This year’s theme focuses on “The Culture of Food Safety.” Food safety is now synonymous with an operations reputation. National Food Safety Month was created in 1994 to heighten the awareness of food safety education. The first step a facility should take to ensure food safety is to make sure that the food arriving at your establishment is coming from a safe source. Make sure that your suppliers are safe and meet all requirements for food safety. Martin Brothers out of Cedar Falls is the distributor we use for our food purchases. They have been a reliable company to work with. Our truck arrives between 4:00-4:30am every Tuesday and I am here to receive and check the order before putting food away. If you have food delivered be aware of the following guidelines:
- Cold food should be received at 41 degrees or lower, and hot food 135 degrees or higher
- Frozen food should be received frozen without ice crystals, fluid/water stains
- Reject food with abnormal color or unpleasant/wrong smells
- Packaging should be clean and in good condition. Reject if boxes are broken or cans are swollen/dented
- Reject food if there are signs of pests, the use by date has passed, or if packaging is damp, water stained, or leaking
Our population at the care center is one of the higher risk populations for foodborne illnesses. We make sure staff are trained on proper receiving, preparation, and storing of our food. Every year in the United States it is estimated that one in six people become ill from eating something unsafe. That is why Food Safety Education Month is very important. Have a great September and keep these tips in mind as you grocery shop throughout the year!
~Sandy Weller, FSS