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Food Safety in the Kitchen: A Comprehensive Guide for Line Cooks
Posted on 09/21 by Erin Helms
Maintaining food safety in the kitchen is a prime responsibility of a line cook. Line cooks must follow health code regulations and keep their stations clean. At the end of shifts, the line cooks must properly clean their stations and put their tools and food away. Food safety in the kitchen is crucial. Here is a guide for line cooks followed by a sampling of food safety certifications beneficial to line cooks.
Preventative Actions for Ensuring Food Safety
Foodborne illnesses cause serious health issues and even death for customers. Line cooks must maintain food safety while preparing, serving and storing food. Here are the basics: Clean everything. Cleanliness is an essential component of food safety. All line cooks must receive training in safe food handling practices. Separate ingredients. Properly separating raw and cooked ingredients to avoid the risk of cross-contamination is vital in the kitchen. Keep raw meat and seafood separated from fresh produce and store them separately. Chill quickly. Inadequate chilling leads to bacterial growth, which can cause food poisoning. Line cooks must store all raw and cooked ingredients at the correct temperature to prevent bacterial growth. Ensure use-by date labels are on ingredient containers. Cook thoroughly. Undercooked food might harbor harmful bacteria that can cause illness. A thermometer can ensure that line cooks cook all food to the correct temperature. Wash your hands. It is so simple, yet so overlooked. Wash your hands before working with food. Washing your hands will help to inhibit the spread of harmful bacteria. Store food correctly. Improper food storage leads to spoilage or foodborne illness. Line cooks should promptly refrigerate leftovers to minimize bacterial growth. All line cooks must know how to store ingredients in suitable containers to prevent contamination. Pest control. Rodents and insects significantly threaten food safety. Kitchen personnel should inspect regularly for pest infestations and have a pest control plan. Safe water. Water quality impacts food safety. Safe, clean water is a must for cooking and cleaning. Professionals must inspect the water source regularly to ensure water is sanitary and safe.
Line Cook Certifications
There are essential certifications for line cooks to demonstrate food safety knowledge. It assures employers that you have specific knowledge, skills and experience. The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) offers the ServSafe Food Handler Certification to help food service workers understand and practice proper safety techniques. The certification includes an online course followed by a proctored exam. A Safe Food Handling Certificate certifies you have completed a food safety course and are knowledgeable about food handling practices. It is a common requirement in the food service industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a food safety program to educate food service workers on safe food handling. If you need a line cook job, check out what is available now at LaborMAX. The team at LaborMAX can help you find a temporary, temporary-to-hire or full-time line cook job.
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