At a Glance: Healthcare Food Safety Tips

By TriMark R.W. Smith

Food Safety Tips for Healthcare FacilitiesWorking in the kitchen of a healthcare facility can be hectic – especially when it comes to preventing cross contamination with food. That’s why it’s important for your staff to understand the common food safety and preparation tips to avoid any food borne illnesses among patients. With a variety of helpful resources available to you, it’s simple to keep your team prepped and ready to serve.

Follow these easy guidelines to boost your food safety strategies:

Wash Hands Right Away

Use warm, running water and soap to scrub the back of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails. This should be done for at least 20 seconds before, during and after cooking food.

Use Surfaces & Utensils Wisely

Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils and work surfaces with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item. Use paper towels or fresh cloths to wipe surfaces clean.

Separate utensils and surfaces that are used for meat, poultry, seafood and eggs from all other ingredients. This strategy includes using different utensils and pans for cooked and raw food. Meticulously clean all utensils, cutting boards and prep dishes when done.

Wash Fruits & Vegetables Thoroughly

Rinse your produce carefully even if you’re planning on peeling them. Bacteria can spread from the outside as you cut and peel.

Prep Meals at Right Temperatures

Use food thermometers to verify the cooked food is not falling in the 40 degrees to 140 degrees F range.  This temperature range is where bacteria multiply the quickest. Utilize chafers, warming trays, or heat lamps to keep food at 140 degrees or above after cooking.

Refrigerate Quickly & Correctly

Keep your refrigerator storage load light to allow cold air to circulate. This practice will retain your food at the proper temperature. Perishable foods should be put into the refrigerator or freezer within one hour.

Use appliance thermometers to make sure your refrigeration units are adequately cold (between 40 and 32 degrees F.) Thaw or marinate foods in the refrigerator, in cold water, in the microwave or cook without thawing.

Use Food Labels

Food labels will help keep track of when food is put in the refrigerator. Create a regularly scheduled clean out session to go through the refrigerator or freezer for removal of expired items. Check with your local health inspector for rules and regulations on food expirations.


1 Comment on At a Glance: Healthcare Food Safety Tips

  1. Kody Loveless
    June 28, 2016 9:21 am at 9:21 am (4 years ago)

    Well I guess you learn something new every day. I did not know that I needed to wash fruit and vegetables even if I was peeling them. It makes sense though. I just never thought of about it that way. I will start washing my produce no matter what I am doing with it. I want to keep my family and me happy.


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