Tag Archives: Kitchen Safety

Hospitality Industry Health Risks: Restaurant Study By CDC Finds “Widespread Risky Food Handling Practices” In Over 50% Of Kitchens; Failure To Follow FDA Guidance On Preventing Cross-Contamination

“…For the chicken study, EHS-Net researchers interviewed 448 restaurant managers. They found that many were not following FDA guidance Restaurant Kitchen Health Risksabout preventing cross-contamination and cooking chicken properly and that managers “lacked basic food safety knowledge about chicken”…40% of managers said they never, rarely, or only occasionally designated certain cutting boards exclusively for raw meat, and more than 50% said that thermometers were not used to determine the final cooking temperature of chicken. Further, only 43% of managers knew the recommended final cooking temperature…”

A set of studies released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its partners points to widespread holes in restaurant food safety systems, such as risky handling of ground beef and chicken and too-warm shipping temperatures for leafy greens.

Among the key findings, according to the study and a CDC summary:

  • Eighty-one percent of restaurants used subjective measures of hamburger doneness, and 49% said they never checked the final cooking temperature
  • At least two risky handling practices were seen in 53% of restaurants
  • In 62% of restaurants in which workers used bare hands to handle raw ground beef, they did not wash their hands after handling it.
  • Only 1% of restaurants reported buying irradiated ground beef, and 29% were unfamiliar with the product
  • Chain restaurants and those with managers certified in food safety had safer practices than others.

At the same time, the CDC announced plans for a new surveillance system designed to help state and local health departments identify underlying factors that contribute to foodborne disease outbreaks in restaurants and other food service venues.

The research findings, published this week in the Journal of Food Protection, deal with the handling of ground beef, chicken, and leafy greens and with sick food workers.

For more:  http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2013/12/cdc-finds-holes-restaurant-food-safety-systems


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Hospitality Industry Safety Solutions: Hotel And Restaurant Kitchen “Safe Work Practices” To Prevent “Slips, Trips And Falls” Of Young Employees

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Hospitality Industry Health Risks: Restaurant Dishes And Silverware Cleaning And Sanitation Methods “Fall Short Of Eliminating Norovirus” According To Research Study

“Norovirus is the leading cause of epidemic gastroenteritis and the major cause of foodborne illness in the United States…proper sanitation and handling remain the single biggest factor that can prevent cross-norovirus outbreak hotelscontamination of food and dishware at food service establishments…better agents or methods (are needed) to significantly reduce the presence of norovirus…”

Restaurant dishes and silverware may be an overlooked place where people can catch stomach viruses, according to a new study published December 5, 2012 on the PLOS One website.

While the current industry guidelines for cleaning dishware used in public settings are effective at neutralizing bacteria, researchers at The Ohio State University found that they appear to fall short of eliminating norovirus.

Norovirus is the leading cause of epidemic gastroenteritis and the major cause of foodborne illness worldwide, responsible for at least 50% of all gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States.

For more:  http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0050273#s5

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Hospitality Industry Fire Risks: New York Restaurant Kitchen Workers Seriously Burned As “Gasoline Stored In Container” Spills And Ignites

“…the sushi chef… had asked a dishwasher to carry a five-gallon soy sauce container filled with gasoline through the kitchen to his car…The gasoline (had been acquired) a day earlier from an acquaintance and had been stored in the restaurant’s basement…as the dishwasher was carrying the gasoline through the kitchen, it spilled and ignited. Another chef was immediately engulfed in fire, receiving first- and second-degree burns to his face, neck, arms and legs before bystanders extinguished the flames…”

A sushi chef has been arrested after a soy sauce container he had filled with gasoline ignited at a restaurant close to Sutton Place in Manhattan, starting a blaze that severely injured three people.

The fire, which occurred about 10 p.m. Friday, raced through the kitchen of Eno Asian Bistro and Lounge on 1066 First Avenue at East 58th Street, the Fire Department said.

A busboy and another woman also sustained second- and third-degree burns to their legs. As of Saturday, the victims were still recovering at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

For more:  http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/10/chef-charged-in-fire-at-restaurant/

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Hospitality Industry Property Risks: Michigan Restaurant “Grease Fire” Spreads Through Vent To Roof, Damaging Building And Other Businesses

“…a vent behind the restaurant was fully engulfed in fire…It went from smelling smoke to the roof being engulfed in flames…”  

A grease fire that started in Hunan House Chinese restaurant destroyed the building and several others in the same strip mall Monday afternoon. There was heavy smoke and visible flames when fire crews arrived on the scene. The roof on Hunan House collapsed shortly after.  Firefighters spent several hours battling the blaze, which also spread to other businesses including Central Barbershop and MetroPCS.

The Central Barbershop owner, Jon Dancer, told The Morning Sun that he was in mid-haircut when his business started smelling like smoke. Ali L. Bazzi said he closed the cellphone store quickly and went outside, where he watched the fire “spread like crazy.”

For more: http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2012/08/grease_fire_that_started_in_mo.html

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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

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Hospitality Industry Property Risks: Ohio Restaurant Kitchen Fire Causes $60,000 In Damage; Source Is Cooking Material Buildup In Vent System

“…The cause of the fire, which was contained in about 20 minutes, was blamed on a buildup of cooking material inside the ducts at Boi Na Braza’s cooking range vent system…”

A minor fire that broke out in the ductwork of a restaurant in the Carew Tower Sunday night caused $60,000 in damage, Cincinnati firefighters announced early today. Firefighters responded to the eatery for a similar incident in October.

This time, the fire was contained to the restaurant’s ductwork on the sixth floor of the Carew Tower. No one was injured.

Boi Na Braza and a neighboring restaurant, Morton’s The Steakhouse, were evacuated and closed early on Father’s Day, typically a busy evening for most eateries. The Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza also was partially evacuated while fire crews investigated.

For more:  http://communitypress.cincinnati.com/article/AB/20120618/NEWS/306180012/Carew-Tower-fire-damage-60-000?odyssey=nav%7Chead

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Hospitality Industry Food Safety Risks: Ohio Restaurants Report Decrease In “Critical Health Violations”; Refrigeration Temperatures, Employee Hand Washing And Mixing Of Raw And Cooked Foods Are Major Concerns

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that each year roughly 48 million people, or 1 in 6 Americans, get sick from a foodborne disease. Of those 48 million, 128,000 people are hospitalized and 3,000 people die due to food that was improperly stored or prepared. The CDC said there are 31 known pathogens that can grow in food that is not stored correctly that will infect unaware eaters.

A critical violation refers to anything “that could directly impact food safety,” according to Brian Williamson, chief of environmental services for Butler County. Examples include proper storage temperatures not being met, an employee not washing his or her hands before preparing food or mixing of raw and cooked foods.

The health departments keep track of restaurant conditions as part of the fight against foodborne diseases.

Nationally, consumers are expected to spend $632 billion at restaurants, according to the National Restaurant Association. This number is an increase of 3.5 percent over 2011. In Butler County alone, there are more than 2,000 places that provide food for sale in some capacity.

“If it’s a critical violation, we try to get it corrected while we’re there,” said Carla Ealy, director of environmental health for the city of Middletown. “If it’s something like a broken refrigerator, where it may take awhile to fix, we come back in 24 or 48 hours to make sure it has been repaired.”

Even if the violations are corrected while the inspector is still at the restaurant, the incident is recorded. Awareness and a realization of how incidents can put the public’s health at risk are keys to public safety, Williamson said.

For more:  http://www.middletownjournal.com/news/critical-health-violations-fall-at-area-eateries-1353156.html

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Hospitality Industry Property Risks: Minnesota Hotel Kitchen “Oil Fryer Fire” Causes $100,000 In Damage

“The oil in the fryer reached its ignition temperature; the employees tried to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher, which was ineffective against the burning oil.”  

A fire in a Pannekoeken restaurant fryer at the Days Inn Hotel in downtown Rochester on Saturday morning caused an estimated $100,000 in damage.  Firefighters were called to the hotel, located at 6 First Ave. N.W., at 6:17 a.m., said Rochester Deputy Fire Chief Steve Belau. Employees had been opening the kitchen for the day, and had started the fryer when the mishap happened.
“After a time the fryer was noted to be boiling excessively (and) efforts by employees to shut down the fryer were unsuccessful,” Belau said.

The built-in fire extinguisher system slowed the fire, but was overcome when the fire became too large, Belau said. When firefighters arrived, there was smoke in the main floor and fire in the exhaust hood area of the kitchen. Fire was coming out of the exhaust vent on the outside.
Firefighters used two large portable fire extinguishers. At first, each time they knocked it down, it came back, Belau said. Also, it was unusually hot and smoky inside the kitchen. “Oil fires are very difficult to extinguish due to the unusually high temperatures associated with them,” he said.

For more:  http://www.postbulletin.com/news/stories/display.php?id=1491004

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Hospitality Industry Safety Risks: Texas Restaurants Receive “Dividends” Back From Workers Compensation Insurance Program For Maintaining “Successful Safety Programs”

“…dividends come back to restaurants participating in the TRA’s workers comp insurance program… creates incentives for the restaurants to have a safety program and to work with the insurance company and the employees to maintain a safer workplace….”

“Every year we get back … a little over half of our premium that we paid. So, it’s a big return of an expense,” says Lindskog whose company has been in the program since 2004. “A lot of people don’t want workers comp insurance because it’s expensive. But if you get half of it back, it makes it much more cost effective for your restaurant.”

Texas Mutual is the leading provider of workers comp insurance in the state. It was created by the Texas Legislature in 1991 when major reforms on workers comp became effective. Its board of directors is composed of individuals from companies it insures as well as those appointed by the governor of Texas.

For more:  http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2012/01/25/san-antonio-restaurants-score-rebate.html?page=2

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