Technology & Equipment

Addressing food safety in the kitchen

Food safety is critical to how guests view a dining establishment. If they can trust that their meals will be fresh, delicious and safe, they’ll return—ultimately contributing to the business’ bottom line. Yet foodborne illness outbreaks are still prevalent. The CDC estimates that 48 million people get sick from foodborne illnesses each year, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die.

Addressing the food-safety issue starts at the top. Along the way, there are countless opportunities for food spoilage and contamination, including improper storage during distribution and incorrect handling during preparation. But vigilance and innovative packaging solutions can be key factors in mitigating food-safety issues and protecting patrons as well as the business’ success.

kitchen food safety

For example, with pre-prepared meals, it’s essential to ensure the food stays fresh throughout distribution until the moment the meal hits the patron’s table. Cryovac® Simple Steps® has a steam-assisted cooking technology and self-venting feature that releases heat and pressure, helping consumers and foodservice workers avoid over cooking, ensuring that meals prepared are safe to eat and that the meal’s flavors and ingredients are captured at their freshest.

Other packaging solutions, such as Sealed Air’s Cryovac® Freshness Plus® Active Barrier, can extend the shelf life of food thanks to its oxygen barrier that inhibits the growth of microorganisms that cause spoilage. By increasing shelf life, not only is food waste reduced and ultimately cuts costs, but food service operators can also ensure food remains fresh for up to 30 days longer than conventional packaging—which contributes to a stronger brand reputation. In fact, according to Sealed Air’s 2014 consumer food-waste study, more than half (57 percent) of consumers think more favorably of food stores and brands that use food packaging that reduces food waste by keeping food fresh longer.

Beyond increasing shelf life, packaging can also contribute to preventing cross-contamination. Often times, tools such as knives and scissors aren’t kept under careful watch in a backroom environment, they and may become contaminated prior to contact with food, causing the spread of unwanted bacteria. Easy-open vacuum bags can significantly reduce that risk by minimizing the need for sharp objects to open food packaging.

Products such as Sealed Air’s Cryovac® Grip & Tear® are the perfect solution for back-of-house operations, with an easy-open tab that makes them safe and hassle free. And for condiments, soups, sauces and salad dressings, easy-open, flexible packaging solutions such as Cryovac® Vertical Pouch Packaging (VPP) completely eliminates the need for #10 cans and ultimately further reduce the likelihood of worker injury and cross-contamination due to dangerous jagged edges.

By addressing food safety risks throughout the entire process, increasing shelf life and reducing cross-contamination, foodservice operators can lead the charge when it comes to safely accommodating the growing number of Americans dining out each week. Adopting innovative food packaging solutions helps provide guests with a positive experience, reinforcing brand reputation and improving a business’ overall bottom line.

This post is sponsored by Sealed Air

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