Food Handler Class
A Clean Workplace is Safer
(relates to inspection form #20,21,25)It takes more than soap and water to keep a food business clean and safe. It also takes chemicals and care to use them the right way. You want to be safe, and you want to get the job done in a safe way for your customers. Some of the chemicals you will need are detergents, sanitizers and pesticides.
These are very important rules:
- Know what the directions say for using chemicals. Read the labels and talk to your boss about when to use them and how much to use. Be sure you really understand the directions!
- Keep all chemicals away from food. You must put them below food, never on a shelf above food, or above any area where you prepare food or wash dishes.
- Can you tell what the labels say? Are they easy to see? If they are not, tell the boss. Mark them clearly with permanent ink.
- Keep all chemicals in the bottles or boxes they come in. If you put them in a different container, label them clearly and correctly. Even bottles containing only water need to be labeled.
(In Place Sanitizing)- Equipment Cleaning
- Wash, rinse and sanitize each surface that touches food, for example, a meat slicer or grinder and cutting boards. Sanitize equipment after each use. Follow the cleaning directions for each piece of equipment so that you can get into all the spaces where harmful organisms can grow.
- Clean and sanitize whenever there is a chance of cross contamination. Sanitize at the start and end of the work day. Clean during your shift as soon as you see a spill.
- Use wiping cloths to clean counter tops, tables, cutting boards and equipment. Rinse the wiping cloth in a sanitizing water mix of 1 teaspoon bleach and one gallon of water; do not add soap to this mix. (If you use another kind of sanitizing mix, be sure it is approved by the Health Department.) Test sanitizer concentration using chemical test strips and change often. Do not let it become dirty. Store wiping cloths in sanitizer between uses.
Washing By Hand – Using a Three Compartment Sink
- Scrape and/or pre-rinse food from the dishes and utensils.
- Wash with detergent and hot (110°F) water in the first sink.
- Rinse with clean, hot water to remove any soap or food in the middle sink.
- Sanitize, in the third sink, for at least 1 minute to kill any bacteria. A sanitizing solution can be made of 1 teaspoon of household bleach mixed with 1 gallon of clean warm water. This provides the required 50 parts per million (ppm) chlorine needed for sanitizing. Too much bleach is not good. Use test strips to test the strength of the solution. If the test indicates less than 50 ppm, make a new solution. Other chemical sanitizers may be used if they are approved by the Environmental Health Department.
- Air dry the dishes and utensils. Do not rinse or wipe with towels. Towels can spread harmful organisms and the sanitizing process is wasted.
Remember: Pre-rinse, wash, rinse, sanitize, air dry.
Machine Washing: Using a Commercial Dishwasher
- Scrape and/or pre-rinse food from the dishes and utensils.
- Follow directions for the dishwasher. Dishwashers sanitize in one of two ways: hot water rinse, or chemical spray rinse.
Chemical spray-rinse machines usually use bleach to sanitize. The temperature of the wash water must be at least 120°F. The temperature of the rinse must be at least 75°F. These machines provide a sanitizing solution as needed. This is 50-200 ppm for machines using bleach. Use test strps to determine if the machine is working and sanitizing properly.
- Air dry the dishes and utensils.
Don't Set It Down – Put It Away!
Now that things are clean and dry, put them away in storage areas that are also clean and dry. This will protect them from contamination. Keep equipment and utensils off of the floor, away from drains, water lines and open stairs. Put things away carefully and quickly; do not let them sit on counters and tables where they will be handled and moved around.
Cups and glasses should be put away upside down on clean surfaces. When you pick them up again, do not touch the rims. When you put away eating utensils (forks, spoons and knives), touch only the handles, and protect the parts that contact food.
A good habit to practice at work and at home is to handle utensils, dishes and glassware as little as possible to prevent the transfer of harmful organisms.
Utensils that are in continuous use may be stored in a running water dipperwell, in hot water, or in the food with the handle sticking out of the food.
They can also be stored clean and dry between uses.
Cleaning Never Stops
There should be a daily schedule for cleaning so that no area is forgotten. Complete cleaning of walls, ceilings and mopping and sweeping of floors should be done when there is the least amount of food around, such as after closing or before busy times. However, you should clean work surfaces, tables and equipment as they are used. Cleaning as you go will help reduce the risk of cross contamination. You and the other employees will be safer too if everything is kept clean and is in the proper place.
After cleaning, wash your hands before handling food.
What does sanitizing do?
Sanitizing kills harmful organisms that can cause food poisoning. All equipment and food contact surfaces needs to be washed and sanitized often and especially after working working with raw meats and poultry. You should check the sanitizing solution with test strips to make sure it is strong enough. You can use bleach, iodine or 'quats' to sanitize.
What are the proper methods in dish washing?
Scrape all items to remove large food pieces. Hand washed dishes are washed in hot (110°F) soapy water, rinsed in clean, warm water and then sanitized by immersing for 1-2 minutes in water that has a sanitizer in it. Do not rinse off the sanitizer. Then allow the dishes to air dry; do not use a towel to dry the dishes. If you use a dishwasher, the machine will do the washing, rinsing and sanitizing for you. You need to make sure it works correctly. Find out how your dish washer sanitizes, either by a hot water rinse or a chemical spray rinse. Watch the temperature gauges for proper wash and rinse temperatures. Use test strips to check the sanitizer level in chemical spray rinse machines.
What is the correct way to make a sanitizing solution?
If using bleach, add 1 teaspoon bleach to 1 gallon warm water. When using 'Quats' or Iodine as a sanitizer follow the directions on the label. Use test strips to double check the strength of the solution.
Pests (relates to inspection form #18,19)
Cockroaches, flies, mice and rats can carry harmful organisms that cause disease. These pests can get into your building. Don't let them in, and don't let them eat.
Some of the ways to keep pests out is to clean the entire place often on a regular schedule. Keep doors and windows closed or screened. Cover small holes where mice and rats can get in. Cover garbage cans with lids that fit well and remove garbage often. Keep areas around the garbage containers clear of trash and litter.
If pests become a problem, a licensed pest control service must be contacted
to control the problem. Pesticides are poisons that kill
rodents and insects, but they can also poison humans. No home
pest control products (RAID, Hot Shot, etc...) can be used in a public
or commercial food establishment.
Mouse living inside cooler. Trap inside cooler. BAD IDEA!
Before using approved or commercial grade pesticides, put away all food, and cover the work surfaces. Be sure that the pesticides you use are approved for use in food establishments. Let your Health Department help you deal with pest control questions.