No matter the type of food your restaurant serves, you want to make sure every customer enjoys his or her meal. The most common – and costly – food-related general liability claims are related to choking or breaking a tooth on foreign objects in food, food poisoning due to contamination, and allergic reactions to food in which the ingredients were not properly labeled.
Encourage your employees to follow these practices to help protect your customers and business:
- Wash hands before and after preparing food, especially after preparing raw meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood.
- Wear gloves to prevent bare hand contact when handling any ready-to-eat foods.
- Do not allow ill employees to handle food with bare hands. Either reassign employees for the day or send them home to recover.
- Do not reuse knives, utensils, pans, bowls, cutting boards, etc., especially after they have been exposed to raw foods of animal origin such as meat, eggs, and shellfish. Consider color-coding these items to avoid cross contamination.
- Refrigerate leftovers promptly or dispose of them in designated trash receptacles (to avoid reintroduction into food prep area).
- Thoroughly cook ground beef, poultry, and eggs before serving.
- Thoroughly wash work surfaces, utensils, and hands after exposure to meat and poultry products.
- Keep raw meat separate from ready-to-eat foods.
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly.