When it comes to food safety in school cafeterias, doing everything possible to limit risk is of utmost importance. Compared to adults, children are more susceptible to foodborne illnesses and severe food allergies, so school cafeterias must take even more precautions than a typical restaurant or cafeteria. Food or kitchen items contaminated with germs pose a serious health risk to children eating in school cafeterias. To help increase food safety in school cafeterias, our team of experts is sharing 3 tips for limiting risk in the kitchen and keeping children safe.
It’s no secret that germs live everywhere. Unfortunately, we cannot see these pesky microbes lurking on surfaces. Therefore, staff must take every precaution to practice proper hygiene when serving food in a school cafeteria. As a general rule of thumb, staff should wash their hands and parts of their arms that are exposed as often as possible. Wearing gloves can create a barrier between any bacteria that is still left on hands and the food being handled. Gloves should be changed every few hours, if they are torn, or if you think they may be contaminated. Staff should change their uniform, including aprons, every day or if they become contaminated. When in doubt, use your best judgment and always refer to the CDC’s guidelines on cleaning, disinfection, and hand hygiene for school cafeterias.
Food quality in schools relies heavily on proper food storage and display. Meat that is kept at an improper temperature or not cooked thoroughly can easily lead to food-borne illness because of contamination issues. Food that has a high risk of becoming contaminated can be kept at room temperature for only two hours, so be sure you are aware of every minute that it is left at room temperature. To make the serving process in a cafeteria easier, food is often on display for an easy grab and go. To maintain proper safety, food should still be stored at the appropriate temperatures when displayed. Also, be sure to always include utensils with a meal to reduce the chance of a student touching their food with their hands.
Along with following the appropriate guidelines for storing food safely, using a food storage monitor or an effective food safety app can serve as an extra layer of protection. If you’re looking for the best technology to limit the risk of contamination in your cafeteria, then RiskLimiter has the solutions for you. Our Sensor Monitor is stored in controlled temperature devices, like a refrigerator or freezer, and will alert you when temperatures fall outside of a predetermined range. RiskLimiter Kitchen is a fully automated cooling log that provides real-time temperature reports, automatically sends alerts, and suggests corrective actions. Plus, all data are stored in the Cloud for your convenience!
Providing children with healthy, safe food at school is crucial in supporting their education and growth. Following our expert tips and taking advantage of RiskLimiter’s food safety technology is a sure-fire way to increase safety in school cafeterias. If you are interested in RiskLimiter Kitchen or Sensor Monitor, schedule a demo to see what this innovative technology is all about!