SEPTEMBER 2019 NEWSLETTER
Boil Water Notices: Depending on how close Hurricane Dorian gets to Florida, we may see some boil water notices, particularly along the coast. The spec to make water safe is a rolling boil for one minute.
Dishwasher Performance Specifications: Every dish machine has an “NSF tag.” NSF International is a company which certifies machinery and equipment for use in food service. You can often see their logo on pans, utensils and food preparation equipment. The NSF tag specifies correct temperature, sanitizer, water flow and water hardness. Health codes require all commercial dishwashers to have this tag. When we test the dish machine, we are making sure it is within the NSF guidelines to properly sanitize equipment. Nearly all low temperature dish machines use 50-100 parts per million (ppm) chlorine to sanitize and typically 120°, but those numbers can vary. Check the tag to be sure.
Sanitizing food contact surfaces: Like the dish machine, quaternary ammonium (quat) sanitizer has specifications. Ideally quat sanitizer should be between 200 – 400 parts per million (ppm),but can be as low as 150 or as high as 500. It also needs to be at a minimum temperature of 75° to properly sanitize. The store is required to have test strips available to test chemicals from the dish machine, sanitizer buckets, and heat (if a high temperature dish machine is used).
If you use a sanitizer dispenser, make sure the person dispensing the sanitizer physically checks for the proper concentration, same with the dish machine. The most common cause of violations on sanitizer is the container being empty. If you use tablets or packets to make sanitizer, be sure to follow the instructions, too much or too little water will also create a violation. If your dispenser is broken, you can manually make a sanitizer bucket. ¼ tsp of quat sanitizer in one gallon of water will get you around 300-400ppm.
The most important part of the sanitization process is allowing the item to air dry. The evaporation process essentially sucks the water out of bacteria to kill it. For this reason, pans and utensils should not be dried with a towel or stacked while wet. When using quat sanitizer to sanitize knives, cutting boards and food contact surfaces, the air-drying process takes 30 seconds, an eternity when you are busy. Inspectors will sometimes check to see the cook is waiting a full 30 seconds before using a knife that has been sanitized. The easiest solution is the have multiple knives available.
Rings, Bracelets, Watches, Nails, Nail Polish: The rule against anything on the wrists, anything other than a plain wedding band, fake nails, and nail polish is most often enforced against cooks, but can also be enforced against service staff. Because most inspectors give the front of the house staff some room on this, Bright Green does not score the front of the house as aggressively on these items as the back.
Storage of “In use” utensils: In use utensils such as tongs, knives, scoops, etc. can be stored 4 ways. 1) Clean, 2) Hot, 3) Cold, 4) Using Time as a Public Health control. Because we are dealing with microscopic bacteria, any item with food debris should be handled the same as food. We teach our customers to hold grill utensils in hot, clean, water above 135°. Scoops for cold foods can be stored in the food so long as the handle is not in the food. If you use Time as a Public Health Control for utensils, the utensils must be time marked the same as food, then sanitized after four hours. Make sure to store ice buckets upside down so they will not hold standing water. Make sure not to place them directly on a hard surface where water will collect around the lip. Either hanging, on slotted shelving, or on dry dek.
Food Manager Class and Test: The next food manager class and test will be in Orlando on Monday September 30th at 9am. The location is Chela Tequila and Tacos, 183 South Orange Avenue, Orlando 32801. Please let me know by 9/20 if you have anyone who will be attending the class.