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5 Food Safety Tips for Food Handling Careers

25 OCT 2013
Career Path : Food Safety and Quality

No matter what the situation or job might be, it’s extremely important that you take some time to learn about how to handle food safely.

Keep Food Properly Stored

The first step in handling food safely has always been storage. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional care worker who is caring for one or two patients, or running a popular restaurant kitchen, you can’t expect to use all the food your purchase in a single go. You need a safe way to store everything. In addition to making sure food is properly covered and goes directly into the refrigerator, you should also make sure the date you opened it has been written onto the package. Don’t use food that has been around for more than seven days. Never leave food sitting on the countertop which attracts all sorts of bacteria.

Wash Fruit and Vegetables

Just because produce looks clean, you shouldn’t assume it is. Make sure you wash any fruit and vegetables you prepare. Not only does this remove any chemicals and dirt from the food, but it also provides you with the perfect opportunity to do a visual and tactile examination and make sure there aren’t any bruises or signs of that the food has started to go bad.

Don’t Cross Contaminate

It’s so easy to use the same knife and cutting board you used for preparing meat to also get vegetables ready. You need to resist this urge. Using the same dishes encourages cross contamination. When switching from one type of food to another you need to thoroughly clean the dishes. Make sure you use really hot water and plenty of soap when washing your dishes. At least twice a day you should sanitize the sink you use for cleaning kitchen utensils.

Pay Attention To Kitchen Hygiene

A clean kitchen is a must. Part of what you learn in Personal Support Worker PSW courses will include helping the disabled and infirm keep a safe at home food preparation area, so these tips also apply to a non-kitchen environment.

Take a Food Safety Course

If you’re working with food, it’s in your best interest to take a food safety course. This course forces you to learn all about storing, preparing, and serving food in a manner that keeps you, the environment, and the people you’re feeding safe. Another advantage you will get from taking and passing the course will be that it increases the chances of you getting hired as a manager.

Safely preparing and serving food isn’t complicated, but you do have to use common sense and pay attention to expiration dates and how the food is handled. If you have an item that seems questionable, you should throw it away rather than hoping it’s okay. Remember, if you wouldn’t eat something, you shouldn’t serve it to anyone, and certainly not while working as an early childhood assistant.

Visit National Academy of Health and Business for more information on other career paths like dental assistant schools.

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