Thursday, September 21, 2017

September is ‪#‎National‬ ‪#‎Foodsafety‬ ‪#‎Education‬ month #NFSM. Today's lesson: Proper personal hygiene practices for food safety.

When it comes to practicing proper personal hygiene for food safety, proper handwashing (which I discussed in a previous lesson), is only part of the program. A good personal hygiene program would also take into account: Maintaining personal cleanliness, wearing clean and appropriate uniforms and following dress codes, avoiding certain habits and actions, maintaining good health, and reporting illnesses.

Food handlers should keep their fingernails short, clean, and free from polish or false nails (as these could chip or fall into food being prepared). In addition, wounds and cuts should be covered with a bandage and then covered with either a finger cot (small finger only cover) or a glove.

When working with or around food, it is imperative that the food handler wear proper attire. This includes a clean hat or other hair restraint such as a hair net and clean clothing. The food handler, if wearing an apron, should remove and properly store the apron when leaving the food preparation area. All jewelry must be removed from the hands and arms when working with or around food, as the jewelry may contain microorganisms (a plain wedding band is the only exception to this). In addition to food safety, jewelry can also pose a safety hazard if worn while working with certain equipment in the kitchen.

Food handlers should not eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum or tobacco while working in or around food preparation areas. During these activities, it is possible for saliva to pass to the food handlers hands and directly to the food that the employee is working with. It must be pointed out that some health departments DO allow drinking in the food area, provided that the drink is covered and a straw is used. Doing taste tests of the foods being prepared requires the product be placed in a container for tasting, and then the utensil and container be removed from the area.

Foodhandlers must be encouraged to report health problems to the manager. There are several instances when a foodhandler must either be restricted from working with or around food or if they must be excluded from working within the facility. For instance:

1. If the foodhandler has a sore throat with fever:
          Restrict them from working with or around food, or
          Exclude them from the operation if you serve a high-risk population (elderly, pregnant women, children, immunocompromised)

2. If the foodhandler has one of the following: vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice:
          Exclude them from the operation, and before returning to work, the foodhandler with vomiting &/or diarrhea must either have been symptom free for at least 24 hours or have a written release from a medical practitioner. IF the foodhandler has jaundice, then the written release is required before they may return to the facility.

3. If the food handler has been diagnosed with an illness caused by one of the following pathogens: Salmonella Typhi, Shigella spp., Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, Hepatitis A, or Norovirus:
          Exclude the foodhandler from the operation and notify the local regulatory agency.
          The local regulatory agency and the foodhanders medical practitioner will decide when the foodhandler is able to go back to work.

Ultimately, it is the managements responsibility to ensure that proper personal hygiene is implemented and followed by all employees.

If you have any questions about anything that I present in these lessons, or have a question about anything regarding food safety, please feel free to contact me.

Tomorrows lesson: Choosing the right thermometer and how to ensure they are calibrated properly.

New #foodsafety #recall #undeclared #milk #allergen in Tasty Treats Nonpareils Milk Chocolate

First Source Issues Allergy Alert On Undeclared Milk In Tasty Treats Nonpareils Milk Chocolate

September 20, 2017

Contact

Consumers

1-716-389-0264

Media

Joe Margarucci
716-389-0264

Announcement

First Source of Pico Rivera, CA, is recalling Tasty Treats Nonpareils Milk Chocolate because it contains undeclared milk.  People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to Milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product.
The recalled item was distributed in the state of California through Bristol Farms retail stores.
The Product is sold in a 5oz size plastic pouch containing round chocolate discs with colorful sprinkles (nonpareils)  with a green paper label at top that states Tasty Treats, Nonpareils Milk Chocolate Bristol Farms with UPC 7 97299 00476 4 distributed between 12/20/2016 and 9/20/2017.
One illness/allergic reaction has been reported to date.
The recall was initiated after it was discovered that product containing Milk was distributed in packaging that contained the incorrect ingredient statement which did not reveal the presence of Milk. Subsequent investigation indicates the problem was caused by a temporary breakdown in the company's label review process.
Consumers who have purchased this item are urged to destroy the product.  Consumers with questions may contact First Source at 1-716-389-0264, Monday – Friday, 8am - 5pm, EST.
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New #foodsafety #recall possible #botulism #contamination of Death Wish Coffee Co. Nitro Cold Brew Cans

Death Wish Coffee Co. Announces Recall of Nitro Cold Brew Cans From Retailers, Online Sales

September 19, 2017

Contact

Consumers

recall@deathwishCoffee.com
1-844-303-2290

Media

Joe Bonilla 
pr@deathwishcoffee.com
joe@relentlessaware.com
518-813-4905


Announcement

Death Wish Coffee Co. (“Death Wish”), the Round Lake, N.Y.-based Coffee producer known for producing the ‘World’s Strongest Coffee’, has initiated a recall its 11-oz Death Wish Nitro Cold Brew cans.
Death Wish in conjunction with an outside Process Authority has determined that the current process could lead to the growth and production of the deadly toxin, botulin, in low acid foods commercialized in reduced oxygen packaging.
Botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning, can cause the following symptoms: general weakness, dizziness, double-vision and trouble with speaking or swallowing. Diffculty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distention and constipation may also be common symptoms. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention.
“Our customers’ safety is of paramount importance and Death Wish Coffee is taking this significant, proactive step to ensure that the highest quality, safest, and of course, strongest Coffee products we produce are of industry-exceeding standards – thus we are taking this measure of recalling all Death Wish Nitro cans from shelves,” founder/owner of Death Wish Coffee Co., Mike Brown says. “We have also gone a step further, to make sure that everyone who purchased the product on deathwishcoffee.com will receive a full refund within 60 days. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause our customers and our retail partners, but we believe this is the right precautionary measure to take.”
Death Wish is halting production of Nitro Cold Brew until an additional step in the manufacturing process is implemented.
Death Wish Nitro cans have been removed from the company’s online store, in addition to it has been pulled from shelves at Price Chopper/Market 32, Healthy Living Market & Café, and independent retailers at the behest of Death Wish Coffee.
No illnesses have been reported to date. Consumers who have purchased Death Wish Nitro should not consume it and can either dispose of it or return the product to the location with proof of purchase for a full refund.
Additional company information can be found online at DeathWishCoffee.com/Recall, on Facebook (fb.com/DeathWishCoffee), on Twitter (@DeathWishCoffee), and on Instagram (@DeathWishCoffee).
For press inquires please contact pr@deathwishcoffee.com
For all other inquires please contact recall@deathwishCoffee.com or call toll free 1-844-303-2290 Monday through Friday from 8am-5pm EST.
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September is ‪#‎National‬ ‪#‎Foodsafety‬ ‪#‎Education‬ month #NFSM. Today's lesson: Proper glove use in practicing food safety.

When I go to restaurants, I always look at what the employees are doing, especially if I can see the kitchen. For some places (fast food) it is easy, for others (sit down restaurants), it is a bit more difficult or impossible. I always wonder why restaurants don't want their customers to see the food being prepared. Some may say it is because of trade secrets, others may say it is because they don't want the employees to get nervous about people watching them. Personally, I think it may have more to do with possible health violations, but then, that may just be my expertise in food safety making me a bit paranoid on the subject.

I will admit that I go to fast food locations more than I should, being a chef and able to cook just about anything I want; however, sometimes I just want something quick and easy. I have begun to notice that a lot more of the fast food locations have started having their employees wear gloves when preparing the foods for service. In the case of food safety requirements, some locations require that the establishment either require gloves for handling foods that will not undergo any further cooking, or to have a strict handwashing schedule to ensure that the hands are continually cleaned. Seeing an employee that is wearing gloves, touch their face, hair, or dirty apron and then go immediately back to working with food, is not appropriate behavior weather the employees is wearing gloves or not.

For example, when I managed Burger King in Las Vegas, Nevada, we had a very specific requirement for handwashing, which allowed our employees to use bare hand contact with the food. We were required to have our employees wash their hands ever 30 minutes, and this was strictly adhered to at all locations. A timer would go off every 30 minutes as a reminder to wash your hands.

Those without strict handwashing procedures like ours were given the option to wear gloves when preparing food. If you have been to a Subway shop, you may have noticed, as I have, that the employees will wash their hands and then put on gloves to make sandwiches. Again, either way is allowable (check your location on the actual health codes regarding glove usage); however, you must use the gloves properly, otherwise it could be just as bad as not washing your hands. For today's lesson, I will discuss the proper ways you use gloves to ensure that you are practicing proper food safety.

The main thing to remember when using gloves for food safety, is that they are NOT foolproof, and gloves are not a substitute for washing hands. As a customer, you should not automatically assume that because a person is wearing gloves while making your food, that they are using them correctly. In other words, don't let gloves lead you into a false sense of security just because you see them being used.

When using gloves in food service, keep the following items in mind:

1. Gloves should be disposable: the gloves should be single use, never washed and reused

2. Have gloves for different tasks: Long gloves for mixing items such as coleslaw, short gloves for other tasks. You can even get color coded gloves such as red for meats, green for vegetables, etc.

3. Provide different glove sizes: you don't want gloves that are too small or too large for your employees. Too large and they won't stay on the hands, too small and they can rip & tear more easily.

4. Consider latex alternative gloves: in case an employee has a sensitivity to latex.

5. Focus on safety, durability, and cleanliness: gloves for food service should be labeled with the NSF international mark .

Food handlers should change their gloves whenever:

1. They become soiled or torn.
2. Before beginning a different task
3. At least every four hours during continual use, and more often when necessary.
4. After handling raw meat and before handling ready to eat foods.

When changing or getting a new pair of gloves, it is important to remember that your hands MUST be washed properly before putting on a new pair of gloves.

If you have any questions about anything that I present in these lessons, or have a question about anything regarding food safety, please feel free to contact me.

Tomorrows lesson: Proper personal hygiene practices for food safety.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

September is ‪#‎National‬ ‪#‎Foodsafety‬ ‪#‎Education‬ month #NFSM. Today's lesson: What foodborne contaminants need to grow.

Foodborne contaminants, also known as pathogens, need certain items in order to grow. In the foodservice industry, we are taught to use the acronym F.A.T.T.O.M. in order to remember these items. I will now break down the acronym and explain how each item works to help the pathogens survive.
1. Food: Like all organisms, the pathogenic microorganisms need food to survive. The food that they need are the food items that we are trying to protect from these microorganisms.
2. Acidity: Pathogens need a specific acidity level in order to grow. pathogens require a slightly acidic pH level of 4.6-7.5, while they thrive in conditions with a pH of 6.6-7.5.
3. Time: As listed in previous lessons, food items should not be allowed to remain in the temperature danger zone for more than 4 hours. This is the time portion.
4. Temperature: Pathogens grow best in the temperature danger zone (41 F to 135 F).
5. Oxygen: The majority of foodborne pathogens are aerobic, in that they need oxygen to survive and multiply. The microorganism Clostridium botulinum, the source of botulism, however, is anaerobic and does not require oxygen to grow and multiply.
6. Moisture: Water is essential for pathogens to grow. The less moisture available, the more difficult it is for the pathogens to survive. The water activity level of food (notated as the letter 'a' with a sub 'w') can range from 0.0 to 1.0, with water being 1.0.
If you have any questions about anything that I present in these lessons, or have a question about anything regarding food safety, please feel free to contact me.
Tomorrows lesson: Proper glove use in practicing food safety.

Monday, September 18, 2017

September is ‪#‎National‬ ‪#‎Foodsafety‬ ‪#‎Education‬ month #NFSM. Today's lesson: Proper cooking temperature endpoints for food safety.

When it comes to cooking food safely, there are several factors to take into consideration. First, what type of item is being cooked, how is it being served, what is the flavor profile I am wishing to impart to my guests...the list can go on. Suffice to say, food service establishments are required to adhere to certain temperature requirements when cooking foods for the public.

Depending on the regulations for the area in which the food is being prepared, the temperature danger zone is either set at a high temperature of either 135 degrees F (57C) or 140 degrees F (60C) (Illinois is 135, Minnesota is 140, as an example). This sets the absolute minimum that food can be held at for service. If the food item drops below this temperature, it must be reheated (per proper reheating standards) up to 165 degrees F, if you wish to continue serving the product; however, that will be a topic for a later date.

For the minimum internal cooking temperature of most items, the temperature is fairly straightforward. These are:

Poultry (whole or ground: duck, turkey, or chicken): 165 degrees F (74C) for 15 seconds.

Stuffing and stuffed meat, fish, poultry, and pasta: 165 degrees for 15 seconds. This means that the stuffing and the meat that was stuffed both must have the temperature checked and both must register 165 degrees F (74C) for 15 seconds.

Items that are considered Temperature Controlled for Safety (TCS) foods that are cooked in a Microwave, whether it be eggs, poultry, fish, and meat: 165 degrees F (74C).

Ground Meat (beef, pork, and other meats): 155 degrees F (68C) for 15 seconds

Injected meats (including brined ham and flavor injected roasts) 155 degrees F (68C) for 15 seconds.

Pork, beef, veal, & Lamb:
          Steaks & Chops: 145 degrees F (63C) for 15 seconds
          Roasts: 145 degrees F (63C) for 4 minutes; this means the temperature must be checked and it must hold at or above 145 for four minutes.

Seafood (including fish, shellfish, and crustaceans): 145 degrees F (63C) for 15 seconds.

Shell eggs for immediate service: 145 degrees F (63C) for 15 seconds.

Commercially processed, ready-to-eat food: (hot held for service): 135 degrees F (57C). Examples include cheese sticks, deep fried vegetables, etc.

While the above mentioned temperatures are the requirements for the different food items, there are also "alternative" minimum internal cooking temperatures that can be utilized for certain food items.

For example, beef and pork roasts have an alternate cooking endpoint that allows for slow roasting of the product. The following temperatures and time periods represent the minimum internal temperatures and the amount of time that the item must maintain at or above that temperature to be considered safe for human consumption.

130 F (54C) - 112 minutes
131 F (55C) - 89 minutes
133 F (56C) - 56 minutes
135 F (57C) - 36 minutes
136 F (58C) - 28 minutes
138 F (59C) - 18 minutes
140 F (60C) - 12 minutes
142 F (61C) - 8 minutes
144 F (62C) - 5 minutes
145 F (63C) - 4 minutes

Additionally, there are alternative minimum internal temperatures for ground and injected meats. This is the best way to ensure that your hamburger is safe and can still enjoy it when cooked medium rare. These times and temperatures are:

145 F (63C) - 3 minutes
150 F (66C) - 1 minute
155 F (68C) - 15 seconds
158 F (70C) - < 1 second

If you have any questions about anything that I present in these lessons, or have a question about anything regarding food safety, please feel free to contact me.

Tomorrows lesson: What foodborne contaminants need to grow.

New #foodsafety #recall possible #staphylococcal #contamination of 1,252 lbs of Heat Treated, Not Fully Cooked-Not Shelf Stable meat products

German Sausage Haus, LLC, Recalls Meat Products Due To Possible Processing Deviation and Staphylococcal Enterotoxin Contamination

Class I Recall102-2017
Health Risk: HighSep 17, 2017
Congressional and Public Affairs
Felicia Thompson
(202) 720-9113
Press@fsis.usda.gov

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2017 – German Sausage Haus, LLC, a Camano Island, Wash., establishment, is recalling approximately 1,252 pounds of Heat Treated, Not Fully Cooked-Not Shelf Stable (HTNFCNSS) meat products due to a possible processing deviation that may have led to staphylococcal enterotoxin contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The frozen products were produced and packaged on various dates from June 14, 2017 to Sept. 8, 2017. The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF Only)]
  • Vacuum packed (1 each) “GERMAN SAUSAGE HAUS Smoked Bacon” with package code “72301” and a package date of “08/18/2017.”
  • Vacuum packed (1 each) “GERMAN SAUSAGE HAUS Smoked Shank” with package code “72501” and a package date of “09/07/2017.”
  • Vacuum packed (1 each) “GERMAN SAUSAGE HAUS Smoked Fat” with package code “72131” and a package date of “08/01/2017.”
  • Vacuum packed (1 each) “GERMAN SAUSAGE HAUS Smoked Pork Lion” with package code “72232” and a package date of “08/11/2017.”
  • Vacuum packed (2 each) “GERMAN SAUSAGE HAUS Danube Smoked Sausages” with package code “71951” and a package date of “07/14/2017.”
  • Vacuum packed (2 each) “GERMAN SAUSAGE HAUS Pituaros Smoked Sausages” with package code “72051” and a package date of “07/24/2017.”
  • Vacuum packed (2 each) “GERMAN SAUSAGE HAUS Cabaj Smoked Sausages” with package code “71651” and a package date of “06/28/2017.”
  • Vacuum packed (2 each) “GERMAN SAUSAGE HAUS Backi Petrovac Smoked Sausages” with package code “71652” and a package date of “06/28/2017.”
  • Vacuum packed (2 each) “GERMAN SAUSAGE HAUS Devil Dog Smoked Sausages” with package code “71653” and a package date of “06/28/2017.”
  • Vacuum packed (2 each) “GERMAN SAUSAGE HAUS Danube Smoked Sausages” with package code “71654” and a package date of “06/28/2017.”
  • Vacuum packed (2 each) “GERMAN SAUSAGE HAUS Christmas Smoked Sausages” with package code “71655” and a package date of “06/28/2017.”
  • Vacuum packed (2 each) “GERMAN SAUSAGE HAUS Donauschwaben Smoked Sausages” with package code “71656” and a package date of “06/28/2017.”
  • Vacuum packed (1 each) “GERMAN SAUSAGE HAUS Smoked Ribs” with the following package codes and package dates:
    • Package code “72231” and package date “08/11/2017”
    • Package code “72442” and package date “09/01/2017”
    • Package code “72511” and package date “09/08/2017”
The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “Est. 45952” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items produced were distributed for institutional use and shipped to retail stores in Washington State.
The problem was discovered on Sept. 14, 2017, by FSIS Inspection Program Personnel (IPP) when they observed a possible processing deviation while reviewing records.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.
Consumers and media with questions about the recall can contact Jan Urbanovic, owner, of German Sausage Haus, LLC, at germansausagehaus@gmail.com or (360) 387-6932.