Featured Article: Safety Behind the Bar: A Food Safety Checklist

Keep It Clean

September is National Food Safety Education Month, and we want to help you keep your guests and your business safe. The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s ServSafe Alcohol program lays out the rules that every employee in the bar, no matter what his or her role, should be trained in: personal hygiene, cleaning and sanitizing, controlling time and temperature and cross-contamination and cross-contact. Here’s a good checklist from ServSafe Alcohol to keep handy as you make sure your employees are keeping your guests — and themselves — safe.


Personal Hygiene
a Wash hands and arms for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot running water before and during every shift.
a Wear a bandage over wounds on hands and arms.
a Inform your supervisor of any health problems before coming to work

Cleaning and Sanitizing
a After cleaning and rinsing food-contact surfaces, sanitize them either with approved chemical sanitizers or by soaking them for 30 seconds in hot water (at least 171 degrees Fahrenheit).
a Store glasses and cups upside down on a clean and sanitized shelf or rack.
aAlways follow your operation’s daily master cleaning schedule for the bar area.

Controlling Time and Temperature
a Ensure that refrigeration units are functioning properly by using a calibrated thermometer to randomly sample the temperature of stored food.
a Store foods and beverages at the proper temperatures.
a Serve food promptly. A foodborne illness can result if food is time-temperature abused.
a Food on a buffet must be held in equipment that will keep it at the correct temperatures. Using a thermometer, check the temperatures of foods on a buffet at least every four hours. Throw out any food that is not at the right temperature. Remember that pathogens grow well in food held between the temperatures of 41 degrees Fahrenheit and 135 degrees Fahrenheit

Cross-Contamination and Cross-Contact
a Use ice scoops or tongs to handle ice. Never scoop ice with a glass or with your hands.
a Store ice scoops outside of the ice machine in a clean, protected location.
a Store wiping towels in a sanitizer at the proper concentration.
a To prevent cross-contamination and cross-contact, frequently wash hands and/or change gloves.
a Always wash your hands after handling food allergens such as nuts.

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