This article includes some good tips for keeping your commercial kitchen sanitary. Check it out - health comes first!
That's all fine and well...and ABSOLUTELY true to the word on how it all SHOULD be. A place such as that correctional facility, or a school, banquet services at a hotel, outside catering, a hospital, an assisted-living facility...or even a church...can pretty much factor in the number of seats of those who are dining. That's all predictable, so it's not like things run a muck in their food prep or service.
All OTHER forms of food service such as QSRs (fast food) to casual dining or otherwise...where the number of clientele they'll serve dinner to today - CANNOT be predicted...sure seem to have a MUCH more conducive environment for food-born illnesses.
Oh, the stories I can tell you and the things I...WE - as food equipment technicians - get to see when we start moving equipment out from the wall, removing ice machine covers, or other things we find when repairing equipment...while it's still in use when it most CERTAINLY SHOULDN'T be in use...would ASTOUND most folks. I'd rather just purposely step into something my 100lb dog left me in the backyard than to step in some of the stuff I accidentally stepped into behind that equipment at a restaurant.
The working environment within a typical sit-down, chain restaurant can best be described as "HOPEFULLY well-managed CHAOS". In my having stood back and watched them while I've worked on their stuff...or while merely cracking open a cooking/refrigeration unit and peered within the workings of it...I've made almost DAILY discoveries that leaves me truly amazed that there isn't more news about such places making people sick.
I have certain restaurants I won't go to. Some are national chains. Additionally, some techs won't order a drink with ice in it. Me...I just look at the shape of the ice cubes. If they're shaped a certain way, I'll request another drink without ice. I'm probably too lenient about the ice and should abstain altogether. But I DO like ice in my drink.
Anyway, I've probably said too much. That's all I have to say on that topic.
Heh. I always like to tell the new guy before we walk in, while we work on this equipment, keep your eye on the handsink right there, out of the corner of your eye, don't stare, but be aware. It's the only one in the kitchen. Take a look at the raw chicken over *there*, and where that person goes and what they do. Tell me what you saw in an hour or 2.
It always seems we eat at some other place for lunch.
Interesting little read..."25 Things Chefs Never Tell You". It sorta fits here regarding a topic towards the end of the article entitled "The five-second rule actually applies."
One time we were replacing a steamer's boiler at this high-falutin' restaurant (one of those that doesn't open until 5pm) and we had stopped to update their grand-poobah French Chef on our progress.
Just in front of us, as his Sous Chef was loading an oven with pans of meat, one raw cut launched from the pan and hit the terracotta tile floor (splat!). Without missing a beat, that French Chef bent right over, picked it up, and tossed it back onto the pan.
I didn't time it, but I think floor contact was well under five seconds.
The Sous Chef promptly arranged it back into its appointed place on the pan and put it in the oven.
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