Tag Archives: Food Handling

Hospitality Industry Health Risks: Restaurants Must Institute Rigorous Policies To Comply With 2014 FDA “Gluten-Free” Preparation Mandates

“…Done correctly, a (restaurant) cook leaves the line, washes his hands, enters a walk-in and dons a clean apron and gloves. He then assembles the Gluten Free Restaurantspizza on a manufactured crust using tongs and a ladle set aside for that item. Once baked, the pizza is cut with a specific knife on a clean cutting board…He recently had his third-party toppings maker rework its recipes to ensure they were gluten-free…”

Many restaurant chains are instituting rigorous policies for preparing and serving gluten-free offerings as awareness of gluten allergies and intolerance rises.

And while several operators said only about 1 percent to 3 percent of customers request gluten-free items, all insisted that taking extra effort to make such foods safely is good for business — and will keep them in compliance with upcoming mandates from the Food and Drug Administration.

At 60-unit Costa Vida, gluten-free corn tortillas are cooked first thing in morning so the comal can be sanitized and readied for flour tortillas. Corn tortillas are then stored in a closed container and opened only when necessary.

For more: http://nrn.com/health-amp-nutrition/restaurants-tighten-gluten-free-operations

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Issues, Health, Labor Issues, Liability, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Training

P3 Hospitality Industry Risk Report: “Food Poisoning Claims” By Todd Seiders, Director Of Risk Management For Petra Risk Solutions (Video)

Petra Risk Solutions’ Director of Risk Management, Todd Seiders, offers a P3 Hospitality Risk Report – ‘Food Poisoning Claims’.

P3 ( Petra Plus Process) is the Risk Management Division of Petra Risk Solutions – America ’s largest independent insurance brokerage devoted exclusively to the hospitality marketplace.

For more information on Petra and P3 visit petrarisksolutions.com or call 800.466.8951.

Leave a comment

Filed under Food Illnesses, Guest Issues, Health, Insurance, Liability, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Training

Hospitality Industry Health Risks: Restaurants Must Make Food Safety A “Core Value”; Lack Of “Hand Washing, Food Holding Temperature Controls” Remain Biggest Risk To Customers

“…Hand washing and proper holding temperatures — the basics of food safety — have not changed in 30 years, said Moore of Eat’n Restaurant Kitchen Health RisksPark. The key is keeping the message fresh so that employees pay attention…with a workforce largely under the age of 25, employers need to make sure their messages are quick and easy to grasp. Moore said he relies on lots of colorful visuals, and customized posters, comics, video clips featuring celebrities, games like Pandemic 2, and stuffed-animal germs and microbes are among his favorites…”

Food safety “needs to be part of your core values,” William Moore, director of safety and security for Eat’n Park Hospitality Inc., the Homestead, Pa.-based parent of the 75-unit Eat’n Park family-dining chain, said during his keynote speech. “If it’s not in your core values, your mission statement, then it’s not a priority.”

The symposium occurred against the backdrop of a Cyclospora outbreak that had sickened 642 people in 25 states, leading to 45 hospitalizations but no deaths, throughout the summer. The cause of the outbreak was still under investigation at press time, although a salad mix from Taylor Farms de Mexico served at Darden Restaurants Inc. in two states had been implicated in about 240 of the illnesses.

Tugging at the heartstrings doesn’t hurt either, said several attendees. Al Baroudi, Ph.D., vice president, quality assurance and food safety for The Cheesecake Factory Inc., the Calabasas Hills, Calif.-based operator of 175 upscale casual-dining restaurants, shows his audiences an image of the hundreds of children and adults that have died during foodborne illness outbreaks to drive home the point that lives are stake.

For more:  http://nrn.com/food-safety/7-steps-ensuring-restaurant-food-safety?page=2

Leave a comment

Filed under Food Illnesses, Guest Issues, Health, Labor Issues, Liability, Risk Management, Training

Hospitality Industry Health Risks: Nevada Restaurant Sued After “Salmonella Food Poisoning” Outbreak; “Inadequate Hand Washing, Handling Of Food With Bare Hands, Improper Food Storage” Violations Found

“…health inspectors were sent to the restaurant to investigate…they found multiple violations including: employees handling ready-to-eat food with bare hands, inadequate hand washing by foodhandlers; inadequate or missing cooling and heating logs for food; raw ground beef stored Salmonella Enteritidisover cooked chicken and raw seafood; fruit flies and small moths in the cooking area; and broken cooking thermometers and foods not being held at proper temperatures…”

A Pennsylvania woman has filed a lawsuit against the Firefly on Paradise, a Las Vegas restaurant. She is seeking compensation for allegedly contracting Salmonella food poisoning from the restaurant. She is being represented by Fred Pritzker, Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm, who are also representing several other people allegedly sickened in the outbreak.  Pritzker, Flaherty and Osterholm are part of PritzkerOlsen law firm’s Bad Bug Law Team.

The firm’s client is one of the 89 people sickened in a Salmonella outbreak associated with the Firefly. She and her husband were visiting Las Vegas in late April. On April 24, they ate dinner at Firefly on Paradise. Two days later, she developed symptoms that included nausea, fever, abdominal cramps and bloody diarrhea. She is still receiving medical treatment.

According to the complaint, those foods include but are not limited to: pork, calamari, garlic in oil, potatoes, tortilla empanada, lettuce, shrimp, mussels, claims, chicken and fish. The restaurant has been closed during the outbreak investigation to reduce the risk to public health.

For more:  http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2013/salmonella-lawyers-file-lawsuit-against-firefly-restaurant-in-las-vegas/

Leave a comment

Filed under Food Illnesses, Guest Issues, Health, Labor Issues, Liability, Risk Management, Training

Hospitality Industry Health Risks: Hotel And Restaurant Food Handlers Are The Major Source Of Reported “Foodborne Hepatitis A Outbreaks”; Improved Hygiene And Preventive Vaccinations Lower Virus Transmission

“…the source of most reported foodborne hepatitis A outbreaks had involved infected food handlers, such as those Hepatitis A in Hospitality Industryin restaurants or those who prepare food for social events such as weddings…(workers) who have had possible exposure to Hepatitis A and get the necessary shots within 2 weeks of exposure…will have long-term protection against the virus… people infected with the virus are the most infectious two weeks before they actually become ill (and) can be passing the disease on to other people without even knowing they have it…”

What could be better than dining with friends or family at a popular upscale candlelit restaurant in New York City — a restaurant with an “A” sanitation grade from the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene?

While that’s how the story began for many of the people who ate at Alta restaurant in the West Village from March 23 to April 2, it ended with the jolting news that if they had had dessert during that time period, they should get a shot (and another one 6 months later) to protect themselves against hepatitis A.

The restaurant’s manager, Manny Solano, told reporters that a pastry chef who had traveled to Mexico discovered she had hepatitis A after going to a doctor because she wasn’t feeling well. It turned out she had contracted the virus during her trip south of the border. In the case of a restaurant employee, hepatitis A can be spread to food or surfaces — and from there to people dining or working at the restaurant — if the worker doesn’t follow basic hygiene practices, chief among them washing his or her hands after going to the bathroom.

And while most food handlers with hepatitis A do not transmit the virus to fellow workers or restaurant patrons (based on surveillance data), many hundreds of restaurant workers have hepatitis A every year, according to the article.

The article concludes by saying that reducing foodborne transmission of the virus can be achieved by improving food production and food handler hygiene and by providing preventive vaccinations to people at risk for infection.

For more:  http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/04/dessert-followed-by-a-hepatitis-a-shot/#.UWWNA0nn9et

Leave a comment

Filed under Food Illnesses, Guest Issues, Health, Liability, Risk Management, Training

Hospitality Industry Health Risks: Oregon Restaurants Will Not Be Required To Prohibit “Bare-Hand Contact” Pending Review; “Double Hand-Washing Rule” To Be Enforced

“…(the State of Oregon) decided to remove the bare-hand contact prohibition from the proposed rules because this issue needs further discussion…the group will convene multiple times over the next few months. The state will continue to enforce its double hand-washing rule for food servers until any changes are announced…”

The Oregon Health Authority is shelving its proposed rule mandating that restaurant workers not prepare food with their bare hands. State health officials have decided to convene a work-group on standards to prevent food-borne illness. The group will work toward a substitute to the so-called “no bare hand contact” rule originally proposed by the Health Authority.

That provision was to take effect on July 1, but was delayed after protests from the food service industry. The work group will include restaurateurs, legislators, medical professionals and others.

Gail Shibley, the administrator of the OHA’s Public Health Division, said her agency is looking for diverse opinions. “We think we can get the wisdom from restaurateurs as well as a variety of other folks to really dig into the details of this specific provision, and move forward at a later date,” she said.

For more:  http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120713/NEWS07/120719990/-1/NEWSMAP

Image provided by MyDoorSign.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Food Illnesses, Guest Issues, Health, Labor Issues, Liability, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Training

Hospitality Industry Health Risks: Oregon Restaurants Fight New Rule Requiring Cooks To Wear Gloves Before Touching Food; Hand-Washing Practices Are Central Concern

“…the Oregon Health Authority’s Foodborne Illness Prevention department said the measure was created to prevent the spread of norovirus, the most common cause of food poisoning. It’s often spread through improper hand washing by employees after they use the bathroom… a 2003 health authority survey in which restaurant inspectors found at least one hand-washing violation at nearly two-thirds of Oregon eateries…”

Oregon restaurant owners and chefs recently earned a small victory, delaying by several months a new state rule that could make dining out more expensive, create waste and, despite its good intentions, do little to protect public health.

The rule, initially set to take effect Sunday, would require cooks to wear gloves or otherwise avoid touching food with their bare hands. But restaurant owners argued the requirement won’t prove safer than the state’s current rigorous hand-washing practices — and the science seems to back them up.

At least a half-dozen recent studies have concluded the same: Counterintuitively, wearing gloves does little to prevent the spread of bacteria compared with effective hand washing. Wearing gloves has been found to reduce the number of times people wash their hands, while warm, moist conditions create a hothouse for bacteria to grow. A 2005 report from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center that analyzed grilled tortillas found more staph, coliform and other harmful bacteria on the samples prepared by workers wearing gloves.

“Gloves lead to a bulletproof-vest feeling,” said Bryan Steelman, owner of the Mexican eatery Por Que No? and among the restaurateurs leading the charge against the new rule. “Cooks think, ‘I have a glove on. I don’t need to wash my hands.'”

For more:  http://www.oregonlive.com/dining/index.ssf/2012/06/oregon_restaurateurs_fight_new.html

Leave a comment

Filed under Food Illnesses, Guest Issues, Health, Insurance, Labor Issues, Liability, Management And Ownership, Risk Management