September is National Food Safety Month, and a perfect opportunity for students taking cooking classes in Boulder to focus on careful service. One of the most important tasks that a kitchen staff undertakes is making sure that food is handled and served safely. Through the month of September, consider how you prepare food and try to identify any unsafe habits you have so you can adjust them.
History of National Food Safety Month
September was named National Food Safety Month in 1994. Each year, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation picks a theme about food safety and spends the month of September educating culinary workers about safe food practices. Themes use one specific element of food safety to cover related practices. For example, in 2013 the month focused on how to have an allergy-safe kitchen. Practices taught during the month are based on the ServSafe food safety training program.
The theme for 2015 is “Let it Flow,” and each week focuses on different aspects of the way food flows through a restaurant. The weeks are dedicated to receiving food, storage, thawing and holding, preparing and serving food. Each step in the journey food makes through a restaurant needs to be treated with care and consideration to prevent foodborne illnesses. The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation has prepared videos and activities for each week that walk you through focusing on food safety at every point along the way. These topics include information about proper temperatures at which to store and cook food, lengths of time that food remains fresh and considerations for cross contamination. Culinary students who take advantage of these resources will be a step ahead when they enter the workforce.