Faulty Cooler? 3 Ways You Can Keep Your Customers Safe
Food poisoning is caused by bacterial growth, which commonly occurs in perishable foods that are kept at temperatures ranging from 41 to 140 degrees. If you own a restaurant, it's imperative that you keep foods either very cold or very hot to keep your customers safe. But what can you do if your cooler goes out? Even if you have the speediest repairman on the planet, there will still be some down time. Following are three ways you can keep your customers safe while you're waiting on the repairman (like those from Pro-Staff Mechanical Inc) to get to your location or for the repairman to obtain the necessary parts to fix your cooler.
Monitor Cooler Temperatures
Your cooler can maintain an appropriate temperature for hours even if it's not working. However, each time you open the door, you run the risk of letting cool air escape. To make sure your cooler maintains a constant temperature, place an appliance thermometer in your cooler. Look at the thermometer each time you open the cooler doors. If the temperature rises above 40 degrees, start checking the temperatures of individual food items. If any item gets warmer than 40 degrees, throw it out.
Placing dry ice or large blocks of ice in your cooler will help keep your food cold while you're waiting for you cooler to become operational once more. If you choose to go the ice route, be sure to continue to monitor both cooler temperatures and food temperatures. Since ice may keep one part of your unit cooler than the rest, you don't want to assume the food is still cold enough just because the appliance thermostat says the cooler is below 40 degrees. Items placed the furthest away from ice may get warmer and start to spoil.
Throw It Away
Do not take any chances when it comes to your customers' safety. If you have any doubts about the safety of a certain food item, throw it out. Also, be sure to take inventory of all your items and their temperatures as soon as the cooler becomes operational. If you wait too long, food items that got too warm will be cool again, but they won't safe to eat.
Managing a restaurant with a broken cooler can be stressful. While it takes a lot of extra work to monitor food and cooler temperatures, you have to remain diligent. If even one spoiled item slips through, there may be major consequences.