Buffets: Food Lovers Paradise or Nightmares Served Wrong
Food buffets, what a food lovers paradise. The selections are endless delicious items that make people return time and time again. However, when people frequent such eateries could their behavior create a food safety concern and could the environment in which the food is stored for serving, place the public at risk. Angela Bond writes a news column regarding food buffet hazards involving cross contamination, temperature control dangers and the lack of hygiene practices.
Cross contamination can become a major risk because of the self-serve format of buffet style dinning. Transmission can involve unclean hands touching food items or utensil, dirty plates used over again by the customer at the buffet station, or drippings from different meats can be transfer in with raw seafood or crossed over into the salad bar. In addition, indirect contamination through someone ...view middle of the document...
Stir food at regular intervals so heat can distribute evenly. Use a sanitized probe thermometer to measure internal temperature every two hours and if temperature is not maintained at 135 F or higher discard. For cold food, also check the internal temperature every two hours and if temperature goes below 40 F use corrective actions. Never store food directly on ice, but placed in pans or on plates. Containers of food must be surrounded by ice and self-draining when the ice melts. Remember, displayed ice may be contamination and must be discarded. Whenever dealing with hot and cold holding practices, follow food safety rules to avoided temperature "danger zone." These practices ensure a safe edible buffet.
Numerous restaurants offering buffet style dinning are cited each year because they lack proper hygiene practices. Employees with poor hygiene can spread germs and bacteria to their customers. Manager must insist that their staff bathe daily, keep fingernails short and wear clean clothes to work. Hand washing is a must and the manager should emphasis that employees must wash their hand after smoking or using the rest room. Also, customers should be aware of their improper behavior may cause harm to the food when they choose not to wash their hands before severing themselves, sticking their head under the sneeze guard, and eating and licking their fingers while serving themselves at buffet station. Both the foodservice workers and customers are expected to have good hygiene practices.
In conclusion, buffets are safe and practical as long as they are monitored. To keep buffet food safe to eat, foodservice workers could make sure that the food is prepared and served properly. I agree that buffets style dining is the easiest and popular way to serve a large crown. Being attentive to the food items by practicing safe food handling is preventive key to preventing food poisoning. When applying the information from the article to some of the class discussions remember the Two-Hour Rule by keeping track (records) of how long food has been sitting out and discard any perishable food that has been sitting for two hours or more. When in doubt, throw it out. A little prevention goes a long way.