Written by SmartSense
November 14, 2017
Written by SmartSense
For many consumers, the holiday season means celebratory meals centered around meat, poultry, and seafood: Think Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas roast beef, Hanukkah brisket, and New Year’s Eve shrimp cocktail. To meet increasing demand, grocery stores and supermarkets will be stocking larger volumes of these raw foods than they usually do the rest of the year. As a best-case solution, they’ll use cooler and freezer units normally reserved for other products; the less ideal route is to cram as many turkeys, roasts, and shrimp platters as tightly as possible within the space of each unit.
If this scenario sounds familiar, all the more reason your food safety plan must be strictly enforced and adhered to by all of your employees. Otherwise, you’re at risk of spreading foodborne illness to your consumers rather than holiday cheer.
Meat, Poultry, and Seafood: High-risk Food Products
Raw meat, poultry, and seafood are susceptible to contamination from a wide variety of physical, microbial, chemical, and radiological agents. These foods are particularly vulnerable to such hazards because their moisture, pH levels, and high protein content provide ideal environments for the growth of bacteria. Because of these characteristics, temperatures must be carefully monitored to prevent exposure of meat, poultry, and seafood products to temperatures outside of the safe range — especially during the holiday season when refrigerator and freezer units are being used at maximum capacity.
Basic Precautions to Ensure Food Safety
To get your staff ready to prioritize food safety with proper cooling this holiday season, your managers should be prepared and trained on best practices. It’s the responsibility of your managers to train all employees no matter what time of year it is, but a safe holiday season can lend good raw food habits year-round. From unloading at the dock and storing in the warehouse to displaying in open air coolers in the store, it’s imperative to maintain the proper temperatures of raw foods. All employees should be trained on the following:
Using a continuous temperature monitoring system is the ideal solution, given employees are extremely busy during this time and may forget to check temperatures manually. If an employee forgets or is dishonest, you could be looking at false temperature logs, and likely won’t become aware unless a major issue arises. TempAlert’s remote, digital system does all the work, making the holiday season all the merrier for everyone!
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