Monday, September 23, 2013

Purchasing and transportation focus of National Food Safety Month Week 4

Part of the ServSafe Allergens training and the National Food Safety Month: Week 4 Activity covers the role purchasing and transportation plays in serving guests with food allergies safely. Special care should be taken to read the labels and prevent cross-contact when purchasing and transporting food.

Not all brands are the same. The same product can be made with very different ingredients by different companies. Additionally, food vendors can change the recipes of their items without notice. Therefore, it is always important to read labels when purchasing food. Some operations even use specialty suppliers to provide food without certain allergens.
Regarding transportation, it’s also important to ensure that there was no cross-contact when the food was being transported. Food items containing any of the Big 8 allergens should be packed separately from other food. For example, if a carton of eggs breaks and leaks onto a bag of lettuce below them, the lettuce will be contaminated by the eggs. Packages should be checked to ensure there was no damage or leakage during transport. Items showing damage or evidence of cross-contact should be rejected.
ServSafe Allergens is a 90-minute interactive, online course designed to educate front of the house and back of the house staff on the various techniques and actions to take when serving a guest with food allergies. For the $22 cost of ServSafe Allergens, you and your staff could prevent illness, even death and potentially negative publicity for your establishment.

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