kitchen? Sometimes the most meaningful gifts are the ones you personally made. Homemade gifts are thoughtful gifts that say you care, without having to break the bank to say so. There are many possibilities – all you need to do is have […]

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Holiday Cooking and Baking Essentials

December 6, 2014

Ah! Christmas! After Thanksgiving, this year-end holiday evokes memories of the aroma of cinnamon and spices wafting throughout the home or homecooked meals being prepared for a sumptuous Christmas banquet. As you gear up for the busy days of preparing for a gathering of family and friends over food, here are some kitchen equipment that […]

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Gifts You can Give to Your Kitchen

December 1, 2014

The holiday season abounds with gifts for loved ones and friends. But how about a trusted “friend” who is your partner in whipping up culinary creations – your kitchen? You do not need to spend a lot to update your kitchen, but you can equip it with restaurant supplies and equipment so that you can […]

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Kitchenware Checklist for Bakers

November 24, 2014

Do you love baking? Or are you dreaming of making the perfect homemade breads, rolls and cakes? When equipping your kitchen for baking, you first have to determine what type of baker you are. Are you into pies or cheesecakes? Or are you a bread lover? The type of equipment you will need will depend […]

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Countertop Appliances for Your Home Kitchen

November 17, 2014

LionsDeal can be your provider of quality wholesale kitchen equipment, such as countertop appliances that can help you make easy work of basic cooking functions. Whether you want to have a better equipped home kitchen or desire to fit your commercial kitchen with all the bells and whistles that make your staff more efficient. Here […]

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