serving safe food in alaska

serving safe food in alaska
Table of Contents
Why read this book?
Your own health comes first
What makes people sick from food?
Food temperatures
Use wholesome food
A clean workplace is safer
Key points
First aid for choking
Original material provided by
Seattle-King County Department of Public Health
Upon request, the information in this booklet can be made available
in alternative formats, such as large-print and audio tape.
Think about a restaurant where you recently ate or worked. Was the hot
food hot and the cold food cold? Did the server have clean hands? Was
there soap in the restroom? And paper towels? Was there trash on the
floors? Was the table, equipment or counter clean? Your local
environmental health agency notices these things because any place where
food is prepared and served to the public must be kept safe. You, your
friends and family are also the public, and should be interested in keeping a
food business safe.
Food poisoning illness caused from
foods that have too
many germs or
unsafe things .
Contamination When food has too
many germs or
Unsafe things, it is
It is Unsafe.
Why? Because people can get sick if food sits at room temperature, or if
germs get into food or drinks. “Clean” is not the same as “safe.” Hands can
look clean, but if they have germs on them, they are not safe. Food can
smell good, but if there are germs in it that are like poison, it is not safe.
This is why all food workers, like you, must learn how to prevent illness with
safe food and food service. These safe habits will also help keep you
and your family healthy.
When you have read this book, you will
know how to:
1. Prevent food poisoning – that
could make someone sick.
2. Keep food at safe temperatures.
3. Prevent contamination of foods.
Sanitize kill germs with
chemicals or high
4. Check where safe, clean foods
come from and how to store them.
5. Clean and sanitize.
Your Local
Health Agency
has professional
staff who protect the
public’s health.
They do this
by inspecting food
businesses and by
educating and
workers who handle
and prepare Food.
This booklet is yours. Keep this where you work, and use it to remember to
do safe food handling. If something comes up that you cannot answer with
this book, ask your boss or call the your local environmental health
agency listed in the back of this book.
Along the margins of this booklet is a glossary, a sort of dictionary. You will
find many words and terms that explain safe food handling methods.
Poultry - Birds raised
for meat. Chicken
and turkey are the
most common kinds
of poultry; duck and
goose are also sold
for food.
Wash your hands often when working with food and
drink, this gets rid of germs that can make people sick.
Washing your hands well is one of the most important
good health habits. It sounds too easy, but
handwashing really works to wash away germs from
your hands.
Remember to always wash your hands
• before you touch anything used to prepare food,
and before you touch food that will not be cooked.
• after you work with raw meat, fish and poultry.
• after you handle trash and take out garbage.
The best way to wash your hands is:
1. Wet your hands with warm water.
2. Use soap.
3. Rub your hands briskly together to loosen any dirt and germs. Pay
special attention to your fingernails where germs can hide. Take plenty of
time - 20 seconds.
4. Rinse your hands under clean warm water,
5 Dry your hands on a paper towel or with an air dryer.
It’s also really necessary to wash your hands
• after you go to the bathroom (use the toilet); both men and women must
do this, and it is very important!
• after you eat.
• after you touch your
face, hair, or body.
Bacteria - A germ
with only one cell.
There are many
different kinds; but
many can cause
illness when they
grow and multiply.
Virus - A germ that
can live inside of a
cell. If given the
chance, viruses will
multiply enough to
cause disease. While
some dead viruses
can be used to fight
disease, there really
are no “good” viruses.
Soap and hot water
will wash away
• after you blow your
nose, after you cough
or sneeze, because
you must cover your
Wash your hands after
your break; and if you
smoke, wash your hands
Your kitchen should
have a handwashing
sink with hot water,
soap and paper towels. Do not use your apron or dish towels to dry
your hands.
Germs, such as bacteria and viruses, grow easily, so think of your hands
as always “contaminated.” Just because they look clean does not mean
they are clean. Germs are too tiny to see with your eyes. If you do not wash
your hands in the right way, your hands can put germs in food which gets
eaten by your customers. They may then get sick from these germs. This is
called “food borne illness” or “food poisoning.”
Food borne illness Sickness from eating
food that was not
safe; food poisoning.
Hepatitis A - a virus
that causes liver
disease. It spreads
when someone has
the virus in the feces
(or poop). The
viruses can get on
hands, and then on to
food that another
person eats. This is
one reason to wash
your hands well after
using the toilet!
If you feel sick be sure and let your boss know. The germs you bring to work
can spread when you sneeze and cough, and when you touch food, dishes,
counters, utensils, forks, knives and spoons, pots, pans, and other people.
• Do not work if you have a cold, flu, a runny nose or sore throat.
• Do not work if you have loose bowels (diarrhea).
• Do not work if you are throwing up (vomiting).
• Do not work if you have Hepatitis A. Tell your boss; someone must tell
the local environmental health agency right away.
• Do not work with foods if you have an infected cut, a burn or a sore on
your hand. If the sore is not infected, cover it with a bandage and
wear a rubber or plastic glove.
• If someone at home is sick, be sure to wash your hands
carefully before you start work. Washing your hands at
home will also help prevent the spread of illness there.
You want to look clean and be clean when you are
at work. Your clothes must be clean, and your
apron or uniform should be fresh.
As you know, it is not healthy to smoke or use
any form of tobacco. IF you use tobacco, do
not smoke or chew it while you are working or
when you are near food or dishwashing
areas. Smoke only while you are on a break.
After you smoke, wash your hands with care before
you return to work.
Keep your hair clean and neat. For your safety wear it close to your head,
tied back, or in a net or under a hat.
Potentially hazardous Possibly unsafe.
Some foods can
become unsafe if they
are left too long at
room temperature.
Danger Zone Temperature
of food between
45°F (7°C) and
140°F (60°C).
(see page 10.)
People can get sick when the food they eat has germs. Germs cause food
borne illness or food poisoning. Some foods are more likely than others to
grow germs that cause food poisoning; these are called potentially
hazardous foods. Germs grow easily in foods like meat, fish, poultry and
milk; they grow fast in refried beans, cooked rice and baked potatoes.
These are all foods that are moist or damp, and they have protein that the
germs need to grow. Germs also grow well in other foods kept warm in the
“Danger Zone.”
It is part of your job to protect the food to stop germs from growing, so that
no one will get food poisoning.
• First, wash your hands well.
• Second, be sure that the food is wholesome and protect it from germs.
• Third, keep foods out of the danger zone.
Salmonella - A
bacteria that causes
foodborne illness with
symptoms of nausea,
diarrhea and
abdominal pain.
Dairy - Milk and
foods made from
milk, like cream,
cottage cheese, soft
cheese foods that are
used instead of milk
products, like liquid
“non-dairy” creamer.
There are different kinds of
germs; bacteria are the most
common. They are
everywhere, they grow fast,
and they may spoil food or
cause food borne illness.
Some bacteria make
poison. Almost always the
food looks and smells good, but it
may have enough bacteria to make someone sick.
(Two examples of this are potato salad that has not
been kept cold enough, and chicken soup that has not
been kept hot enough.) One kind of bacteria that you may hear
about is Salmonella; it is not named for a fish; in fact it’s not found in
fish at all. It is in dairy foods, poultry and eggs, and it can cause very
serious food poisoning.
A virus is another kind of germ that causes food poisoning; some viruses
can travel through the air, in liquids and foods that a sick person touches.
Hepatitis A is spread by a virus. Someone can have the virus and not know
it. When a food worker with the virus does not wash her or his hands well
after using the toilet, the virus is carried to the food the worker handles. This
is one reason there is a law that all food workers must wash their hands.
Parasite - A tiny
animal that lives
inside other animals.
Parasites are tiny worms or bugs that live in fish and meat. They die if they
are frozen long enough or cooked long enough.
If you keep food very hot or very cold, out of the “Danger Zone,” germs will
not grow.
Chemicals, such as rat bait or cleaners, can cause some food poisoning.
You must be sure to keep all chemicals away from food.
When people get sick from food, they may feel like they want to throw up
(nausea), they may throw up (vomit), they may have chills, cramps (pain in
their belly), loose bowels (diarrhea), or they may have a fever.
Here is what you must do right away if you or a customer gets sick from food:
• Call your local environmental health agency.
• Save the food that may be causing the
sickness. Do not serve that food. Do not
throw out any food until the environmental
health agency tells you to. Mark it clearly
and put it in the refrigerator.
You should report all food borne illness to your
local environmental health agency—those at
work, at home, at church, on picnics.
Someone from the environmental health
agency will help you to find out how it
happened, and how to prevent it in the future.
If someone needs first aid for choking, look on
page 31 in the back of this book for what to
do when this happens.
Food Temperatures
Temperature - The
amount of heat or
cold. There are two
different ways to
measure temperature
. In this book when
you see F, read
“Fahrenheit, (“fair-n
hite.” That is the way
the United States
measures temperature; freezing equals
32° F and boiling
water equals 212° F.
When you see C,
read “Celsius,” (“sellsee us,”), or
Centigrade.” That is
the way many
countries measure
temperature; freezing
equals 0° C and
boiling water equals
100° C. To change
Fahrenheit to Celsius,
subtract 32 from the
Fahrenheit temperature and divide by
1.8. To convert from
Celsius to Fahrenheit,
multiply the Celsius
degrees by 1.8 and
add 32.
When you eat out you eat foods that are
made by someone else. You trust them to
make it safe for you to eat. Now you will be
preparing food for other people, and they
will trust you to do all that you can to keep
them from getting sick.
You need to prepare the food carefully that
you will serve or sell. You will wash raw vegetables; you will cook, cool,
reheat, freeze and defrost food. You must keep germs that are already in
the food from growing and causing food poisoning. Washing your hands
carefully, and cooking and cooling foods the right way, are the most
important things you can do to help keep your customers healthy. Be
sure you understand this part, and do these things at work and at home.
Your good habits will keep you, your customers and your family safe.
Calibrate your
thermometer after
using it with very hot
or very cold foods,
after dropping it, and
on a regular basis.
• Stick sensing tip in a
container of 5O/5O
water to ice.
• Make sure the tip
does not touch the
side or bottom of the
• Wait 4 or 5 minutes
or until the needle is
• Turn the nut under
the dial until the
needle reads 32° F
(0° C).
This section is about how to kill germs with heat
during cooking and how to stop their growth by
keeping the food hot or cold. This is called
temperature control, and you need thermometers to
check food temperatures There are special
thermometers to check foods; there are also special
thermometers to check refrigerator temperatures.
Bacteria, or other germs, need time, food and
moisture (or wetness) to grow; but they generally
won’t grow when the temperature of the food is
colder than 45° F (7° C) or hotter than 140° F (60°
C). The temperatures in between 45° and 140° are in
the “Danger Zone.” Keep potentially hazardous foods
out of the “Danger Zone!” For example, when food is
left in the “Danger Zone”, bacteria can grow fast, and
make poisons that can make your customers and
family very sick.
Wash your hands. Get the food to be fixed from
storage, the stove, the cooler or freezer. Take a little
at a time, and keep the rest hot or cold until you are
ready to work with it. Prepare potentially hazardous
foods just before you need them. Don’t let the
temperature of the food stay in the “Danger Zone.”
Metal stem
thermometer it measures the
temperature of foods.
It has a round top with
a long pointed sensor
made of steel to stick
into the food. Do not
use any other kind of
thermometer to test the
temperature of food.
Use a metal stem thermometer to check
temperatures while cooking food to make sure
that it gets done all the way inside. Different
foods have to reach different degrees to be
done or safe. The metal stem thermometer
measures the inside, or internal, temperature of
the food. A thermometer that works best shows a range of
0° F to 220° F (32° C to 104° C). The only way you can be sure that
the food is cooked enough is to use a metal stem thermometer placed in
the center of the food, even if you also use a thermostat to control the
temperate in the oven.
Here are a few examples of potentially hazardous food and how hot they
must be to be safe. They can be hotter, but they must be at least this hot to
kill germs:
Thermostat Something that can
be set to control the
temperature of an
oven, a freezer, a
cooler, or a heater.
Once you set it, it will
keep the unit hot or
cold at the same
temperature (unless it
is broken.)
• Game, poultry and all stuffed meats: 165° F (74° C)
• Pork: 155° F (68° C)
• Beef, Lamb and Seafood: 145° F (63° C)
• Rare Beef: 130° F (54° C)
• Hamburger (ground beef): 155° F (68° C)
Stuffed meats Meat, poultry or fish
that has a hole or is
wrapped around a
filling of soft food, like
bread or rice mixed
with liquids, then
cooked together.
Stuffed meats take
longer to cook safely
than unstuffed meats.
Trichinosis A disease caused by
eating a parasite, a
worm, found in pork
that is raw or
undercooked. It
causes pain, nausea,
vomiting and
You must place the thermometer in the thickest part of the
meat or in the center of the food to get a true reading. (Do not
touch a bone with the stem of the thermometer.)
All game, poultry, all food made from poultry, all stuffed
meats and the stuffing in them must reach 165° F or hotter to
destroy Salmonella and other bacteria.
Hamburger (ground beef) must be cooked to 155° F. This
includes all kinds of hamburger such as taco meat and meatloaf, as well as
hamburger patties.
Pork and all foods made from pork must cook to at least 155° F to prevent
trichinosis, a very serious illness.
Fish, seafood, all foods made with seafood, and all other meats, such as beef and
lamb, must be cooked to 145° F or hotter to kill the bacteria that cause foodborne
illness. Some people like rare beef, and this is the one meat that can be cooked
to only 130° F if it is served right away. No raw meat is really safe to eat.
Never cook large roasts, turkeys or stuffed turkeys while they are still frozen.
Their big size keeps the insides from cooking to a safe temperature. You must
thaw them first so the heat can reach the center of the meat faster.
Microwave ovens do not cook evenly; you must stir and turn the food while it
cooks to make sure it cooks to the same temperature in every part. Check the
food with a metal stem thermometer before you serve it. (Do not keep the
thermometer in the food while it is cooking in the microwave oven.)
Between the time you cook the food and
you put away the cooked food in a cooler or
freezer, its temperature can fall into the
“Danger Zone.” This section is about the
ways to keep it safe while it gets past the
“Danger Zone.” You will learn about how to
keep cooked foods hot, hot holding, and
how to reheat cold food. You will also learn
how to get cooked foods cool, and how to keep
food cold, cold holding. We begin with cooling hot
food the right way.
You always take a chance when you have to cool down food. The best way
to have safe food is to make it fresh each day, just before you serve it. If
you have food that is leftover or made in advance, you must cool it and
store it safely. The first rule to remember about cooling: Cool hot food as
fast as you can to below 45° F (7° C), past the “Danger Zone.”
Food that is not cooled fast enough is the Number One cause of food
When placed in cooling or cold holding equipment, food containers in which
food is being cooled must be clearly marked with the date and time the
cooling process began.
Here are the six steps to cool solid and soft foods such as meats, refried
beans, rice, potatoes, casseroles, stews, chili and thick soups or chowders:
1. Wash your hands.
2. Before you put away any food, you must place it in shallow metal pans,
with the food no more than 4 inches deep. For very thick foods like refried
beans or chowder, you must have the food no more than 2 inches deep.
3. Cut large roasts and turkeys into pieces no larger than 4 pounds.
4. Put all meats and other hot food in the cooler or refrigerator as quickly as
you can, right away; do not let the food sit at room temperature for
more than 30 minutes.
5. Do not stack pans; leave space for air to move around them.
6. Wait until the food has cooled to below 45° F before you cover it.
When you cool thin soup, sauces and gravy you can use shallow 4 inch
metal pans, or you can use the ice and water method, an ice bath.
Remember, you want the food to cool as fast as possible to below 45° F.
For shallow pan cooling, quickly put the hot food in metal pans that are wide
with low sides; the food must be no more than 4 inches deep. Do not cover
the food until it has cooled to 45° F in the refrigerator. It may be hard to
carry a shallow pan with thin soup in it. The ice bath method works well for
this job. Here are nine steps you take to cool food with an ice bath:
1. Wash your hands.
2. Close the drain in a large sink. Place
the pot in the sink.
3. Fill the sink with ice up to the level
of food in the pot.
4. Add cold water to the ice.
5. Stir the soup or sauce often so that it cools all
the way to the center.
6. Add more ice as the old ice melts.
7. Check the food temperature with the metal
stem thermometer. (Clean the thermometer stem after each use.)
8. Be sure you have cooled the food from 140° F to under 70° F in less than
2 hours, and from 70° F to under 45° F in less than 4 additional hours.
9. Put the cooled foods into the refrigerator or freezer.
Each refrigeration unit, cold table or cooler must have its own thermometer
that gives a true measure of how cold the air is, but you must also check
the food with a metal stem thermometer. Air in the cooler must be able to
move around the food, so the pans and dishes need to have space
between them; do not crowd them.
For cold holding, do not let food stand at room temperature
because that will allow germs to grow. Store foods in a
refrigerator, refrigerated display case, in ice, or other approved
method. Always cold hold foods at 45° F or less. Fish, shellfish,
poultry, milk and red meat will stay fresh longer if you cold hold
them below 40° F (4° C). However vacuum packed seafood
products must be kept at 38° F (3° C) or below. Use the metal stem
thermometer to check the food in cold holding, for example, in salad
bars, areas where you prepare food, and in coolers. If you use ice
to keep the food cold on a salad bar or food display, be
sure that the ice comes up to the level of the food
that is in the pan or dish. Food must be colder
than 45° F when you put it in the ice. Cold
hold foods at 45° F or less.
There are only three safe ways to thaw foods, and you must plan ahead to
allow enough time to do it right:
1. Thaw food in the refrigerator; it may take a few hours or a few days. This
is the best and safest way. Be sure to put meat in a container to catch
the meat juices and to keep them from dripping on the food below.
Placing thawing meat on a lower shelf is best.
2. Hold the food under cool, running water (not more than 70° F), never
under warm or hot water.
3. In a microwave oven; you must then cook it or serve it right away.
Never thaw food at room temperature, on a counter or in warm water.
These methods let harmful bacteria grow to high numbers (the “Danger
You have learned about potentially hazardous food, and how the bacteria
grow very easily in them. These foods must not be left at room
temperature for even a short time. Foods
like potato salad, pasta or macaroni
salad, egg salad and chicken salad
have to be cold enough to keep germs
from growing. When you make these
foods, start with cold Ingredients.
Wash your hands before handling
the salad ingredients.
Make cold salads with cold
cooked foods such as potatoes,
pasta, chicken and eggs; all ingredients should be chilled to 45° F.
If you wonder about keeping something cold, keep it cold while you check
with a supervisor, the boss or your local environmental health agency.
After the food is cooked and ready to serve, keep it warm enough to stop
any germs from growing. There is special equipment for this. You must turn
on steam tables, soup warmers, and heated surfaces before you need them
so that they will be hot enough when you put the cooked food into them. Set
the temperature control a little above 140° F, and then check the food with
your metal stem thermometer to make sure the food stays at least at 140°
F at all times. Stir liquid foods (like soups and gravies) so they don’t get
cold on top. Covers on the pans will help to keep the heat in and the food
warm enough. Do not try to heat cold foods in these warmers. Hot hold
food above 140° F.
Food that is cooked and then cooled may need to be heated again. When
you must reheat food, do it very quickly (within one hour) to 165° F (74° C).
The right way to do this is on the stove burners, or in microwave ovens,
convection ovens, or double boilers. Do not use anything that will heat the
food slowly, such as a steam table because it takes too long to pass the
“Danger Zone.” Stir the food to be sure that a uniform temperature is
reached throughout. Then use your metal stem thermometer to check the
uniform temperature. Always reheat foods to 165° F.
Convection oven An oven with fans that
move the hot air around
to give even heat.
When a customer leaves
food on a plate or at the
table, you must throw it
away. If you have food like
chips, rolls and bread and
some of it is left over, you
cannot serve it again.
Unopened packages of
crackers, jelly, candy or sugar
may be served again.
If the electric power goes off, if the water supply is damaged, if there is no
hot water, if the sewer or waste system backs up in the drains:
• Close the business right away.
• Call your local environmental health agency for help and advice.
If something goes wrong with the stove, the refrigerators, the freezers, the
steam tables, salad bar or display coolers, any equipment that keeps the
food safe to serve, you must think and act quickly:
• Be sure potentially hazardous hot foods stay hot
(at least 140° F or more).
• Be sure potentially hazardous cold foods stay cold
(at least 45° F or colder).
If a refrigerator does not work right, the temperature of the food in it can
reach the “Danger Zone.” Before you move the food to another cooler
check its temperature with the metal stem thermometer. If it is still colder
than 45° F (7°C), move it quickly to a cooler or refrigerator that is OK.
If a freezer lets food thaw, check the food temperature with a metal stem
thermometer. You can prepare the food, if it is still colder than 45° F.
If hot holding equipment like a steam table or soup warmer fails, measure the
temperature of the food it was holding. If the food is still hotter than
140° F (60° C), you have two choices:
• Move the hot food to equipment that is OK and that will keep it hot.
• Cool the food quickly using shallow metal pans or an ice bath.
You must throw out food that has gotten warmer than 45° F or cooler than 140° F.
Do not serve it and do not give it to staff, family or shelters. Call your local
environmental health agency office for help and advice.
Food Operation Includes all types of food
services, Food
processors, and
Certification Legal proof that
something has been
inspected and approved
as safe.
You want all the food in your food operation to be healthy and safe right
from the start. This section talks about where the food comes from, how to
check it, how to store it and how to handle it.
Use food that comes from sources that are approved by your local
environment health agency - that’s the law. Look for “USDA” on meats.
Look for “Pasteurized” on milk. Look for certification numbers on the
package of shellfish. Canned foods, fresh foods and dairy products must
come from companies, brokers or dairies that have been inspected and are
You cannot sell food that has been prepared at someone’s home. Food for
the public must be prepared in a kitchen approved for that purpose. People
trained by your local environment health agency, inspectors, must check the
kitchen to make sure you prepare and store the food in a safe way.
• Check the food as it comes in. It’s a good idea to write the date on it
before you store it.
Adulterated Something unneeded
has been added or has
grown in the food to
contaminate it.
• Look for unsafe or adulterated foods. Moldy food, smelly meat,
damaged or swollen cans are not safe to use. If you are not sure, get rid
of it. Remember the rule: “If in doubt, throw it out.”
• Tell your boss about any bad food you find.
Galvanized - A steel
container coated with
the zinc, a metal that
prevents rust.
• Keep all foods off of the floor.
• Rotate the stock by storing foods so you can use older food first. “First in, first
out” is a good rule to follow.
• Cover, label and date dry foods.
• Store foods away from cleaners and poisons.
• Be careful about storing food in galvanized cans or other containers with
metal coatings. (Some foods can “pull off” the metal and that can cause
poisoning.) If plastic bags are used, they must be approved for food use.
Take special care of foods that go in the refrigerator or freezer.
• Store food in clean, safe containers that are labeled, unless the contents are
readily identifiable.
• Check the temperature: Freezers need to be at least 0° F (-18° C).
• Put raw meat on the lowest shelf and unwashed food below clean
cooked food.
• Refrigerators need to be 45° F (7° C) or colder. Dairy products and meat
will keep longer at 40° F (4° C). Vacuum packed seafood must be kept at
38° F (3° C).
Remember the “Danger Zone” begins above 45° F. Be sure that thermometers
give true temperatures in the refrigerators.
As a food handler you must prevent cross contamination. Cross
contamination happens when germs from raw or unclean foods get into
foods that are ready to serve or that will not be cooked again before you
serve them. Here are some important ways that you can prevent cross
• In the refrigerator: Don’t let raw meat, fish or poultry drip onto foods that
will not be cooked before serving.
Cross contamination - Food that is
contaminated can
pass germs to food
that is pure. Even
when the worker
has clean hands,
this can happen
when surfaces and
utensils have
germs on them.
• Wash your hands between handling raw meat and foods that will not be
cooked before eating.
• Store raw meat, fish, and poultry on the lower shelves of the refrigerator.
• Never store foods that will not be cooked before serving in the same
container as raw meat, fish, or poultry.
• Use a hard cutting surface or a board, with no splits or holes where
germs can collect. It is easier to really clean that kind of surface well.
• Wash, rinse, and sanitize the cutting surface and all the utensils and
knives every time you finish cutting raw meat, fish, or poultry.
• Wash your hands before handling food.
• Wash, rinse, and sanitize the cutting surface and all the utensils and knives
every time you finish with a job or between preparing different foods.
• Use utensils to mix food. If you must use your hands, wash them carefully.
• Use a clean spoon or fork to taste food and do not reuse it unless you
clean and sanitize it.
• Store bulk foods in covered bins and containers.
Bulk foods- Foods sold
large amounts in big
containers, usually not in
Sulfiting agent- A kind
of salt used to help keep
some foods, including
meats, looking fresh.
• You and customers should use utensils with bulk foods. Tongs and
scoops work well.
Chemicals that you add to food as you prepare it are food additives.
You cannot add sulfiting agents to food at a market or food
service. In the state of Alaska there is a law against
adding these chemicals at the retail level. You
cannot use ingredients for freshening
or whitening if they contain sulfiting
Some people are allergic to sulfites.
Employees in food service should
learn what menu Items have
sulfites, so they can tell their
customers who ask.
If anyone complains about getting sick from food additives, you or your
supervisor must report it to your local environmental health agency.
Detergents- Cleaning
powders and liquids that
work like soap, but are
made in a different way;
they have chemicals
in them that are not
in soap.
Sanitizers - Very strong
chemicals that kill
germs. A good sanitizer
is chlorine bleach.
Pesticides - “Cide”
means kill. These
chemicals kill pests.
It takes more than soap and water to keep a food
business clean and safe. It also takes chemicals
and care to use them the right way. You want to
be safe and you want to get the job done in a
safe way for your customers. Some of the
chemicals you will need are
detergents, sanitizers and
pesticides. These help stop
germs dead in their tracks.
• Know what the directions
say for using chemicals.
Read the labels and talk
to your boss about when
to use them and how
much to use. Be sure you
really understand the directions!
• Keep all chemicals away from food. You
must put them below food, never on a shelf above food, or above any
area where you fix food.
• Can you tell what the labels say? Are they easy to see? They must be. If
they are not, tell the boss. Mark them clearly with ink that lasts.
• Keep all chemicals in the bottles or boxes they come in. If you put them
in a different container, label them clearly.
Wiping cloths - Cotton
cloth with finished
edges that do not come
loose. Strong enough to
be sanitized after each
use and to be washed
often in detergent.
• Use wiping cloths to clean countertops, tables, cutting boards and
equipment. Rinse the wiping cloth in a sanitizing water mix of 1
Tablespoon bleach and one gallon of water; do not add soap to this
mix. (If you use another kind of sanitizing mix, be sure it is approved by
your local environmental health agency.) Change the sanitizing mix often;
do not let it become dirty.
• Clean and sanitize whenever there is a chance of cross contamination.
Sanitize at the start and end of the work day. Clean during your shift as
soon as you see a spill.
• Wash, rinse and sanitize each surface that touches food, for example a
meat slicer or grinder and cutting boards. Sanitize equipment after each
use. Follow the directions on the equipment so that you can get into all
the spaces where germs can grow.
Dishes, utensils and equipment that touch food must be washed in five
steps. This is the only way you can wash dishes by hand. You must wash,
rinse and sanitize them in a three sink unit. These are the five steps for
the right way to wash dishes by hand:
1. Scrape leftover food and grease from the dishes and throw it away.
2. In the first sink, wash the dishes with clean hot water and detergent.
3. In the second sink, rinse them with clean warm water.
4. In the third sink, sanitize the dishes to destroy bacteria. Sanitizers may
be chlorine bleach or other chemicals approved by your local
environmental health agency. For example, use one teaspoon of bleach
for each gallon of warm water in the sink.
5. Air dry the dishes and utensils. Do not use a towel to dry them.
dishwasher Commercial means
“for business.” A
place of business,
like a hospital, a
school or a cafe that
serves food to large
numbers of people
usually uses a
dishwashing machine
that is different from
the kind used at
Your business may have a commercial dishwasher. This dishwasher will
wash, rinse, and sanitize dishes, equipment, and utensils. There are 3
steps you must use to wash dishes by machine:
1. Scrape leftover food and grease from the dishes and throw it away. Prerinse, if required.
2. Load dishes into the machine and run the full cycle.
3. Air dry the dishes and utensils. Do not use a towel to dry them.
A commercial dishwasher either uses a sanitizing chemical, or very hot
water in the final rinse. Throughout the day, check to make sure the wash
and rinse temperatures are in the range required for your dishwasher and
that containers of detergents, sanitizers, and other additives are full. If a
sanitizing chemical is used, monitor its concentration with test strips. Wash
your hands before handling clean dishes, equipment, and utensils. At
the end of the day, clean the dishwasher and check the spray holes and
traps to remove bits of food.
Now that everything is clean and dry, put them away in storage areas that
are also clean and dry. This will protect them from contamination. Keep
equipment and utensils off of the floor, away from drains, water lines and
open stairs. Put things away carefully and quickly; do not let them sit on
counters and tables where they will be handled and moved around.
Cups and glasses should be put away upside down on clean surfaces.
When you pick them up again, do not touch the rims. When you put away
eating utensils (forks, spoons and knives), touch only the handles, and
protect the parts that contact food.
A good habit to practice at work and at
home is to handle utensils, dishes and
glassware as little as possible to prevent
the transfer of germs.
Cleaning Never
Utensils that are in continuous use may
be stored in a running water dipperwell, in
hot water (140° F or above), in ice water,
or in the food with the handle sticking out
of the food.
Or, they can be stored clean and dry between uses.
There should be a daily schedule for cleaning so that no area is forgotten.
Complete cleaning of walls, ceilings, and mopping and sweeping of floors
should be done when there is the least amount of food around, such as
after closing or between busy times. However, you should clean work
surfaces, tables, and equipment as they are used. Cleaning as you go will
help reduce the chance for cross contamination. You and the other
employees will be safer too if everything is kept clean and in the proper
After cleaning, wash your hands before handling food.
Cockroaches, flies, weevils, mice and rats
are some of the pests that can get into a
food business. Don’t let them in, and don’t
let them eat.
Some of the ways to keep pests out is to clean
the entire place often on a regular schedule.
Use screendoors, and cover small holes where
mice and rats can get in. Cover garbage with lids that fit well
and remove garbage often. Keep the areas around garbage containers
clear of trash and litter.
If pests become a real problem, a licensed pest control service may need to
help solve it. If food workers have to use pesticides, be very careful with
them. Pesticides are poison that kill rodents add insects, but they can also
poison humans. Read the directions on the can or box; or have your boss
read them to all of the staff. Be sure you understand how to use pesticides.
(See p. 24 about storing chemicals.)
Before using pesticides, put away all food, and cover the work surfaces. Be
sure that the pesticides you use are approved for use by food workers. Let
your local environmental health agency help you deal with pest control
All of the information you have learned to
become a food and beverage worker will help
you and your family stay healthy too. Take this
time to review the key ideas.
1. Wash your hands often, and wash them well.
2. Work only when you are healthy, not when
you are sick.
3. Prevent food poisoning by keeping food out
of the “Danger Zone,” the temperatures in between 45° F and 140° F.
4. Cook foods until they are “done” and have reached the required
5. Keep food safe from cross contamination with careful storage
and sanitizing.
6. Store chemicals for cleaning and pest control away from food, utensils
and equipment.
7. Keep your workplace clean and safe. This will help keep you safe
and well.
You may see a problem at work and when you check this book you learn
the right way to manage it. You will have to decide what to do next. You
have some choices.
• You can take action yourself to correct it.
• You can tell your boss about it, and together you can take steps to
correct it. If the problem continues, you and the boss can call your local
environmental health agency to help figure out a way to solve the
problem. Remember, a problem is easier to fix in the beginning before it
grows too big and expensive. The health of your customers, the staff
and yourself is the most important factor to think about. Don’t ignore
the problem.
If you need more copies of this book to keep at work, contact your local
environmental health agency for them.
1. Ask: Are you choking?
2. If a victim cannot breathe, cough or speak...
3. Make eye contact with another employee or patron
and tell them to call 911 or the local emergency
4. Give the Heimlich Maneuver.
• Stand behind the victim.
• Wrap your arms around the victim’s waist.
• Make a fist with one hand. Place your fist
(thumbside) against the victim’s stomach in the
midline just above the navel and well below the
rib margin.
• Grasp your fist with your other hand.
• Press into stomach with a quick, upward thrust.
5. Repeat thrust if necessary.
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
Department of Environmental Health and
Engineering, Division of Environmental
3925 Tudor Centre Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
(907) 729-3600
FAX (907) 343-4786
Alaska Department of Environmental
Conservation - Environmental Sanitation
and Food Safety
610 University Avenue
Fairbanks, AK 99709
(907) 451-2110
FAX (907) 451-2188
Alaska Cooperative Extension
Home Economists Program
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756180
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6180
(907) 454-7974
FAX (907) 474-6971
Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant & Retail
Association (CHARR)
3400 Spenard Road, Suite 9
Anchorage, AK 99503
(800) 478-2427
Anchorage Restaurant & Beverage
Association (ARBA)
330 E 4th Ave. Suite 200
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 929-4242
Municipality of Anchorage
Food Safety & Sanitation Program
PO Box 196650
Anchorage, AK 99519
(907) 343-6509
FAX (907) 343-4786
Local Environmental Health Offices
Municipality of Anchorage
Food Safety & Sanitation Program
PO Box 196650
Anchorage, AK 99519
907-343-4786 FAX
Alaska DEC
Environmental Health District Offices
410 Willoughby Ave.,
Suite 105
Juneau, AK 99801-1795
907-465-5362 FAX
555 Cordova Street, 5th Floor
Anchorage, AK 99503-5948
907-269-7510 FAX
P.O. Box 1709
Valdez, AK 99686
907-835-2429 FAX
Interior/North Slope
610 University Ave.
Fairbanks, AK 99709
907-451-1288 FAX
500 S. Alaska, Suite A
Palmer, AK 99645
907-745-8125 FAX
43335 Kalifornsky Beach Rd., Suite 11
Soldotna, AK 99669
907-262-2294 FAX
P.O. Box 966
Nome, AK 99762
907-443-7498 FAX
901 Halibut Point Road, #C
Sitka, AK 99835
907-747-7419 FAX
540 Water Street, Suite 203
Ketchikan, AK 99901
907-225-0620 FAX
P.O. Box 515
Kodiak, AK 99615
907-486-5032 FAX
Home Economists
Fairbanks District
1255 Airport Way, Suite 203
Fairbanks, AK 99701-6285
Anchorage District
22221 E. Northern Lights Blvd.,
Suite 118
Anchorage, AK 99508-4143
Bethel District
P.O. Box 556
Bethel, AK 99559
Ketchikan District
2030 Sea Level Drive, Suite 210A
Ketchikan, AK 99901
Nome District
P.O. Box 400
Nome, AK 99762
Palmer District
809 South Chugach St., Suite 2
Palmer, AK 99645
Soldotna District
34824 Kalifornsky Beach Road, Suite A
Soldotna, AK 99669-9728
Juneau District
1108 F Street, Suite 1340
Juneau, AK 99801
Doyon/Universal Services
701 W. 8th Ave. Suite 500
Anchorage, AK 99501
341 W. Tudor
Anchorage, AK 99507
330 E. 4th Ave., Suite 200
Anchorage, AK 99501
Provided compliments of
Municipality of Anchorage
Department of Health and Human Services
Environmental Services Division
July 30, 2003
HSS 1109 (Rev. 5/00)*
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