The bakery business is known for having the highest standards of food safety and sanitation. One minor misstep in handling foods and your bakery can easily turn into a nightmare. So, what can you do? How can you avoid being just another recall statistic in the number of bakeries shut down for failing your department of health food safety inspection?
In this blog post we will outline four best practices that your bakery business can follow to ensure handling food safely. You have the creativity, passion, and drive to make an ultra-successful bakery. Now allow us to guide you through some of the more difficult aspects of the food safety and inspection service components of your business.
Personal hygiene may seem like an obvious food safety best practice but is sometimes overlooked. Some bakery owners and employers are so worried about the food safety of the products and ingredients without realizing that they themselves could be the issue.
Proper food preparation and sanitation begins with every individual in the bakery who may be handling the products. By paying careful attention to personal hygiene, it can make all the difference when keeping the food free of any bacteria or pathogens that exist on the baker. By being the owner of the bakery, the onus is on you to establish those strict rules and guidelines that you expect every employee to follow. You want to make sure everyone is following these guidelines:
Wearing Clean Clothes
Wear hair nets throughout the work day
Gloves should always be worn when handling product
Constantly wash hands
One of the easiest ways a bakery can fail a food safety inspection is by the employees not following your rules of keeping clean.
Always Wash Utensils and Cooking Surfaces
One major hazard to food safety is dirty utensils being used over and over. A big mistake you want to avoid is cross-contaminating your products by not properly cleaning utensils, cooking surfaces, and cutting boards. This rule can be hard to follow when the work day gets busy and hectic and you feel you do not have time to wash something in hot soapy water every time you use it; however, by cross-contaminating, you are running the risk of infecting a customer with a foodborne illness, a death-knell for a new bakery.
In addition to cross-contaminating, dirty utensils and surfaces can also attract many unwanted customers to your bakery – namely rats and insects. All it takes is one sighting of these pests by customers or a public health inspector and your dream is over. By making sure you are regularly doing a thorough cleaning of your kitchen, you are putting yourself in the best spot you can to defend against this issue.
When you had a dream of opening up a bakery, you probably pictured yourself creating everything carefully by hand. As you grew closer to living this dream and your bakery grew to where it is now, you realized that you will need the help of machines to keep up with the constant demand of your products. Oftentimes, bakers rely on mixers, dough sheeters, and bread slicers to prepare his or her goods efficiently. As handy as these machines can be, they can often be cumbersome to clean. However, it is crucial you take the time to properly rid the equipment of any and all food bits and leftovers from the previous job. Not only can this be another potential cross-contamination hazard, but a lack of maintenance on your equipment can also keep it from running efficiently or it may even break down, leading to a costly fix.
Another piece of equipment that is vital to maintain upkeep and cleanliness on is your proofing cabinets. This machine often creates a warm environment. While this is perfect for getting your bread to rise, it is also the ideal temperature for bacteria to grow and develop. By washing out these cabinets with warm water and soap, you can ensure you are following the food safety policies and your products are coming out safe for the customers.
Maybe the most important aspect for food safety and sanitation is proper food storage and keeping everything NSF certified and rated refrigerators and freezers. A few important things to keep in mind include:
Food needs to be clearly labeled and employing a first-in, first-out policy. This means using the older, still usable, ingredients before the newer ones
Have your employees complete a thorough training on proper labeling and food storage to help keep up with labeling procedures.
Food storage units should be regularly inspected, and all old food needs to be properly disposed of to avoid potential food poisoning.
Your company may create the most delicious products around, but if you practice poor food safety practices, you will not last long in this industry. By following these four easy food safety best practices you can ensure a successful and safe bakery business.
Interested in learning more about Harvest Food Solutions and how we can help your bakery business? Give us a call to see a demo of our perishable foods software and how it can make an impact in your business.