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Product Safety & Public Health

Food Hygiene Concerns

Restaurant Health Inspections

Health & Safety Glossary

Find out the meaning of terms used throughout this section in this easy-to-use glossary.

Non-Profit Health Organizations

Several non-profits help protect us by holding manufacturers to a higher standard.

Safe Food Handling

Proper food handling and preparation is crucial to ensuring that the food you serve is safe. Learn what is required to provide a safe, healthy meal to your customers.

Quick Tip

Whether storing, cooling, cooking or thawing, all foods must spend as little time in the food Danger Zone as possible. The Danger Zone is the temperature range of 40 – 140°F. When preparing or storing foods or leftovers, it is important to bring food through the Danger Zone as quickly as possible. When cooling foods down, blast chillers are specifically designed to bring the food below 40°F as soon as possible. Be sure to regularly check the temperature of all foods. Foods that stay in the Danger Zone for more than two hours must be thrown away because no amount of cooling or cooking will be able to kill the amount of bacteria presen
Government Health Organizations
There are several government organizations dedicated to keeping America’s food supply among the safest in the world. Learn how each one helps protect us from farm to fork.

Equipment and Employee Safety

Keep Your Restaurant Workers Out of Harm's Way

Commercial kitchen equipment is designed to help prepare large batches of food in a short amount of time. But if proper operation and safety practices are not observed, employees can become injured.
  • First Aid for the Professional Kitchen: Are You Prepared?
    Prepare your kitchen for minor injuries and major medical emergencies with these helpful tips.
  • Are Your Workers Safe? Why Personal Protective Equipment is a Necessity for Restaurants
    Personal protective equipment is designed to keep restaurant workers safe. Learn when to use which pieces of personal protective equipment.
  • Common Burn Hazards in the Commercial Kitchen
    Cooks, servers and dishwashers are all subject to potential burns in the commercial kitchen. This article outlines some of the common areas where employees suffer burns and what managers and workers can do to minimize the risk.
  • Common Electrical Hazards in the Commercial Kitchen
    Electrocution is a danger faced by all commercial kitchen employees. Learn where the common threats are and what both managers and employees can do to protect themselves.
  • Cut Hazards in the Commercial Kitchen
    An employee cutting their hand is a danger to everybody in the restaurant. Learn how employees can protect themselves from cuts and what OSHA requires employers to do to minimize the risks.
  • Excessive Cold Dangers Faced By Restaurant Employees
    Employees that help unload delivery trucks and take inventory in the walk-in cooler are most at risk for hypothermia and other cold-related illnesses. Learn what employees and managers can do to protect themselves when working with excessive cold.
  • Excessive Heat Dangers Faced By Restaurant Employees
    Heat-related illnesses and injuries are a common threat faced by commercial kitchen workers. Learn more about the specific dangers and what managers and employees can do to protect themselves.
  • Food Preparation Hazards in the Commercial Kitchen
    Individuals that primarily perform food preparation tasks can suffer cuts, amputation or strangulation if they are not careful. Read on to learn what employees and mangers can do to minimize these risks in the commercial kitchen environment.
  • Hazardous Chemicals and Restaurant Safety
    The very chemicals used to protect customers from foodborne illnesses can, unfortunately, harm employees. There are several things restaurant managers and employees can do to protect themselves from hazardous chemicals.
  • How to Develop a Hazard Communication Program in Your Restaurant
    OSHA requires any restaurant using hazardous chemicals must have a written hazard communication program available to all employees. This ensures that all hazards are clearly and effectively transmitted in order to provide protection to those working with hazardous chemicals.
  • Knife Safety in the Commercial Kitchen
    Commercial cutlery, though essential in the kitchen, may pose an increased threat of injury to employees who have not been properly trained. Knowledge of how to correctly handle kitchen cutlery creates a safer and more efficient kitchen environment.
  • Restaurant Fire Hazards
    A single spark is all it takes to turn a profitable restaurant into a smoldering pile of ashes. Learn some of the common causes of restaurant fires and what employees and employers can do to minimize the threat.
  • Slip and Fall Hazards in the Commercial Kitchen
    Wet and slippery floors are common in a commercial kitchen. There are several things employees can do to protect themselves, and OSHA has standards that require certain behavior from managers to protect employees and customers.
  • Strain and Sprain Hazards in the Commercial Kitchen
    Commercial kitchen employees are at risk of strain and sprain injuries because they often perform the same tasks every day. Learn what employees and managers can do to help reduce the incidents of lost work due to pulled muscles or strained tendons.
  • The Importance of Food Safety Training for Restaurant Employees
    Food safety should be a priority in all aspects of the commercial kitchen, but without proper training, employees have no way of knowing whether they are being safe or not.
  • Top Ten Safety Tips for the Restaurant Employee
    Though restaurant managers are responsible for properly training their employees on safe operating procedures, it is up to the employee to be mindful of their actions to minimize there risks. Here are some tips that all restaurant employees should keep in mind to protect themselves from harm.

Restaurant Equipment Safety

Large pieces of food preparation equipment, like mixers and slicers, all have machine guards to protect the user from harm. Learn some training tips so users know how to properly operate these machines and why it is important that the guards remain in place whenever the machine is being used.

Controversial Food Safety Issues

Food Safety Alerts, Allergies and Awareness

The last few decades have seen some major advances in food safety technology. But some of these technologies and procedures are facing sharp consumer criticism or even fear. See what some of the major consumer concerns are to determine whether or not your business would benefit by phasing out some of these controversial foods.
  • Restaurant Crisis Management: Protecting Profits from Foodborne Illness Outbreaks
    Consumers are more informed today than they ever were. Stay on top of food safety alerts and keep your customers informed of the precautions your restaurant is taking with these helpful tools and tips.
  • Irradiated Foods
    Irradiation is a food safety technology that uses radiation to kill disease causing bacteria both in and on the surface of several foods. However, many consumers are hesitant to accept this method for several reasons. Learn about irradiated foods to decide whether it is a viable food safety precaution or if your customers will rather eat foods not treated ith radiation.
  • Residual Antibiotics in Food
    Though the debate is still open, the threat to human health posed by animal antibiotic residue in food is causing some consumers to switch to restaurants that serve organic foods. Learn about antibiotic residue in food and decide if serving foods produced without antibiotics will increase your customer base.
  • Serving Customers with Egg Allergies
    Some diners who suffer egg allergies face serious threats from a single egg protein. Learn to indentify what foods to avoid.
  • Serving Customers with Fish and Shellfish Allergies
    Many people are allergic to shellfish and certain types of fish. Be sure to avoid cross-contact with cooking utensils or equipment when serving these customers, as the proteins in these foods can be deadly to allergic customers.
  • Serving Customers with Food Allergies
    Food allergies are an increasing health concern for consumers and restaurants alike. Learn the most common foods that cause allergic reactions and how to serve customers with food allergies.
  • Serving Customers with Milk Allergies
    Any food allergy can be life-threatening. If a customer indicates a milk or dairy allergy, be sure that the server, shift manager and cooks understand that customer’s meal needs to be prepared separately and free of dairy products.
  • Serving Customers with Peanut and Tree Nut Allergies
    Peanuts and tree nuts are a common ingredient, but for many people even a trace amount can cause an allergic reaction. Be aware and consider communicating these ingredients on your menu.
  • Serving Customers with Soy Allergies
    Some people have severe reactions to foods containing soy. In this case, it is very important to refrain from serving customers any soy products in order to avoid triggering a negative allergic response.
  • Serving Customers with Wheat Allergies
    Wheat allergies are separate and different fro wheat or gluten intolerances. Wheat is found in a broad spectrum of products, and allergies need to be treated seriously as they can be life-threatening.
  • Serving Food with a Side of Growth Hormones
    American consumers are demanding foods that do not contain residual animal growth hormones. Learn about growth hormones and determine whether your customer base falls into the category of those for or those against animal hormone injections.
  • Serving Genetically Engineered Foods
    Genetically engineered foods pose ethical, religious and safety concerns for many American consumers. Learn more what those for and against GMOs have to say and decide whether your business can benefit from serving non-engineered foods.
  • Serving Organic Foods
    With the increasing awareness of the threats posed by conventional food sources, more and more consumers are selecting restaurants that serve organic food. But for all of its apparent benefits, there are some drawbacks to organic food that have some consumers questioning its overall value.