3 Crucial Sanitation Tips for First-Time Restaurant Owners

Owning a successful restaurant can be exciting, professionally rewarding and highly profitable. However, a fair number of first-time restaurateurs become so enamored with attracting diners and spreading the word about their businesses that they put crucial sanitation measures on the backburner. Not only can ignoring sanitation cost your restaurant business, it also stands to land you in hot water with local health inspectors. In the interest of maintaining a sanitary restaurant and keeping customers happy, budding restaurateurs should put the following tips to good use.

1. Separate Raw Ingredients

Cross contamination is a problem at many poorly-managed restaurants. This occurs when raw ingredients are not properly separated and stored in very close quarters. For example, if raw meat comes into contact with the fruits and vegetables used in salads, the results can be hazardous to diners’ health. In addition to costing you business, failure to separate raw ingredients may even put you on the receiving end of a costly lawsuit. With this mind, make a point of storing all raw ingredients a safe distance from one another to diminish the likelihood of cross contamination.

2. Keep Buffet Food Warm

If your restaurant is home to a buffet or any other type of hot food display, it behooves you to keep the food warm. You’d be hard-pressed to find a diner who enjoys cold entrees and sides, and if your restaurant develops a reputation for serving them, you’re liable to see a noticeable decrease in business. In the quest for consistently hot food, display stands that retain heat can be invaluable allies.

3. Be Vigilant About Pest Control

A surprising number of restaurateurs adopt a shockingly lax attitude towards pest control. Instead of taking definitive measures to stamp out infestations at their source, these people are content with killing pests as they appear. Failure to respond to potential infestations in a timely manner can result in your kitchen being overrun with assorted pests. For this reason, it’s imperative that you get in touch with a pest control specialist at the first sign of infestation.

Making a name for yourself in the restaurant biz can be tricky. Regardless of where you’re based, there’s a good chance your restaurant will face stiff competition from other local eateries. Still, promoting your business and getting the word out should never take precedence over basic sanitation. Separating raw ingredients, keeping buffet food warm and being vigilant about pest control are sure to serve you well in your efforts to maintain sanitation.

Ants in the Kitchen and Home

Summer isn’t only about vacations, ice cream and days at the beach, but it also means increased insect activity, such as ants in the kitchen, or more bees and wasps buzzing around outside. Sightings of ants in the kitchen is one of the top reasons people initially contact us. Over recent weeks these calls have increased for homeowners with concerns of ants in their kitchens and homes and what they can do to deter them.

“Comemercial kitchen design”

Get rid of ants in the kitchen or your home

Different species of ants include black ants, fire ants, crazy ant, odorous house ants and carpenter ants. All are pretty similar in that they forage for food and water leaving a pheromone trail for others to follow, which can lead to an infestation. If there are pavement ants or carpenter ants then these can get into the structure and cause even more problems.

By following some simple steps you can deter ants in the kitchen and home by;

  • Clean up any spills of liquids and stray crumbs immediately. Paying close attention to areas around appliances such as the stove, toasters and refrigerators. Any crumbs or spills are just inviting trouble in and giving them access to a food source.

  • Store food in sealed containers. By doing so, you are securing the food source making it undesirable.

  • Empty trash daily and ensure it’s kept in a sealed container. Rotting foods will omit odors and ants as well as other insects can detect these.

  • Eliminate standing water, checking potential problem areas like under sinks, in and around the bathroom area and crawl spaces.

  • Seal cracks and crevices around your home such as around windows, doors and baseboards. These are potential entry points and by sealing them, you are closing out the pests.

  • Once your pet has eaten remove any left over food.

All insects need access to food, water and shelter and by eliminating these you are thereby deterring them and making your home appear an unattractive haven to them.

If you do see ants in the kitchen or any other part of your home, we don’t recommend you spray them. Yes it will get rid of the ones you see, but it’s won’t resolve the ant issue. The trail has already been left by the scouting ants and it’s important to get to the source of the ant colony in order to completely get rid of ants in your home. Sometimes an expert is required in such circumstances and finding one who you can trust in getting rid of any ant or pest problem you may have will save you some time, money and effort in the long run, not to mention the safety aspect of any pesticides being used.

Kids in the Kitchen

As a mom who loves to be in the kitchen cooking and baking, it is important to me that my kids are involved. I have found 5 easy ways to encourage your kids to help out in the kitchen and be inspired by food at the same time. Here’s how to get cooking with kids:

1. Let Them Help With Planning Meals

When you are deciding which meals you are going to make for dinner, let your kids give you their input. One would think that when given the opportunity, kids would ask for meals like hot dogs, macaroni or fast food. But when I asked my sons recently what they would like to have for dinner, I was very surprised by their response. One requested risotto with peas and the other requested meatloaf. You too may be surprised but what your kids would like to eat.

2. Take Them Shopping

I know, I know. For most parents this is a scary proposition. It can be a difficult task to take kids with you on a grocery shopping trip, but here is one way to make it a little easier. If you have let them select the meal ideas, give them an ingredient list for the meal they have chosen and let them be responsible for finding those items.

3. Encourage Their Participation

When it is time to cook the meals, have your kids get the ingredients out for the meal they planned and assemble what they can. Kids are great at mixing, breading and grating. Give them a job that they can easily manage while you do the more complicated tasks.

4. Praise Their Efforts

Even if it has been a little bit chaotic in the kitchen, be sure to tell them how wonderful they did and how much you appreciated their help. Kids like to feel that they have done an important job that has helped you out.

5. Let Them Help Clean up

It is also important to encourage kids to help out with clean up after a meal. Let them know that by helping with clean up, the job gets done faster and it creates more time in the evening for other fun activities like a walk, reading or a board game.

Modern Kitchen and Home Appliances

The use of modern and luxurious kitchen appliances have made us quite dependent on them. Without the use of these, our lives would be much more difficult. Previously, in the old ages, people used to cook food on bricks but later in the sixteenth century, people started looking for efficient, quick and safe cooking methods. Electric stoves were invented in the 1930s and they soon became more popular than gas ones. Then built a small metal box in which can be placed food to check whether its temperature increased or not. The test was successful and immediately come up with the ideas of microwaves. These were first used in restaurants, large hotels and food processing plants and later became widely common and were owned by almost every household. Dishwasher, refrigerator, Cuisenaire parts and other appliances are some other kitchen products that were introduced with the passage of time. Soon, these gained popularity and their ease of use and convenience made many people consider its purchase. Many new and well known companies have emerged many specialize kitchen appliances.

Appliances have a very important role in our daily lives. Since we were surrounded by thousands of appliances which act as a helping hand in our daily routine. For many people it is not only a place for food preparation but an area many people socialize and do other tasks such as clothes washing in. These include the most important elements of a kitchen. Also a great initiative for the customer is the discount on these kitchen appliance packages if buy together. A perfect package which includes all the important kitchen appliances is the best deal one can get. Some companies and other sellers provide this facility. The presence of many prominent kitchen appliances manufacturers is a boon for the customer as the competition between brands provides practical, economical and durable products. Most kitchens are not considered complete until they have all the big appliances and a slew of small ones too. Some large-scale internet shops offer almost all brands under one roof making it easy for the purchaser.

Specific kitchen processes and operations require specific equipments according to the type and the nature of the work. These appliances should be selected in a way that they should match with your personality and with the decor of your kitchen. Modern kitchens are using some of the most commercially graded appliances. These appliances are considered as the human efforts saving machines. Your requirements should be analyzed properly. Considering your lifestyle and size of your family the kitchen appliances should be chosen. The gas powered is one of the best appliances which are able to meet the needs of your daily requirements. While choosing stainless steel appliances first of all, you should decide your budget and see what you can afford to buy. Now talking about the latest color trends in kitchen appliances, mostly bright colors like red, pink, blue and green are favored. But at this point, blue is the world-beater because it stands for comfort and peace of mind. For more information about home appliances please visit our website.

Tips To Organize Kitchen

Your cooking space might be small or limited, but the way you choose to organize it can help a great deal in making even the smallest of kitchens enjoyable to cook in. By taking a few steps in how to best organize kitchen and pantry space, you will be on your way to having a great time when preparing meals.

The utensils and the pot or pans you may require for preparing certain dishes need o be in a place you can easily reach. Hanging cook ware on the walls or by hooks nearby to the stove is one way to not do this and to save cabinet space as well. Hanging up utensils on the wall you use the most also saves drawer space.

Many kitchens, especially those in apartments, do not have pantries off the room for storing food. In these cases, everything will need to be placed into the cabinets. By placing canned goods in order and arranging the food products in boxes separately, you will have a much easier time in finding the ingredients you might need quickly. Using other types of storage aside from the cabinets is a good idea for some other types of foods.

Choose a set of decorative canisters to use for flour, sugar, and other like dry goods. You can save space in the cabinets and have these ingredients within easy reach on counters in this way. Choose those containers that will look great and fit on the counter area you have to work with.

Small appliances can add up to a large clutter quickly. Many of these types of appliances are hardly ever used on a daily basis. Store these kinds of appliances in those cabinets that are hard to reach while using the others for those items you use most every day. You should also consider getting rid of those appliances you just collected on a whim and ended up never using.

Kitchens that are neat and arranged in such a way that allows you to prepare meals easier is more enjoyable to cook in. No one like digging through cabinets and drawers while trying to figure out the fastest meal to make. When everything is in order, you will have more time our of the cooking area than in it.

Flooring for Commercial Kitchens

In many food service design projects, the kitchen floor falls into the commodity category and, too often, gets installed in a rush. After all, you can’t install equipment until the floor’s put in, and there’s a schedule to keep. The irony is that if the floor’s installed poorly all that equipment might have to come out in order to fix it. That really gets expensive. It’s easy, too, to default to the same flooring materials every time, when new options might be god choices. Quarry tile, sometimes embedded or glazed with traction-enhancing grit, has been the proven, lower-cost flooring for commercial kitchens for years, with good reason.

Requirements of commercial kitchen floor in food processing plants

The Food Safety Modernization Act requires that the U.S. food processors be subject to stricter guidelines by increasing Federal inspections as it relates to sanitation in their facilities. One of the primary ways food processors can reduce potential risks associated with food borne illness and death is by focusing on their flooring material. Floors and drains consistently generate a high percentage of positive test results for bacteria and lead to cross-contamination throughout the facility.  The following criteria are used for choosing a flooring material for a commercial kitchen in a restaurant or any other food processing factory –

  1. Substrate protection – A floor covering product should protect the integrity of the building’s concrete floor thus avoiding catastrophic expense and downtime required to replace it. Not only does untreated concrete substrate harbor mold bacteria, but it can also be a continuous source of repair and maintenance for facilities.

  1. Hygienic ambience – A seamless, non-porous floor promotes hygienic conditions. Bacteria can easily penetrate and grow in concrete and grout in quarry tiles because both concrete and grout are porous. A floor coating that allows proper sloping, makes drains seamless and provides coving/curbs is ideal for food processing plants.

  1. Highly durable – The floor covering material should be highly durable and provide high ROI. While assessing the ROI, projected maintenance costs and downtime costs should be considered along with the initial cost of installing a high performance flooring material.

  1. Chemical resistance and Thermal-Shock resistance – A commercial kitchen floor is subjected to various organic and inorganic acids. It is also subjected to cold and hot water in quick succession causing a thermal shock on the surface. The high performance flooring material should exhibit excellent chemical and thermal-shock resistance.

  1. Return to Service – The high performance flooring system should not only be easy to install but also completely cure in a short period. A short cure time is particularly critical in existing facilities that have to shut down to install a new floor or repair and existing one.

Polyurethane modified concrete (or Urethane modified concrete) is fast becoming a popular choice for many commercial kitchens or food processing plants because it is highly durable, offers quick return to service, and exhibits excellent chemical and thermal-shock resistance. You can specify the type and level of slip-resistant particles, and the color, if the appearance is an issue. Also, you can adjust the thickness of the coating, and the height of integral coving up the wall. These floors also can be installed in cold environments such as in walk-in coolers and freezers.

Organizing Your Kitchen

If you watch any cooking show you will see that a key factor in producing a successful and timely dish is a very well organized kitchen where everything is stored so as to be easily and quickly accessible.

There is also a food safety aspect to a well-organized kitchen. This concerns primarily minimizing the potential for cross contamination (mixing or contaminating ready-to-eat or cooked food with raw foods) and the possibility of errors or mistakes in the cooking process including using the wrong products, wrong measurements, etc. A well-organized, uncluttered kitchen also allows easy cleaning and access for prevention and harborage of vermin (cockroaches, rodents, and food infesting insects), and decreases the likelihood that you will pass the foods’ ‘Use by’ or ‘Sell by’ dates.

Here are some things you can do to keep the food storage, processing and cooking process running efficiently and safely:

o Rotate dry and canned food products. Put the newest products to the back of the cabinet and push the older or oldest products to the front.

o If the product does not have a “Use by” date, take a black ink marker and note the purchase date somewhere on the label.

o High-acid canned food such as tomatoes, grapefruit, and pineapple can be stored unopened on the shelf for 12 to 18 months. Low-acid canned foods such as meat, poultry, fish, and most vegetables will keep two to five years-if the unopened can remains in good condition and has been stored in a cool, clean and dry place. Discard cans that are dented, leaking, bulging or rusted.

o For utensils and equipment, store like items together. In other words, store such things as baking utensils together, and separate from cooking utensils. The same goes for the pots and pans and so on. This allows your mind to only have to remember the grouped storage area when needing a certain item and not a specific spot on a rack or in a drawer.

o If you need to remove a food, spice, condiment or chemical from its original package or container to a new container or zipped-locked bag, take a marking pen and write on the new container in large letters the common name of the product. This is especially important for powders, sugars, salts, spices and other dry products that are not easily identifiable. It may be obvious to you but not to someone else in your household. Restaurants are actually required to label all containers in the storage areas to prevent employees from using the wrong product or ingredient.

o Chemicals, household cleaners and other poisonous substances need to be stored in their own, preferably lower cabinet to minimize the potential of contaminating any food products.

o Control vermin in your own kitchen by sealing or caulking any cracks or small openings especially where plumbing comes out of the wall, and at wall, shelving and cabinet junctures.

UTENSIL AND EQUIPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

Here are some basic and inexpensive equipment and utensil recommendations that provide excellent tools in the fight against contamination and growth of bacteria in your kitchen and on your food:

o Color-coded plastic cutting boards or cutting plastic surfaces. Red for raw red meats, Yellow for raw poultry, Tan for raw seafoods, Green for fruits and vegetables, Blue for cooked or non-cooked ready-to-eat foods and white for dairy. This will help enormously is preventing cross contamination – again where raw foods contaminate cooked or ready-to-eat foods.

o Get yourself a good instant-read, digital probe thermometer that is sensitive at the tip. You will use it often and on everything you cook.

o An easily readable thermometer for your refrigerator and place it in front for easy reading and in the warmest part. Set you refrigerator temperature so your thermometer stays approximately 40° F.

o An oven-safe probe thermometer with an easily readable dial or digital readout.

o Liquid soap in a dispenser for handwashing at your kitchen sink. Recent studies have shown that antibacterial soaps have no more likelihood of preventing illnesses or removing more microorganisms than regular soap. What’s important is the action of thoroughly scrubbing under running water for at least 20 seconds to loosen oil and grime where the bacteria hide, and washing them down the drain.

o Paper towel dispenser. Minimize or eliminate the use of reusable cloth towels. After one use they become perfect breeding grounds for bacteria to grow to large numbers while they hang on the rack or lie on your kitchen counter. Disposable single use paper towels eliminate this risk

o Shallow pans or containers to store foods in the refrigerator. You want to spread that thick soup, stew, etc., into shallow pans allowing it more surface area for more rapid cooling.

Ways Of Organizing Your Kitchen

I am by no means a kitchen guru, but having grown up in the kitchen and in a family owned restaurant, I feel like I know my fare share. But, before we begin talking about why we should organize our kitchen, lets first brush up on the importance of time and food. Yes, they are very much correlated.

As the years go by, things continue to change more and more. Today’s age brings us the booming fast food restaurant. I know a few people who could absolutely not function without a fast food restaurant, don’t you? But, lets be honest, it’s ridiculously convenient and time friendly, and on the other hand overly greasy and unhealthy. We have to eat though, it’s a law of life that cannot be avoided.

Our society has really become extremely fast paced, and a lot of people just don’t have the time to cook a healthy meal, but why is this? Granted it does take time to cook a meal, but lets see what we can do to organize your kitchen to cut your cook time and increase time for other things.

1. Keep things clean and neat.
a. This will help you know what you have and don’t have. This alone save tons of time in the kitchen and at the grocery store.
b. This will help you be able to perform and function better in your kitchen. Everyone wants to work in a clean environment.

2. Plan your meals for the week.
a. This may sound time consuming, but it doesn’t take long to pick a few dinners that you’ll eat for the week and will save you time in the future.
b. Preparing food ahead of time will also provide more time in the future. This can also add more flavor to your food if you’re seasoning or marinating.:-)

3. Do your shopping for the week, and get it over with.
a. Be prepared! Make your list, check it twice and take care of business. Doing this ahead of time and not playing the guessing games will save you a lot of time.

4. Keep it simple.
a. Don’t try and be a gourmet chef. Creating a simple quick meal is much healthier than giving up and resorting to fast food. Less can always be more.
b. There is nothing wrong with putting together complex meals, but just make sure you plan accordingly.

5. Be one step ahead of your kitchen!
a. Yeah I said it! Does it make sense? Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead. Don’t step foot into your kitchen without a plan of action. Know what you want to accomplish, know what’s in there, execute and eat.

Control your kitchen, don’t let it control you. Keep in mind that organizing your kitchen requires that you organize yourself as well. Eating healthier, saving time and building a stronger body, three things that you just can’t beat. So start your life changing process now. Begin building the better you. Implement these 5 ways to get organized and see yourself gain time and a healthy body.

Commercial Kitchen Design

The kitchen stands at the heart of many businesses. If it is a successful kitchen, producing good food efficiently and safely, then the business, be it a restaurant, cafe or hotel, will flourish. If the kitchen fails, then the business will go down with it. Good service and a pleasant dining room experience will not make up for bad food or food that is delivered only after an excessive wait. A great deal of the success, or indeed failure, of any particular kitchen is due to its design, and design is a complicated affair.

Many factors have to be balanced to produce a satisfactory whole. Has the correct equipment been installed at the right location, to ensure a smooth and efficient flow of products? Have potential traffic jam spots been identified and modified in advance? Does the whole operation comply with Health and Safety legislation and will it satisfy the Environmental Health Officer? If it is a restaurant kitchen open to the view of the clientele then does it appeal to the eye? Above all has the kitchen been achieved at a cost that has not upset the financial stability of the business?

It is no surprise then that many businesses faced with the task of creating a new commercial kitchen space turn to the services of a professional commercial kitchen designer as these specialist companies have both the experience and the equipment necessary to balance all the factors outlined above.

Take, for an example, the actual basic design of a commercial kitchen and the making of the plan and blueprints. The do-it-yourself amateur designer will probably have to use a ruler and graph paper and do his or her own scale conversions with the aid of a calculator and pencil. With care an accurate ground plan can be achieved, but a two dimensional representation can only offer so much information.

Hiring a team of professional commercial kitchen designers, is by far the more constructive option. They will have access to the latest software and will be able to construct a ‘virtual’ kitchen, with all the chosen equipment installed, that the customer can ‘walk through’. This experience can be invaluable for spotting those ‘choke points’ which were mentioned earlier, and problems with compliance can be spotted and remedied before they actually take place.

Professionals are aware that the two imperatives of functionality and compliance are constantly at work in any kitchen design, sometimes pulling in opposite directions. It may be convenient to have the washing facilities in one place, for instance, yet lawful to have them in another. Food storage and preparation areas have to be kept separate but must also give easy access one to the other to facilitate the smooth production of the end product. The owner of the business must be concerned with ventilation, lighting, the provision of first aid equipment and literally dozens of other things before he or she lets the chefs go into action. Here the expertise of the professional will be of great use, as they will be able to advise the kitchen owner on the regulations and plans accordingly, achieving the best balance between the two contrasting needs.

The professional design team will also be able to advise a kitchen owner over the matter of equipment purchase. Not only will they know what a commercial kitchen needs, they will know where it can be bought for the best price. This is an important matter in a field where there is much choice and where many expensive mistakes can be made.

Tips in Organizing Your Kitchen

You may be able to lead a healthier life if your kitchen contains the right stuff and is well-organized. If you and your family wish to eat healthy, have easier time preparing meals and have more fun while cooking your food, there are a few things that you have to keep in mind.

Use Space Wisely

The first thing that you have to keep in mind is how you are using or not using the space that is available. A kitchen and dining area need to be safe for anyone who ventures into these places. When you are cooking and handling hot pots and pans, you have to avoid accidents. Also, your kids can become safer in a dining area that is arranged properly.

Assess how these areas in your home looks like. Once you have an idea about the positive as well as the negative parts, you can begin on planning what you are going to do. Be sure to keep path between the kitchen and the dining table clear. Furthermore, for your safety, do not put anything that will be in your way when you are on the stove or your kitchen counter.

Install cabinets and shelves that will make use of vertical space. In addition, you may have a walk-in pantry rather than one that is on one side of a wall. This way, you have a lot of storage space. Also, food storage in this space can be done safely and more effectively.

Remove Clutter

What ruins your kitchen area is the amount of clutter which might be seen there. If you wish to have an easier time cooking your food, you have to throw out items that you will no longer need. This applies to products that you have stored in your kitchen cabinet as well as in the pantry.

Removing clutter on top of your dining table is also important. Do you really need to have a vase of flowers or a basket of fruits on top on the table? If these things only take up significant space, it might be wiser to remove them and place them on another location like the counter top or a shelf.

Organize Things

You need to be able to keep track of what is placed inside your cabinet. You may be able to do this by grouping similar products. Breakfast food products may be placed in one shelf. Pots, pans and other cooking essentials may be placed in another container.

If you have young kids at home, you might want to leave some healthy food within their reach. Consider leaving fruits on top of the kitchen counter where your kids can reach. The dangerous tools like can openers, knives and similar things should be placed away from their reach. Putting locks on the cabinet for these tools will be helpful.

When you know how to organize your kitchen, you can easily make your family have more fun while preparing foods as well as make them eat healthier.