Every owner of a restaurant knows that food safety is a huge concern. If proper protocols aren’t followed, guest could get sick which could lead to loss of customers or even a lawsuit for your business. In a frozen dessert store, employees, managers, and owners should all be aware of the laws and proper protocols to keep guests safe. You should be familiar with the specific food safety laws regarding your business and your products. Here are some tips every frozen dessert store can follow to ensure food safety:
1. Check Expiration Dates – Monitor all expiration dates and organize products with soonest expiration date in the front of your inventory. If you are using a liquid frozen yogurt mix, this will expire sooner than a dry mix so make sure to regulate your inventory and use products before their recommended expiration date. Dry toppings will have a longer shelf life but should be checked for quality and freshness periodically.
2. Be Aware of Food Allergies – Allergies are a major concern for restaurants and frozen dessert shops. Make sure that if you are serving any frozen yogurt that contains nuts that you have properly and clearly labeled it. Consider adding a “contains nuts” symbol on flavor tags that you have on your machine. Toppings containing nuts should be separated from other toppings and grouped together. Warn guest who are concerned that it is best to skip toppings completely if allergies are a big concern for them. All employees should have easy access to ingredient lists of every product you serve to share with guests who ask.
3. Keep Machines and Containers Clean – Make sure you are cleaning soft serve machines about every three days to ensure that product is fresh. To do this you should drain the machine of all product, flush with water until it runs clear, and break down the machine to wash parts with soap and water. Once reassembled, the machine should be sanitized with a food grade sanitizer to ensure that it is clean after you have touched the parts. After sanitizing, you can flush the machine again with water to make sure there is no lingering taste in the machine. You can also use food grade sanitizer as a part of your dish cleaning routine. Every container that is washed with soap and water can be dipped in a sink full of sanitizer water before being dried and reused.
4. Clean Store – To keep your store clean and up to code, you should implement a cleaning schedule for employees to follow. Have them sweep and mop the floors at closing time each day to not only keep the store looking clean but prevent accidents that can happen with sticky or dirty floors. Counters should be wiped with a food safe cleaner or a rag that has been soaked in sanitizer water. Having a clean store is an important part of food safety because mold or allergens in the environment can easily transfer to the food.
5. Store Products at Correct Temperatures – All products have recommended temperatures that they should be stored at. Make sure your refrigerators and freezers are operating at the proper temperature. Also, cover all toppings overnight to ensure freshness and prevent contamination. Dry toppings should be covered with lids and wet toppings such as hot fudge or fruit should be covered and refrigerated overnight when closing your store.
These are just a few tips to consider when thinking about food safety in a frozen dessert store. Check with local restaurant laws and guidelines to ensure that you are in line with health codes.
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