Putting Retail Food Safety to the Test
Lecos, Chris, FDA Consumer
The owner of the small restaurant glances at the clock and sees that he has only two hours to get everything done before opening. There's chicken to be baked, salads to be made, hamburgers to be readied for the always popular "Burger Special," and a large pot of chili, made the night before, to be reheated.
He takes a dozen chickens from the walk-in refrigerator, portions them into serving sizes on a cutting board, and whisks them into a preheated oven. He takes a cloth, wipes the knife and board, and then chops and mixes the salad ingredients before hand-filing equal amounts into wooden bowls.
He then removes 20 pounds of ground beef from the refrigerator, adds salt, pepper and a touch of garlic powder, mixes it well, and starts packing it into an automatic hamburger patty machine. Within a half hour, he has 80 nearly rounded, ready-to-cook, four-ounce patties--more than enough when added to the two dozen uncooked patties from the day before.
Only a half hour before opening. Remembering the chili, he wipes the meat particles from the patty machine with the cloth, takes the large pot of chili from the refrigerator, fills a smaller container with enough for the lunch hour, and places the chili with the other items on the heated steam table.
Later, after the lunch rush is over, he allows himself a brief break. Sipping a cup coffee, the hardworking owner is pleased, very pleased indeed, with his busy and profitable opening--not realizing he has exposed some of his patrons to possible food poisoning.
He should have been aware that raw chicken--like any meat--is a common carrier of Salmonella bacteria, a frequent cause of food poisoning. Proper cooking killed the bacteria on the chikcen, but the owner didn't clean and sanitize the cutting board after portioning the chickens, nor did he wash his hands before handling the salads and hamburger. He compounded the problem by wiping the cutting board and patty machine with the same cloth, and then failed to dismantle, clean and sanitize the machine. He may even have contaminated the cooked chicken with his hands after removing it from the oven. He also erred in putting the hot chili prepared the night before into the refrigerator in such a large stock pot. It should have been separated …
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Publication information: Article title: Putting Retail Food Safety to the Test. Contributors: Lecos, Chris - Author. Magazine title: FDA Consumer. Volume: 19. Publication date: May 1985. Page number: 21+. © 1999 U.S. Government Printing Office. COPYRIGHT 1985 Gale Group.
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