National Food Safety Month
ServSafe is a food and beverage safety training and certificate program administered by the National Restaurant Association. This program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute and the Conference for Food Protection. Considered the industry standard for food safety, ServSafe has implemented thousands of regulations that shape our dining experience in the United States.
This September, ServSafe is celebrating it’s 23rd Annual Food Safety Month. The National Restaurant Association uses this time to educate food service professionals on the importance of food safety practices and general guidelines to adhere to in their commercial kitchen. When restaurants get busy, it’s easy to overlook these rules, but adhering to these standards will lead to a positive customer and employee experience.
At Clark Service Group, we know it takes the entire team working together in your establishment to make sure that food is served safely — and that includes our service technicians! Here are just some of the ways that our team supports your food safety culture with each visit to your location.
Our technicians' uniforms were designed with food safety in mind. This past year we’ve streamlined our uniforms, removing buttons that can snag easily. Hats are a requirement for all of our technicians while they are on site to prevent hair from entering the kitchen, and beard nets are available for any technicians that have facial hair over one inch long.
When arriving on site at a customer location, before inspecting your equipment, our technicians will ask where they can wash their hands. Proper hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of many illnesses — from the common cold to more severe infections, such as meningitis, bronchiolitis, the flu, and hepatitis A.
Even though blue is not in our palette of company colors, you will regularly see our technicians sporting blue nitrile gloves while they are on site. The number one cause for norovirus outbreaks in the US is contaminated foods — 54% of which involves food workers touching ready-to-eat foods with their bare hands. Although our technicians may not be directly handling any of the food your team is preparing, our team chooses to adhere to the same safety measures as your staff to minimize any possible contamination. Nitrile gloves protect our technicians’ hands from solvents, oils, and greases, and they tend to visibly rip when punctured, so our team has a clear indication when they need to replace the pair they are wearing.
Cross-contamination happens when bacteria or other microorganisms are unintentionally transferred from one object to another in your commercial kitchen. The most common example is the transfer of bacteria between raw and cooked food, but cross-contamination can happen with any items in your kitchen. Tools and tool bags are a necessary means for our technicians to service your equipment, and introducing those elements into a kitchen can cause concern. Our team is trained to be cognizant of their tool and tool bag placement when they are working in your kitchen. Often, technicians carry a soft cloth to protect surfaces where they need to place tools for easy access while they are working. After completing a job, all surfaces that were touched are cleaned and wiped down before a technician leaves the job site.
When working on refrigeration equipment or freezers our team always performs a temperature check with an infrared thermometer. We never take the thermometer on-site at face value. Age, vibrations, or extreme ambient temperatures can cause thermometers to read temperatures inaccurately and lead to a food safety issue. Not sure if your thermometer is performing? Ask a technician on site to double-check. Even if we aren’t working on that specific piece of equipment, we are happy to go the extra mile to ensure the safety of your food service operation!
Even though September is National Food Safety Month, a safe food operation should be a priority every day of the year. For more information about the rules and regulations for commercial kitchens, visit ServSafe.com.
Follow along on all of Clark Service Group’s social media channels this month for tips, tricks, and simple fixes to keep your kitchen compliant and safe!