Foodservice Equipment Certifications

Food safety and sanitation is a major concern effecting the developing world and first-world countries alike. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2012 there were 831 foodborne disease outbreaks, leading to 14,972 illnesses and 23 deaths in the United States. Restaurants were the most commonly reported location of food preparation. Due to the many risks involved in food preparation, food businesses should be wary in maintaining high levels of sanitation and quality in their venue. Restaurant health inspections are an excellent reason to stay up to sanitation standards, but for those who need extra motivation, these CDC findings show the significance of the sanitation problem.

Safety is another constant concern in the kitchen, with fires hazards being one of the most pressing worries. Having properly functioning equipment and employees that are trained to use the equipment properly is the major step to ensuring safety in the kitchen. Though much of a restaurant’s hygiene is a result of employee practices and kitchen cleanliness, the foodservice equipment can also have a defining effect. Foodservice equipment also molds the abilities of a restaurant to serve their customers, and accounts for the carbon footprint of the venue. As a way to organize these concerns, various organizations offer certifications for foodservice equipment which meets regional, national, and international standards in these fields. Such organizations offer certifications on products based on evaluations, testing, inspection of the manufacturing facility, and test results analysis, providing a safety net for food businesses concerned with the quality of their equipment. Though most restaurants don’t deal with the certification process, by knowing what each certification means foodservice venues can make educated purchasing decisions.

American National Standards Institute

ansiThe American National Standards Institute (ANSI) oversees the creation of standards: norms and guidelines that apply to specific devices, materials, and processes in various business sectors, as well as broader initiatives such as quality and environmental management. The standards aim to encourage international business as well as the quality of life of local citizens, through publishing guidelines for maintaining a certain level of quality throughout many different business sectors. Though ANSI doesn’t quite fit into our list of certification organizations, it is an important player in the process of defining the concerns and measures that must be addressed in food safety, sanitation, environment, and equipment performance. The standards they promulgate shape the certification requirements of most of the certification organizations described below. (…Read More…)

Types of Disposable Gloves To Use in Restaurants

Disposable gloves are available in many different materials.

In June, 2014, a California law was repealed which would have required restaurant kitchen employees to use gloves at all times during food preparation. The law was motivated by sanitary concerns, but there are many other reasons to use disposable gloves in food businesses as well. Disposable gloves enable employees to handle foods with high bacterial counts without contaminating the next dish they touch. They can also prevent strong smells, such as garlic, from sticking to employees’ hands and influencing the flavor of other dishes. As a result, they enable employees to handle different foods without washing their hands as often as would be required without gloves, preventing drying out and cracking of the skin. Additionally, gloves provide a layer of protection, preventing employees with allergies to certain foods from having an allergic reaction when handling that food. The reasons for using disposable gloves are almost as vast as the materials in which disposable gloves are available. Many different material options are available, each with a set of pros and cons. Having a few options on hand is usually the most convenient solution for food service venues.

Different materials have different permeability. The protection and comfort a certain material offers will determine the options for use of disposable gloves made with that material. Gloves with low permeability can be used when working with possible contaminants and cleaning products which may be damaging to the skin, since they offer a high level of protection. On the other hand, gloves with higher permeability will be adequate for food preparation, where the main concerns are cleanliness and odors. It is important to note that most disposable and non-disposable gloves should not be used when working with fire or ovens. Melted gloves will stick to skin increasing the severity of burns.

Latex Gloves

Latex gloves are one of the least expensive and most versatile options available in disposable gloves. They are also probably the most popular. Latex is effective in protecting against most chemicals typically used in kitchens, as well as preventing food odors and bacteria from being transferred from surface to surface through contact. (Of course, prevention of odors and cross-contamination will only be efficient if the employee switches pairs of gloves when moving on to work on a different dish or (…Read More…)