Health officials focus on creating a culture of food safety

The City of McKinney Health Compliance Division celebrates National Food Safety Month in September to heighten the awareness of food safety education and reinforce proper food safety practices and procedures. McKinney Health Inspectors are encouraging restaurant owners and managers to participate in National Food Safety Month by implementing the following tips listed below.

“A culture of food safety leads to a lower risk of foodborne illness, increased probability of returning customers and sustained revenues for the businesses in the city,” said Richard Milam, Health Compliance Supervisor. “The City of McKinney is committed to food safety year-round, however during month of September we are taking the opportunity to highlight our commitment to this food safety education and training.”

Handwashing

Handwashing is one of the most important steps in preventing the spread of pathogens and cross-contamination. Wash your hands after using the restroom; leaving and returning to a kitchen/prep area; cleaning tables or dirty dishes; taking out the garbage; handling chemicals; touching the body or clothing; handling raw meat, poultry, or seafood; sneezing, coughing or using a tissue; handling money; or after eating, drinking, smoking or chewing gum or tobacco.

Food prep

All food contact surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized after each use and anytime you begin working with another type of food. Cleaning is the process of removing food and other types of soil from the surface. Sanitizing is the process of reducing the number of microorganisms on a clean surface to safe levels.

Time and temperatures

Cook the food at its correct minimum internal cooking temperature. The temperature is different for each food item. Once reached, you must hold the food at this temperature for a specific amount of time.

Garbage

Dispose of garbage quickly and correctly to avoid attracting pests. Do not carry garbage above or across food preparation areas to avoid contaminating food, equipment and utensils. Make sure that garbage containers are leak proof, waterproof and have tight-fitting lids. Clean them frequently and thoroughly, both inside and out to prevent orders and pests.

Operational cleanliness

In order to keep your environment clean and prevent contamination or the spreading of pathogens clean food and beverage spills immediately, including crumbs. Clean toilets and restrooms often. Keep your cleaning tools and supplies clean and dry, making sure mops and brooms can air-dry.

Free training activities and posters for the restaurant and foodservice industry are available online at www.servsafe.com.

The Health Compliance Division publishes the most recent health inspection reports for food establishments in full detail on the city’s website via an interactive map. The main goal of the change is to place consumers in a position to make better informed decisions regarding their dining choices and to support McKinney’s continued efforts for transparency by providing easy access to public information.