In your role as a certified food protection manager, have you ever had a staff member ask, “Does this smell ok to you?” or, “Do you know when this clam chowder was made?” and, “Can we still serve this?” This week, we’ll take a look at how CFPMs manage questionable product and to deal with situations that may increase the risk of sickening your customers.
CFPMs Manage Questionable Product By Assessing Reasons for Spoiling or Low Quality Product
Situations where you or your staff is unsure of the quality, freshness or servability of product should be dealt with in a manner that protects your guests. If product doesn’t smell right, don’t serve it. If you are unsure about the date a product was made, or if it might no longer be good, don’t serve it. Taking a chance on sickening a guest because of questionable product is never worth the risk. So how do we deal with these situations and prevent them from happening?
If these instances are common in your facility, now is the time to take a look at how you deal with your inventory. There are a few questions that need to be asked:
- Am I dating my product and inventory?
- Am I making or ordering too much product?
- Is my refrigerated storage arranged in an orderly manner?
Dating perishable product allows certified food protection managers and their staff know exactly when the ingredients arrived from a supplier or when finished product was made. Taking the time to date your product paints a bigger picture of how long your product sits in storage. If you’re finding that your product is being stored for extended periods of time, consider lowering par levels when you place an order or making smaller batches of your product.
Successful CFPMs manage questionable product with organization. If you’re refrigerator is a mess, then product can get lost, soak up flavors of food that is cooling nearby or risk cross contamination. Disorderly cold storage is a bacterial dream world and a certified food protection manager’s nightmare.
If you do date your product, monitor par levels and have an orderly walk-in refrigerator but are still running into scenarios where freshness comes into question, the certified food protection manager should set up a system to monitor the temperature of your refrigeration units to ensure that food is being kept cold.
Do you have a system to keep your product the freshest it can be?