So, you’ve already obtained your food handler certificate Illinois and are ready to land a job. Congratulations to you, as you already have the edge that every hiring officer or employer would consider.
But humans as we are, we make mistakes and get into some issues. When working in the food industry, you must be very careful as you are dealing with the food and people you serve. There are instances when a food handler accidentally introduces food hazards that may be a risk to customers.
Some people in the food industry don’t understand the risks involved in food service. Well, the thing here is that owners and staff are responsible for the safety and condition under which the food is prepared, held, or even served to the public. This simply means that the responsibility for food safety lies with everyone in the business – from the management to servers and dishwashers.
Are you guilty, or have you ever tried making mistakes you don’t ever want to happen again? Are you too complacent that you have already obtained a food handler certificate Illinois or in any state that you are sure you will not make an issue regarding safety hazards in your work?
This article lets us know the practices to avoid or things to avoid when you are a food handler. This will raise awareness and ensure you comply with food safety standards, even if you’re already food handler certified.
1. Avoid Coughing or Sneezing into Food
This must be pretty obvious, and understandably, there is time that you just can’t control it. But if you must sneeze or cough, always see that you throw the food near you when you sneeze or cough. Or better yet, get away from the food and cough or sneeze outside.
2. Avoid Wiping Sweat
Food preparation and cooking can sometimes be tiring, and commercial kitchens can be very hot, especially during busy days. And when you sweat, you probably think that wiping the sweat away from the face is way better than having it into the food you prepare.
However, using the hand on the apron does not stop bacteria and viruses from the food you prepare. With that, you should use a cloth that is not used to handle food.
3. Never Put Fingers in Your Mouth
Under no circumstances will you put your fingers or fingernails near or in your mouth when handling food at work, especially if customers can witness it. If you accidentally do this, thoroughly wash your hands right away.
4. Do Not Smoke
Perhaps you were told to quit smoking before because it’s bad, expensive, and could cause severe illnesses in the future. But when you are a food handler, you should never smoke when you work, especially when you cook or prepare other people’s food. But if you absolutely must, you may do so, but you should be away from the premises. You should also wash your hands before you resume to work.
5. Don’t Scratch the Face, Body, or even Clothing
It could be hard to fight the urge when you scratch an itch. But you should consider how your customers feel when they see it. So, even if you are not soiling clean hands with bacteria from some parts of the body, you still make a bad impression on your customer.
6. Never Pick Your Nose
You should never pick your nose, most importantly when working with the food industry. You must know that harmful bacteria live in our nostrils, and it’s not ideal if you’re picking your nose when preparing food.
7. Never Wear a Jewelry
Wearing jewellery when cooking is discouraged in the food preparation industry. It’s not because the management wants to control what you want, but it’s for the safety of the food you prepare. Perhaps this will be discussed when you get a food handlers certificate in Illinois, that jewellery has dangerous bacteria. It may be a choking hazard when it gets into the food.
8. Be Careful when Tasting Food
Tasting is important when you cook. And if you need to taste the food, because you will for sure – you have to scoop the food into the small dish first and foremost and remove the dish and spoon from the food preparation area. That way, you will not accidentally use it again.
9. Never Touch Foods that are Ready to Eat
You should never touch ready-to-serve food with your bare hands. You should use tongs or the right serving utensils when you arrange food on the plate for the customer. It might be tempting to reach out and quickly adjust the top, but it’s not worth the risk.
So, that’s it. You already know what practices to avoid when you are a food handler. When you are trained and have obtained the Food Handler Certificate in Illinois or other states, you already know why these behaviours introduce food safety risks that may harm the customer.
For whatever reasons, the behaviours can contaminate food, which needs to stop. You are not just putting the business’s reputation at risk but also putting lives in danger.