By Anica Oaks

Creating a memorable dining experience for guests is only possible when restaurants are able to ensure diners that every staffer and management employee is trained in safe food preparation and handling practices. The below outline summarizes four primary lapses that food service managers commonly fall prey to. If you want to keep your establishment open, you want to avoid being found responsible for the following oversights when the local health inspector shows up on your doorstep.


Food served to guests must be protected from cross-contamination. Cross-contamination occurs when bacteria or other harmful pathogens are passed onto cooked food from equipment, utensils or cutting boards used to prepare raw foods. Avoid this type of transfer by separating raw animal foods from cooked foods during preparation. Also, always use two different sets of knives, cutting boards and food storage containers: one for raw and unwashed foods, and one for ready-to-eat foods.

Food Holding Temperatures

Food safety is a temperature-sensitive affair. The holding temperature for hot foods must be maintained at 140 degrees F or above. Equipment used for cold storage (coolers and refrigeration units) must be maintained at temperatures of 41 degrees F or below. Fish, meat, and eggs prepared in response to customer orders and immediate service should be cooked until it reaches a temperature of 145 degrees F or above.

Pest Control

Pesticides and pest control equipment can never be present or stored in any food service establishment. The application of pesticide and chemicals should never be undertaken in a food service environment except by a great pest control agency. Chemicals and pesticides should be regarded as a remedy of last resort used only after all other preventive measures have been exhausted.

Employee Hygiene

Food service employees should be required to maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness at all times. Employees should be provided with professional training in proper handwashing procedures along with handwashing sinks, an adequate supply of soap and single-use towels.

According to the National Restaurant Association, fines, penalties, lawsuits, increased insurance premiums, and lost business brought about by foodborne illness will cost the average restaurant $75,000 next year. Bad food handling practices are the most common cause of foodborne illness; meaning that such losses are preventable. Just check with your local health department. They can provide you with a complete package containing the food safety codes that apply to your specific food service business.

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.