Section 8: Summary

        In summary, the actual rules for food safety HACCP-based self-control are simple.

  1.  Assume that all raw food and the people who are producing the food are contaminated.
  2.  Use raw food as soon as possible.
  3.  Employees wash their hands and fingertips correctly at times required to prevent transfer of pathogens to food.
  4.  Utensils, work surfaces, cutting boards, etc. are pre-rinsed, washed, and sanitized correctly.
  5.  Infective pathogens in food are reduced to a safe level by heating food sufficiently (pasteurization or cooking), washing it, or acidifying it.  Food should be heated in less than 6 hours to over 130ºF (54.4ºC).
  6.  After preparation, food is served and consumed as soon as possible, or it is cooled to 45ºF (7.2ºC) in less than 15 hours and stored at less than 41°F (5.0°C).  If the food temperature is not below 30ºF (-1.1ºC) or above 130ºF (54.4ºC), or if pathogen growth is controlled in some other way, it must be used in a time that limits the growth of L. monocytogenes or Salmonella spp. to less than 5 generations.
  7. The presence of chemicals and hard foreign objects in food is controlled.
  8. Ingredients in all food products are known so that consumers who have food allergies may ask questions regarding the ingredients of any food product and receive accurate answers in order to protect themselves.
        The key to performing these simple food safety tasks is for all food preparers and servers to be trained, and to follow these procedures 100% of the time until the rules are officially changed.  With documentation of all recipe procedures and policies on hand washing, cutting board cleaning, etc., the only remaining factor is behavioral control.  Management leadership is crucial.  Effective management trains and coaches all employees to use correct procedures for handling, producing, and serving food before they are allowed to perform their tasks.  Employees are given positive reinforcement when jobs are completed satisfactorily so that the goal of producing and serving safe food through hazard-controlled processes becomes achievable.

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