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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Clean Kitchen..... Sanitary World

 "A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen".. Is the wisest saying ever. Being in the restaurant industry, you literally have guests appetites, health, and lives in your hands, one false move or one item not being stored/prepared at the proper temperature could possibly send someone to the emergency room for food poisoning. Being clean starts with the beginning of the restaurant, your employees hygiene. If the employees you hire or co-workers lack the knowledge to do the "basics" (i.e. wash their hands after every meal, when using the restrooms, smoking or touching their hair or faces.) , then your establishment is headed off in the wrong direction. Being in a clean restaurant is like being invited over to a friend's house for dinner and they didn't clean before you arrived. Would you want to eat out of their kitchen? Would you inspect every piece of silverware or glass they handed to you simply because you didn't think it was sanitary? If your friend didn't clean their house or their kitchen, would you think they washed their hands as they were preparing your meal? Would you eat the meal out of obligation or would you make up an excuse and leave? If you think like this just from visiting a friend's home, then, your expectations should be much higher in regards to dining out.

 Rigorous inspections as well as surprise inspections keep restaurant on their toes when it comes to the cleanliness of their establishment as well as their staff. I like walking into restaurant reading their scores and understanding why they received them. If it's something "minor" like they forgot to put lids on lemons or have plastic covers for their cups, then, I won't mind, but if it's something major like their refrigeration system wasn't storing food at the proper 33-38 degree temperature settings, then, we have a problem. I normally wouldn't dine at a restaurant whose score is lower than a 90. That's my take. Any 89s or anything like that, there were way too many issues when the inspector arrived and my health could be at risk. Why risk yourself if you don't have to? I enjoy dining at places with open kitchens. I like seeing what the staff is doing "behind the scenes". I can see how many times they washed their hands, where they got their glasses from and how often the cook/chef changed his/her gloves. I usually went through about a half a box each shift. I have this complex called "cleanliness" that I like to uphold myself to. The guys that I worked with also followed in my steps and changed their gloves as often as I did only if we didn't have enough time to get to the hand washing sink. Clean employees, clean plates, glasses, cutlery, and fresh, clean ingredients ensure guests to have a memorable experience as well as a courteous, friendly, efficient staff.

Enjoy all of your CLEAN "Tasty Bites".

-Chef Tara Browning