Importance of Temperature Monitoring in Restaurants
Temperature is the single most important and critical factor in providing healthy and hygienic food. Processes like dairy pasteurization and canning require specific time beings in order to achieve the safety target. If the edible items are not given the proper time then harmful microorganisms tend to grow and make the food harmful to the public health
Multiple food borne diseases have developed due to the mismanagement and unawareness of the importance of food temperature monitoring.
Restaurants and other food supplying companies need to make proper systems in order to make sure that the product they’re providing to the public is safe and healthy.
How the Food Business Works
In restaurants, the environment is extremely fast paced and consists of copious amounts of overtime. The long workdays always fly by because the restaurants are always busy. Most that the working staff at the restaurant learn about food safety is from the head chef or the owner who is relaying instructions from the health inspector
Most of the staff doesn’t know what rules and why they have to follow them, only people who have some knowledge of microbiology know the basis of why the rules are supposed to be strictly followed.
It’s easy to let things slip when it gets busy but it’s extremely important to remember things like properly storing, handling and cooking potentially hazardous foods. And it’s not just the cooking step that food handlers should be concerned with. It’s also things like quickly cooling food to ensure harmful pathogens don’t grow. Also remember when receiving refrigerated products to check temperatures and do a quick visual inspection and store them properly as soon as possible
Food borne illnesses
Food borne illness is an ever-present threat that can be prevented with proper care and handling of food products. It is estimated that between 24 and 81 million cases of food borne diarrhea disease occur each year in the United States, costing between $5 billion and $17 billion in medical care and lost productivity.
Chemicals, heavy metals, parasites, fungi, viruses and bacteria can cause food borne illness. Bacteria related food poisoning is the most common, but fewer than 20 of the many thousands of different bacteria actually are the culprits. More than 90 percent of the cases of food poisoning each year are caused by Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Bacillus cereus, and Entero-pathogenic Escherichia coli. These bacteria are commonly found on many raw foods. Normally a large number of food-poisoning bacteria must be present to cause illness. Therefore, illness can be prevented by
(1) Controlling the initial number of bacteria present,
(2) Preventing the small number from growing
(3) Destroying the bacteria by proper cooking
(4) Avoiding re-contamination.
If the food is being kept in an unmonitored temperature zone, it will be nothing less than a danger zone for the food items. Considering that pathogens tend to grow if the edibles are not being kept properly heated or frozen. So basically, the goal is to make sure that the industry and/or organizations have a proper system range that can help keep track of this particular and very major issue
Poor personal hygiene
improper cleaning of storage and preparation areas and unclean utensils cause contamination of raw and cooked foods. Mishandling of raw and cooked foods allows bacteria to grow. The temperature rangein which most bacteria grow is between 40 degrees F (5 degrees C) and 140 degrees F (60 degrees C). Raw and cooked foods should not be kept in this danger zone any longer than absolutely necessary. Undercooking or improper processing of home-canned foods can cause very serious food poisoning.
Since food-poisoning bacteria are often present on many foods, knowing the characteristics of such bacteria is essential to an effective control program.
How to “Monitor” the Temperature
It’s very important if you are an owner, operator or person in charge to set the employees up for success. This means making it easy for them to conduct these activities even in the busiest times. Provide thermometers that are easily accessible and routinely calibrated.
1. Food measuring devices should be provided and should be easily accessible by the staff.
2. The staff should be made aware of how to handle and use the devices
3. The devices should be accurate to measure all sorts of food, especially according to the thickness and the thin food items.
In addition to measuring food temperatures, you almost must ensure that temperatures of coolers are at 41 degrees F or below to prevent pathogenic growth. This means having calibrated thermometers to measure ambient air temperatures inside walk-in coolers. And don’t just rely on one thermometer. It’s a good idea to use one or two different thermometers just to double check. You could also leverage the technology of wireless probes to measure and record this data so it doesn’t take away from an employee’s time of doing other thing
The key takeaways here are that:
1) Temperature monitoring is critical for the success of your food business and public health
2) Making it easy and efficient for employees to conduct these activities will ensure they get done
3) The person in charge has the overall responsibility to ensure employees are monitoring temperatures.
All the above mentioned points are super crucial and need to be taken care of extremely well.