When you’re cooking for people, you have more than just a cooking to do. Maintaining a commercial kitchen is not easy as there’s more in it compared to a home-kitchen. The cooking space is a lot larger with plenty of commercial kitchen equipment and a number of chefs, cooks and helpers who should be supplied with each and every ingredient in the respective menu.
Add a few more things to these basics and they’ll make a perfect combination to entertain hundreds of guests out there every single day. You need to have the best equipment, or the modern-day pressure cookers that always come handy during peak hours. Read our pressure cooker reviews to find the suitable option for your commercial kitchen.
So what does it take to manage a commercial kitchen? How should you use it to get the best out of it? This post will guide you through the basics of food safety. If you’re new to professional cooking, you should also be aware of how to make yourself comfortable with the environment as quickly as you can.
Let’s go for it then.
Food Safety in Commercial Kitchen
professional cooking is so important that ignorance to it may end up your business for good. Here are few things you should do:
- Train Your Staff
All the staff should be properly trained and should be aware of the food safety guidelines. If a health inspector finds that the kitchen is short of knowledge, you’ll be fined heavily for it. So, hire a certified staff or have them certified for food safety.
- Take Care of Your Hands
Make a rule of washing hands before preparing or serving meals. Dirty hands are the major factor in causing food
- Keep All Produce Clean
Make sure to wash the produce before cooking or serving, in order to remove bacteria on the surface.
- Keep All the Surfaces Clean
Surfaces of countertops, utensils, cutting boards, pans and pots that are mostly in contact with the food should be properly cleaned before use. Sanitize them regularly.
- Maintain Appropriate Temperature
The food must be cleaned of any bacteria or germs. The best way to do that is to cook the food on minimum internal temperature required by it and it should sustain this temperature for 15 seconds or more. If there is a budget, I suggest you invest in a best pressure canner because it is the best tool to preserve food.
- Check Temperatures
The food stored in refrigeration units in your professional cooking or inside the warming equipment, must be checked after every 2 hours. Instead of checking all food items in detail, check the thermometer on the equipment to make sure the food items are in safe zone.
- For Refrigerated Foods
Your commercial kitchen refrigerator must maintain a temperature of less than 40oF. On this temperature, the bacteria growth is minimal. Make sure to use or dispose of refrigerated food before it goes unhygienic.
- Conduct Self Inspections
The best way to maintain high food quality is through self-inspection. You can walk through the premises and kitchen once in a week taking note of anything that may cause threat to food safety. Search the web or ask health inspectors to get the forms with all food safety standards and instructions.
- Inspect Your Supplies
The food supplies are prone to contamination because of many steps involved in supply chain. So, buy your stuff from reliable and authentic source and inspect your supplies regularly.
- Health Codes
Last but not the least, you should be aware of the local health codes. Knowing local and state health codes will save you from heavy penalties.
Do’s and Don’ts of Commercial Cooking
You may be new to professional cooking and you want to make a good impression to secure your place. These pro-tips will help you survive in any commercial kitchen, large or small.
- Do Come Prepared
As a new addition to the commercial kitchen, the first thing you should do is to get yourself acquainted with all the menus, and master those that you haven’t worked on before. Check who’s the real boss and read about his whereabouts. It will help you learn what kind of situation you will face when you get inside.
- Do Stay Calm Under Stress
The kitchen environment during peak hours is full of stress and tension with multiple requests coming in and many recipes going out every minute. If you lose your concentration and composure, you’ll get no less than a push out of the back door. Stay relaxed and enjoy, because this stress will not last more than an hour or so.
- Do Move Deliberately
The best way to show you’re on top of the things is by moving deliberately. Running like a damned chicken will reflect you as a fool who knows nothing of commercial kitchen. At the same time, the more you move, the less productive you are. So, break down your activities into small steps and minimize your movement to give yourself extra time for production.
- Do Take Note of Your Surroundings
Needless to say, you have to be extra cautious while working in a crowded kitchen with a limited space for yourself. You need to inform your colleagues where you are while moving from here to there. So, they should take necessary steps to avoid any accident.
- While moving around the corner, shout “Corner”
- If you have a sharp knife and you’re passing by your colleague, shout “Sharp” to alert him/her
- If someone’s in front of you, say ‘Behind” to alert him
- If you walk with a hot pot, say “Hot” so that others give you a clear way to mve.
- Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Clarification
If you don’t know the details, better ask for clarification. It’s better than being unsure of what’s expected of you. As a starter questions are expected of you, and you will understand gradually how to follow your head chef’s instructions.
- Don’t Play Over-Smart
You may have a good vocabulary of French culinary. You may know more terms than anyone in the kitchen. However, if you try to show your intelligence when they don’t want to hear, you’re asking for trouble. Chefs don’t like to hear anything that’s not relevant to them, or anything that doesn’t look practical to them.
- Don’t Make Unnecessary Noise
Since you’re new to the environment, try not to talk until you’re told to. By keeping quite, you will understand the environment better and learn when to talk and what things to discuss with your colleagues. Otherwise, you’ll only make a fool of yourself.