Courtesy of SEFA Dealers and Suppliers

Food Safety in Your Operation

Practicing and monitoring food safety must occur in all of the following areas of your operation. 


  • Inspect deliveries. Product should be in good condition and received at the proper temperature
  • Label and store products immediately
  • Instruct employees to use the practice of First-In, First-Out


  • Freezers should hold food at 0°F or below
  • Refrigerators should store food at 40°F or below
  • Temperature range of dry storage areas should be 50°F to 70°F

Hot and Cold Prep

  • Proper hand washing is essential. When changing tasks, employees should wash hands thoroughly
  • Use color coded cutting boards, utensils and containers to prevent cross contamination
  • Have dedicated containers for ice and cleaning solutions. Never use them interchangeably


  • Food must be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature
  • Instruct employees on the proper use and calibration of temperature devices


  • Food to be held for later service must be cooled to 70°F within two hours and below 40°F within four hours
  • Products such as cooling paddles and blast chillers were designed for this purpose

Holding & Serving

  • Keep hot foods hot, and cold foods cold
  • Hot foods should have internal temperatures of 140°F. Cold foods 40°F or below.

Four Leading Causes of Foodborne Illness

  • Not cooking food to proper internal temperatures
  • Holding, cooling or storing foods at improper temperatures
  • Cross-contamination from improper cleaning and sanitizing of workspaces and utensils
  • Poor personal hygiene

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that each year 10,000 people die from foodborne illness. The above four things are responsible for 80% of foodborne illness and can be easily corrected with proper selection and use of foodservice equipment.


The following four pathogens are most associated with foodborne illness:

  • E. coli 0157:H7
  • Salmonella
  • Listeria
  • Campylobacter

Bacteria Doubles: 

At This Temperature At This Rate
90° Every 1/2 hour
70° Every 1 hour
60° Every 2 hours
50° Every 3 hours
40° Every 6 hours
36° Every 12 hours
32° Every 20 hours

Measures to Prevent Foodborne Illness Caused by E. Coli Bacteria

  • Wash your hands
  • Cook meats to minimum internal temperature of 155°F
  • Cook meats until juices run clear and there is no pink color visible
  • Ensure that raw meats do not touch other foods that are already cooked or will be eaten raw
  • Use paper towels or clean cloth towels to dry hands and food contact surfaces, such as countertops. Towels should not be reused.


Proper Hand Washing

Hand washing is an important and simple defense against the spread of dangerous bacteria and foodborne illness. Use as hot a water temperature as you can stand; lather hands and wrists with soap for 20 seconds; rinse thoroughly with clean water; dry with single serve paper towel or air dryer.

Training Tips

Food safety begins with your staff. Implement some of the following tips in your operation's training program.

  • Make food safety part of the company culture
  • Relate food safety practices to everyday events
  • Use real life examples
  • Keep teaching when the class is over


  • Meat and Poultry Hotline (1-800-535-4555)
  • Seafood Hotline (1-800-332-4010)
  • National Restaurant Association Food Safety Council (1-800-765-2122)
  • International Food Safety Council (1-800-456-0111)

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