sonic safe

sonic safe
sonic safe
Keep in mind, as you follow this guide, that you are a team member, and as part of a team, you
are responsible for more than your own station. A good team member will learn how to help
other stations and strive to certify for those stations as well. Sonic Safe is a key priority!
All Sonic crew members must be certified in Sonic Safe™, Sonic’s food safety and sanitation
program. To be certified you must complete the Sonic Safe e-STAR Course.
To be certified in Sonic Safe you will need to complete:
• Guest Service e-STAR Course
• Proficiency Checklist
• Certification Test
• Watch Training Videos
• Sonic Safe Training Video Course
• Joe Zacher Food Safety Training Video Course
• Hands on Experience
As you follow the entire training process,
remember the Sonic Mission Statement:
See Guest Service e-STAR Course for Appearance and Uniform Standards
and Sonic Safe e-STAR Course for Sonic Safe procedures.
sonic safe
The trainer must:
• Be well prepared, organized, and set-up for the trainees success!
• Have all materials ready in advance and be comfortable that you as a trainer
understand the materials as well as the required results. If not, then study and
practice before you train!
• Put the trainee at ease.
• State what the trainee will actually be doing.
• Explain the importance and relevance of the task(s).
• Through proper communications; VERBAL (What you say), VOCAL (How you
say it), and VISUAL (Show them), demonstrate the required procedure(s) and
expected results!
• Use simple words when explaining and keep them consistent to the training
• Explain step by step what you are doing as you demonstrate.
• Don’t assume the trainee understands, ask probing questions.
• Point out safety measures and possible difficulties.
• Ask the trainee if they have any questions and if they are ready to try the task(s).
• Practice the demonstrated procedure(s) as often as needed to achieve the
required results! Remember repetition in training is the key to long term results!
• Stay with the trainee during their practice performance.
• Give feedback to trainee throughout the training process as to how they are
doing and provide positive or corrective feedback as needed.
• “Check-Back” on the trainee often throughout the process and after the
training has been completed to ensure that procedure(s) as well as results are
ongoing as required!
• Have the trainee critique their own practiced performance.
• Provide any additional feedback – positives, opportunities, and end on a
• Trainee should be tested for skill comprehension by way of written testing and
proficiency testing.
• When ready, assign the trainee to perform the task(s) on their own.
Trainees only retain 20% of what they hear,
50% of what they hear and see,
but retain 90% of what they hear, see, and do!
sonic safe
Sonic Safe is the food safety and sanitation program used in all Sonic drive-ins. Following Sonic
Safe guidelines for your station will help keep the food you serve safe from harmful germs and
What is the difference between clean and sanitary? Clean means the absence of dirt, sanitary
means reduction of harmful germs and bacteria. At Sonic we need to make sure our drive-in is
both clean and sanitary.
All of us have the potential to carry disease-causing microorganisms on or in our bodies. These
microorganisms can be passed to food where they can make you, your co-workers, or guests
sick. That is why you should never work when you have a fever or are feeling ill, especially
with diarrhea, fever, vomiting, or a sore throat with fever. If you are at work, speak with your
manager about your symptoms. If you are not at work yet, call your manager and let him/her
know your symptoms. Your manager will make the decision whether you work or not.
Microorganisms can be passed by simple acts such as not washing your hands after using the
restroom or running your fingers through your hair. By keeping clean and taking care of your
health, you can help prevent foodborne illness.
The 3 main causes of foodborne illness are:
• Poor Personal Hygiene.
• Time and Temperature Abuse – keeping food in the temperature danger zone for too long a
• Cross Contamination – the transfer of harmful microorganisms from one surface or food to
You will find many Sonic Safe reminders throughout the drive-in. There are stickers to
remind you of safe food temperatures, plus wall charts and recipe cards which outline
cooking procedures. There is a Sonic Safe Temperature Log to record temperatures of
equipment and food throughout the day. Keeping hot food hot and cold food cold will
prevent growth of bacteria. Bacteria grows most quickly between 41°F to 140°F; this is
Maintaining proper food temperature both before and after cooking is critical for both food
safety and quality of product. Never keep food products at room temperature. Keep all
food products refrigerated. All refrigerated products must be maintained at a temperature
of 40°F or less. Frozen products stay at temperatures of 0°F (+/-10°F). Tempered
products stay refrigerated between 34°F to 40°F.
Good personal hygiene is key to the prevention of foodborne illness.
Good personal hygiene includes:
Personal Hygiene
• Washing and sanitizing hands according to Sonic’s 20/20
is the key to
Handwashing Rule.
the prevention
• Maintaining personal cleanliness.
of foodborne
• Wearing clean and appropriate uniforms and following dress codes.
illness, and
• Avoiding unsanitary habits and actions.
handwashing is
• Maintaining good health.
the most critical
• Reporting illnesses to manager on duty.
• Not eating, drinking, or smoking in areas used for food preparation
or storage.
• Jewelry may consist of one smooth single band ring that fits snugly on the finger and one
pair of post earrings worn in the lower lobe of the ear (only one per ear). No dangling or loop
earrings, necklaces, bracelets or watches may be worn, and visible facial/body piercing are
While handwashing seems easy, many people fail to wash their hands properly or as often as
needed. It is vital to wash your hands regularly when working. This is your most important
method of preventing contamination and foodborne illness.
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A major component of Sonic Safe is Sonic’s 20/20 Handwashing protocol. Sonic’s 20/20
Handwashing Rule must be followed at all times. Sonic’s 20/20 Handwashing Rule is defined as
washing hands for 20 seconds a minimum of every 20 minutes. Hint: Twenty seconds is the
amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice to yourself.
1. Before beginning shift.
2. After using the bathroom and again at the hand sink after entering the drive-in.
3. Immediately before prepping food, (including working with exposed food), clean equipment
and utensils, and single-use articles.
4. During food preparation, as often as necessary, to remove soil and contamination and to
prevent cross-contamination when changing tasks.
5. When going from raw to cooked or other ready-to-eat foods.
6. After coughing or sneezing in hands, or in handkerchief.
7. After any break (smoking, eating or drinking).
8. After touching your face, hair or other areas of the body.
9. After cleaning activities. This includes taking out the trash.
10.After handling soiled equipment, utensils or touching any surfaces that are not continually
11. Before putting on food handling gloves to work with food.
12.After any other activity that can contaminate your hands.
Wet hands with running warm water (at least 100°F). Vigorously rub arms and hands with soap
for 20 seconds, rinse and dry with a disposable towel, then apply approved hand sanitizer.
Gloves are not required under Sonic Safe, however, several health jurisdictions have adopted
a “No Bare Hand Contact with Exposed or Ready-To-Eat Food” Regulation. Check with your local
health jurisdiction to determine if gloves are a local requirement.
Hands must be washed per Sonic’s 20/20 Handwashing Rule and hand
sanitizer applied before utilizing gloves and in between gloves being
Use Only Sonic Approved Gloves: Sonic policy requires non-latex
gloves be utilized in the drive-in. Why? Latex gloves contain proteins
that can cause an allergic reaction to those employees utilizing gloves.
These proteins can also be transferred from the glove into food which
could cause an allergic reaction to consumers. Synthetic, Vinyl or other
Food Grade Gloves are required.
Use gloves that fit
properly and are
task appropriate.
Remember gloves
must never be
used in place of
1. Before beginning shift.
2. After using the bathroom.
3. Immediately before prepping food, (including working with exposed food), clean equipment
and utensils, and single-use articles.
4. During food preparation, as often as necessary, to remove soil and contamination and to
prevent cross-contamination when changing tasks.
5. When going from raw to cooked or other ready-to-eat foods.
6. After coughing or sneezing in hands, or in handkerchief.
7. After any break (smoking, eating or drinking).
8. After touching your face, hair or other areas of the body.
9. After cleaning activities. This includes taking out the trash.
10.After handling soiled equipment, utensils or touching any surfaces that are not continually
11. After any other activity that can contaminate your gloved hands.
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Managers must excuse from work any employee who:
• has been diagnosed with a foodborne illness.
• is experiencing diarrhea, fever, jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes), sore throat with fever,
vomiting and lesions containing pus.
Before an employee can return to work, the employee’s symptoms must have ceased and the
employee must provide written medical documentation and approval from the appropriate
regulatory authority.
Sonic Drive-ins are committed to helping ensure the health and safety of our employees and
guests and complies with all health department regulations. Various Health and Safety laws
require food service employees to report certain illnesses to their manager and prohibit food
service employees from working when they have certain illnesses. In accordance with these laws,
Sonic Drive-ins have adopted and will adhere to the following policy.
All employees and members of management must follow the reporting and exclusion from work
requirements specified by law and by policy. Employees must follow good hygienic practices at
all times. Managers should not discuss an employee’s illness with others.
1. All employees must report if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms to their
• Diarrhea
• Fever
• Vomiting
• Jaundice
• Sore throat with fever
• Acute upper respiratory symptoms that are due to the flu or other contagious condition
• Lesions (such as boils and infected wounds, regardless of size) containing pus on the
fingers, hand or any exposed body part
Managers must restrict employees from working who are experiencing any of the above
symptoms. However, if an employee’s symptoms are the result of a medical condition which is not
contagious in a food service environment, the employee should not be restricted from work. If an
open sore can be covered with watertight covering, the employee can work as normal. Before an
employee may return to work, the employee must no longer be contagious.
2. Employees must also notify their manager whenever diagnosed by a healthcare provider as
being ill with any of the following illnesses that can be transmitted through food or person-toperson casual contact such as:
• Typhoid Fever (Salmonella Typhi)
• Shigellosis
• Escherichia coli (e-coli); Enterohemorrhagic (ELTEC) or Shiga toxin producing E-coli
• Hepatitis A virus, or
• Any other pathogen that can be transmitted through food such as: Campylobacter,
Norovirus, or Listeria monocytogenes.
In addition to the above conditions, employees must notify their manager if they have been
exposed to one of the following “High Risk Conditions”:
• Exposure to or suspicion of causing any confirmed outbreak involving the above
• A member of their household is diagnosed with any of the above illnesses
• A member of their household is attending or working in a setting that is experiencing a
confirmed outbreak of the above illnesses
Managers must exclude from the drive-in employees who:
1. Have been diagnosed with one of the illnesses listed above;
2. Are experiencing Jaundice; or
3. Are experiencing Diarrhea, Fever, Sore Throat with Fever, Vomiting or Lesion containing pus
and meet a High Risk Condition set forth in Section 2.
If an employee falls into one of the three categories listed above, the manager must also contact
the Crisis Management Team at (877) 221-4552.
Before an employee, (excluded from work under any of the three circumstances listed above),
can return to work, the employee’s symptoms must have resolved, the employee must provide
written medical certification that the employee is now fit to return to duty and the employee
must receive approval to return to work from the regulatory authority.
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Bacteria and viruses grow best in warm temperatures. The temperature that provides the best
environment for bacteria to grow is 41°F to 140°F. This is called the Temperature Danger Zone.
It is important to keep food temperature above 140°F or below 41°F. That means food should
never sit out at room temperature. If food is kept in the temperature danger zone for longer than
four hours, it must be discarded. That four-hour period starts when the food is packaged at the
manufacturing plant and continues through product storage, preparation, and cooking. If food
needs to be tempered, the best way is to temper it in the walk-in cooler under refrigeration.
• Temperature Range (usually 0°F to 220°F).
• Sheath with Calibration Wrench.
• Instant Reading.
TO USE: When using this type of thermometer, make sure to insert in the thickest part of the
food product. It is important that the thermometer not touch any equipment surfaces nor
protrude from the product. (The dimple, approximately one inch from the stem is where the
temperature is sensed.) With liquid product, the product should be stirred thoroughly before
taking the reading.
Remember to wash, rinse and sanitize thermometer before and after taking food
temperatures. At the beginning of each shift check the calibration and record in the Sonic Safe
Sanitation and Temperature Log.
1. Remove thermometer from sheath and immerse stem a minimum of two inches (5.08 cm)
into a 50/50 ice and water bath without touching the side or bottom of container, until
indicator stabilizes.
2. Holding sheath firmly, slide calibration clip to the bottom. When positioned at the end, use
the hexagon opening as a wrench to re-calibrate.
3. Holding the dial with one hand and the sheath with the other, adjust calibration nut until
indicator reads 32°F (+/- 2°F). NOTE: The thermometer is a precision instrument, severe
shock or strain may affect the accuracy. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for
further explanation, if needed.
• Temperature Range - 100°F to 999°F (-73°C to 537°C).
• Included: Wall mount bracket; wrap around probe with cord; snap-fit probe cord; and flat grill
• Recommended for speed and durability.
The temperature of the test solution must be 32°F (0°C). For best results, use a 50/50 ice and
water bath.
1. Turn unit on.
2.Place the probe into the test solution.
3.Hold down both the ΩF and ≈C Keys until “CAL” is displayed (approx. 10 seconds). You are
now in calibration mode.
4.Release both keys. “CAL” will be replaced by “HOLD” on the display.
5.Press and hold down the Cooper key while pressing the up and down arrow keys (ΩF and ≈C)
as required.
6.Hold the Cooper Key until “End” is displayed. Calibration is complete.
• Temperature Range - 40°F to 1832°F (-40°C to 1000°C).
• Included: wrap around probe with cord, flat grill probe.
• Recommended for speed and durability.
The temperature of the test solution must be 32°F (0°C). For best results use a 50/50 ice and
water bath. If after checking the calibration, the temperature does not register at 32°F (0°C) (+/2°F), the thermometer must be sent to Atkins Repair Department for calibration.
As temperature is vital for keeping food safe, Sonic Safe requires that temperatures of food
and equipment be measured throughout the day. A few key rules to remember when taking
temperatures are:
• Keep thermometers and their storage cases clean.
• Wash, rinse and sanitize thermometers before and after each use to prevent crosscontamination.
• Wait at least 15 seconds for the thermometer reading to steady before recording the
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• Stir foods before taking the temperature.
• Notify a manager if the temperature is out of the accepted range.
• Use Sonic Safe Temperature and Internal Meat Temperature Logs with corrective action
• Ensure corrective action taken is noted on all Temperature Logs.
Take the temperature of meat by placing the thermometer into the thickest part of the food
(usually the center). Log temperatures in the Internal Meat Temperature Log with corrective
actions noted.
Put prepared foods such as onion rings, cut lemons/limes and ice cream mix into the refrigerator
as soon as possible. Make sure to rotate product on a first in - first out basis.
Sonic Safe requires food and equipment temperatures to be recorded on the temperature logs
throughout the day. All hot products, except for hot fudge (110°F or greater), must reach the
internal temperature of 165°F or greater. Always remember to keep hot products hot and cold
products cold.
All products reheated in a Sonic Drive-In must obtain a minimum internal temperature of 165°F
or greater for at least 15 seconds. Product that drops below 150°F, for any time, needs to be
reheated to 165°F or greater. If chili or gravy has dropped below 150°F, it must be discarded
immediately and replaced with a fresh batch. If a batch of chili has been heated within 3 hours of
closing and its temperature has not dropped below 150°F and, if cooled properly (see “Cooling
Foods” below), it can be carried over for use (reheating as described above) the next day for no
more than 3 hours.
Maintaining a consistent air temperature in the walk-in refrigerator (34°F to 38°F) and freezer
(0°F to +/- 10°F) is vital to serving safe food. Watch thermostats to make sure temperatures are
consistent. Do not prop open or fan doors. This will cause temperatures to significantly rise.
Order new internal thermometer if broken or missing.
The temperature danger zone is ________________.
________________ is the transfer of harmful bacteria or viruses from one surface to another.
Cooling foods can be as dangerous as cooking if not done according to Sonic Safe and operational
procedures. The two main methods for cooling food are using a shallow pan or an ice bath.
Placing product into shallow pans increases the surface area and decreases the volume,
therefore decreasing the cooling time to an acceptable time. The ice bath is especially good for
extremely hot foods, such as chili. The product pan is placed in a larger pan that is full of ice.
After the pan is in place, stir the product to decrease cooling time.
Cross-contamination is the transfer of harmful bacteria or viruses from one surface or food to
another. It can happen in an instant. Common factors of cross-contamination that have resulted
in a foodborne illness include:
• Adding raw or uncooked contaminated ingredients to foods that receive no further cooking.
• Allowing raw or uncooked food to touch or drip onto cooked or ready-to-eat foods.
• Not cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces (cutting boards, counters, utensils) before
touching cooked or ready-to-eat foods.
• Handling contaminated (usually raw) food and then touching cooked or ready-to-eat food.
(Example: the grill cook who has touched raw meat and then touches the cheese or bun.)
• Using towels that are not clean and sanitized on surfaces.
• Leaving towels on a surface instead of in a sanitizer bucket.
• Not washing hands between tasks.
The best way to prevent cross-contamination is to clean and sanitize hands, workstations, and
utensils at least every two hours or more frequently, if needed. Every station needs to have clean
sanitizing solution and clean towels available throughout the day.
When stocking any product such as limes, hot dogs, or mayonnaise, remember to never add new
to old product. Always change utensils when you change pans or product. Do not cut holes in the
lids, liner or neck of the containers to dispense product.
Serving safe food means keeping food and/or your station clean, sanitized and free of
contaminates. Presence of a hazardous substance not originally present in food is contamination.
Contaminates are considered hazards to our guests’ health. There are three types of hazards:
physical, chemical and biological.
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Physical hazards are objects like bread ties, glass, fingernails, jewelry, band-aids and dirt.
Physical hazards are easily avoided by taking precautions and keeping an eye out for them.
Inform your manager of any physical hazards you see so the hazard and the food can be properly
investigated and not served.
Chemical hazards include bug sprays and cleaners that are poisonous to humans. As with
physical hazards, the best practice is to take precautions and be aware of potential hazards. Only
a licensed pest control company can apply chemicals.
Biological hazards, through cross-contamination of microorganisms from raw to ready-to-eat
foods, are the most dangerous for the grill position. Cross-contamination can transmit a disease,
also called a foodborne illness.
Some other simple things that can contaminate food include:
• Scratching your scalp.
• Wearing a dirty uniform.
• Rubbing your ear.
• Spitting in the drive-in.
• Running your fingers through your hair.
• Touching a pimple or an open sore.
• Wiping or touching your nose.
• Coughing or sneezing into your hands.
Prevent contamination by washing and sanitizing your hands after any of these activities.
To keep food safe, always use the handle of utensils, never touch the part of any utensil that is
going to touch anything that a guest’s mouth is going to touch. Cups should be handled by the
barrel, not by touching the lid or rim.
Never add new products to ________________________________.
A food allergy is an immune response to a food that the body mistakenly believes is harmful.
Allergic reactions can be caused by ingestion, inhalation, or direct contact. Once a person’s
immune system decides that a particular food is harmful, it creates antibodies to combat it.
The next time the individual eats that food, the immune system releases massive amounts
of chemicals, including histamine, to protect the body. These chemicals trigger a cascade of
allergic symptoms that can affect the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, skin, and/
or cardiovascular system. Although an individual could be allergic to any food, such as fruits,
vegetables, and meats, there are EIGHT FOODS that account for 90% of all food allergic
reactions which are recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These are: MILK,
Symptoms may include one or more of the following: a tingling sensation in the mouth, swelling
of the tongue and the throat, difficulty breathing, hives, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea,
drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and even death. Symptoms typically appear within
minutes and up to two hours after the person has eaten the food to which he or she is allergic.
All questions and concerns about food allergens must be taken to the manager. The manager is
responsible for establishing food allergy procedures and for educating and training the drive-in
1. Always ask the food allergic guest questions to clearly understand what food or ingredients
the guest is allergic to.
2. Answer all the guest’s questions about ingredients. Do not hold any information back! If the
answer is not known or in doubt, be honest, say so and recommend another menu item or that
the guest not make a food purchase.
3. Check the guest’s order with the Allergen Chart which is found in the Quality Assurance
Section of the Sonic Operations Manual and the Labels from the Product Cases to ensure that
there is nothing “hidden” in a food item that can cause an allergic reaction.
4. Make a special point to notify the crew that the order is a special non-allergen or allergenrelated food order.
5. All the stations involved in making that order should ensure safety procedures are followed.
This includes washing and sanitizing hands.
6. All stations should ensure that there is no cross-contamination in their part of preparing the
food order.
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7. All special orders or requests should be properly labeled with the appropriate descriptor
8. All special orders are to be packaged separately to ensure that they do not come into contact
with other food orders and risk cross-contamination.
9. If any cross-contamination has occurred then re-make the product again with fresh
10. Deliver the order, being careful not to spill or drop any other food or drink on any of the other
items to prevent cross-contamination after the order has been prepared.
IMPORTANT: Although instructions have been provided for the crew in handling special nonallergy food orders, the manager or person in charge should be the one dealing with these
orders from the order placement through the delivery of the order. Only involve the crew when
management is unavailable.
The manager or person in charge must always make sure that the ingredients of any new or
substituted items are known. If a new item’s ingredients are not labeled upon delivery, the
manager should obtain the information from the supplier before using the product. This is
particularly the case with sauces or other products where there may be “hidden” ingredients.
The manager must ensure that all procedures regarding utensils, such as tongs and spatulas,
are followed closely. This is an area where cross-contamination can easily occur. As an added
precaution, clean and sanitize utensils before preparing special orders. DO NOT just wipe the
utensil clean as it might not be enough to prevent cross-contamination; always follow approved
Sonic Safe Cleaning Procedures.
Crew must follow Sonic’s 20/20 Handwashing Rule. Always wash and sanitize hands prior to
preparing allergen-free food orders. If gloves are used to prepare food, hands must be washed,
sanitized, and gloves changed before preparing a special allergen-free food order. Do not re-use
any single service container, such as a strawberry or cherry container, to store another food item
as it may contain allergen protein from the original food item.
It is best if the manager takes the order, but if unavailable, then the Switchboard person or
carhop must first find out what food the guest is allergic to and check that food or ingredient with
the Allergen Chart to find out what menu items the guest can eat. The guest may already have an
idea of what they want, but it is best to check those items to ensure that there is no possibility of
ingredients that have allergen potential. The crew member should ask the guest questions if the
crew member is unclear on anything.
If a guest has an allergy attack or other reaction, then the manager and drive-in crew must be
prepared to deal with the situation. In case your drive-in has an allergen emergency, listed below
are “key”steps to follow:
-- Designate responsible and trusted crew members and train them to handle an allergen
-- When scheduling crew, make sure all shifts have a crew member trained for these
-- Clearly post the phone numbers of the emergency services, along with the drive-in’s
address and other contact information. Also, list instructions with the posted numbers so that
the crew member is reminded to give details of symptoms and answer all questions asked by
the emergency operator.
-- If a guest has an allergic reaction, DO NOT deny it, argue with the guest or try to defend
the drive-in’s actions; get medical help immediately!
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There are other ways in which guests can experience potentially dangerous, even deadly,
reactions to food that are not allergy related.
Here are some of the “key” concerns:
FOOD INTOLERANCE is a reaction that causes similar symptoms or problems for a guest, this
does not involve the immune system. Lactose Intolerance is a good example. If a person lacks
certain enzymes needed to drink and digest milk or milk products, such as Real Ice Cream, then
the person suffers from a form of food intolerance.
GLUTEN, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. According to the National Institute of Health,
approximately two million Americans suffer from Celiac Disease. Though the symptoms may
appear similar, Gluten Intolerance is not a food allergy but rather an inherited autoimmune
DIABETES is a very important area of concern. This is where a person’s body cannot produce
insulin or not enough to control the body’s glucose (sugar) levels. The insulin converts the sugar
into energy. The body produces insulin primarily at meal times when it receives the most sugar.
If the body cannot produce insulin or very little, then there remains a high level of sugar in the
body. If the level of sugar is too high (a condition known as Hyperglycemia), then a person could
become dehydrated or even fall comatose and emergency medical help will be needed.
In the drive-in, it is very important that crew members use caution when making any drinks that
are labeled “Diet” or “Low Calorie”. In order to prevent an adverse medical reaction, when a
guest orders a Soft Drink, Tea or Slush it is important to ensure that the guest receives the
correct product.
SOFT DRINKS and TEA - Always use caution when preparing these products! A Diabetic guest
ordering a Diet Cherry Limeade or Unsweetened Tea, (who is mistakenly given Regular Cherry
Syrup or Sweet Tea), has the potential of experiencing a Diabetic reaction.
SLUSHES - Slush base and Slush flavor(s) contain sugar. There are NO Diet Slushes. Guests
ordering a Diet Slush must be told there is no such product and crew members should NEVER
make a Slush using Diet or Low Calorie Soft Drink Flavoring(s); to do so may present a
medical risk for the guest.
MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE (MSG) is another common food ingredient that consumers have
an interest in. MSG is used as a flavor enhancer in a variety of foods. It has become controversial
in the last 30 years because of reports of adverse reactions in people who have eaten foods that
contain MSG.
Important: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers MSG and related substances as
safe food ingredients for most people when eaten at customary levels. All Sonic approved food
items are MSG free.
It is important for the crew to understand that if a guest returns a product it may be for serious
health reasons concerning what food(s) they can eat, and that they are just not being fussy or
difficult. If you encounter food intolerant or diabetic guests, the crew is to focus on accurately
making and giving the guest what they order and require.
Storing food properly is one of the keys to preventing cross-contamination from happening. In
the walk-in refrigerator store raw or uncooked foods below ready-to-eat foods. That way raw or
uncooked product cannot drip onto ready-to-eat food. When receiving foods check for proper
labeling, proper temperature, and proper appearance. Write a receive date on products. Inform
the manager if you notice any of the following so the shipment can be rejected:
• Broken boxes, leaky packages or swollen, dented cans.
• Large ice crystals on food or boxes.
• Signs of roaches or other pests.
• Dry foods that are wet or damp.
• Food that has passed its expiration date.
As soon as deliveries have been inspected they should be stored immediately. Remember these
key points when storing food:
• Store raw or uncooked foods (such as hot dogs and chicken) below ready-to-eat foods.
• Practice FIFO – First In First Out method of stock rotation. Store food so that the oldest
product gets used first.
• Label and date all stored foods. Stored foods should be kept in clean and sanitized NSF
certified containers.
• Store product six inches off the floor and away from the walls.
• Keep storage areas clean and dry.
• Never store chemicals near food or paper products used for food.
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• Check the temperature of all refrigerators and freezers throughout the day and record as
• Review Temperature Logs for accuracy and completion.
• Keep mops and brooms off the floor when not in use.
There is a big difference between cleaning and sanitizing. Clean means the absence of dirt,
sanitary means reduction of harmful germs and bacteria. At Sonic we need to make sure our
drive-in is both clean and sanitary.
To be effective, cleaning and sanitizing must be a two-step process. Surfaces must first be
cleaned and then sanitized.
Everything in your drive-in must be kept clean but all surfaces that come into contact with food
must also be sanitized. Clean and sanitize all food contact surfaces:
• Each time you use them.
• When you begin working with another type of food.
• When you’re interrupted during a task.
• Every 2 hours.
In order for the sanitizer to be effective you must:
• Use the right temperature of water. At Sonic, the water for sanitizer must be between
75°F to 110°F. Hot water can prevent the sanitizer from working and give inaccurate
concentration readings.
• Use the right amount of concentration: TARGET: Chlorine 100 ppm - Quat 200 ppm with
range of 150 - 350 ppm.
• At Sonic, you will either be using an automatic portion control device or individual packets
that are added to a sink of cool water. When filling sink and sanitizer buckets, always use
sanitizer test strips to test the concentration level of the sanitizer. (Note: your manager or
trainer will show you how to use the test strips correctly as Chlorine and Quat Test Strips are
At least every two hours, or when dirty, change the sanitizer water. Sanitizer solutions lose their
effectiveness over time. Also, do not forget to change the towels as they become dirty.
Part of keeping the drive-in clean and sanitary is keeping all the dishes and utensils clean and
sanitized. The three-compartment sink needs to be set up during cleaning periods. If a spatula is
dropped during a rush, it still must be quickly washed and sanitized. Before you set up the threecompartment sink for washing, you must clean and sanitize each sink and drain board. Fill the
first sink with hot soapy water; the middle sink is left empty (it is used to rinse items before and
after washing). The last sink is for the sanitizing solution. Make sure you test the concentration
of sanitizer with a sanitizer strip after filling the sink. To wash dishes in the three-compartment
• Rinse or scrape all items.
• Wash items in hot soapy water. Replace the water when the suds are gone or the water is
• Rinse items in the middle sink.
• Submerge items in the third sink to sanitize.
• Air-dry all items before storing.
Serving safe food is your obligation to our guests. Following all Sonic Safe guidelines for your
station will help keep the food you serve safe from harmful germs and bacteria. Remember to
mind the little things because what you can’t see can hurt you.
NOTE: For detailed cleaning information, see the Sonic Cleaning Manual, or the Quality
Assurance section of Volume 2 of the Sonic Operations Manual.
sonic safe
1. You must wash hands after __________.
A. you sweep the floor around you
B. you come back from smoke break
C. you have handled raw product
D. all of the above
2. The temperature danger zone is between __________.
A. 40°F - 141°F
B. 45°F - 145°F
C. 41°F - 140°F
D. none of the above
3. The walk-in refrigerator must maintain what temperature?
A. 34°F - 38°F
B. 10°F - 34°F
C. 0°F - 10°F
D. 38°F - 41°F
4. The freezer temperature should be at __________ or below.
A. 34°F - 38°F
B. 41°F - 140°F
C. 0°F (+/-10°F) D. 34°F (+/-10°F)
5. Sanitizer water must be approximately at what temperature?
A. 40°F or less
B. 75°F - 110°F C. 212°F
D. No requirement
6. Two recommended ways to cool food are shallow pan and __________.
A. ice bath
B. put into freezer
C. let cool at room temperature
D. uncovered in walk-in or refrigerator
7. What are causes of foodborne illness?
A. Poor personal hygiene
B. Time and temperature abuse
C. Cross-contamination
D. All of the above
8. The internal temperature of hot food should be __________ or greater (except hot fudge)?
A. 165°F
B. 155°F
C. 140°F
D. 141°F
9. Circle the reason when it is okay to combine an old and new batch of chili.
A. Both pans maintain an internal temperature of 165°F
B. Your manager says it is okay
C. Both pans maintain an internal temperature of 140°F
D. Never; old and new food are never combined
10.What are types of contaminants?
A. Physical
C. Chemical
B. Biological
D. All of the above
11. What is cross-contamination?
A. The transfer of harmful bacteria from people to people
B. The transfer of chemical to food
C. The transfer of harmful bacteria from food to people
D. The transfer of harmful bacteria from one food or surface to another
12.When not in use, towels should be stored __________.
A. on dresser station
B. in sanitizer solution in bucket
C. on prep table
D. in apron
13.What jewelry is NOT allowed?
A. Watches
C. Dangling earrings
B. Rings with stones
D. All of the above
14.Raw food should be stored __________.
A. above ready to eat food
C. above fruits and vegetables
B. below ready to eat foods
D. both B and C
15.Sonic’s 20/20 Rule refers to __________.
A. a newsletter
B. a training video
C. handwashing
D. cook time for meat
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