When is the last time you ate at a local breakfast shop with any thought to South Carolina food safety? How close do you pay attention to the cooks?

I have an awful time eating at our breakfast shop, hence my nickname for the place, the “Dirty Birdy”.   My family, on the other hand, LOVES to eat at our local spot. I confess, I think it’s because I don’t even own a waffle iron to make them at home. I oblige every now and then, however, I have to sit with my back to the “kitchen” or else I’ll lose my appetite with a quickness. Because of our last visit, no more Dirty Birdy for us, enough is enough!  It’s time to take a stand and stop lowering the food safety bar. South Carolina food safety must no longer be an afterthought, especially in places such as this.

Just last week I visited our local Dirty Birdy and was appalled! I watched in horror as the cook preparing the breakfast meats proceed to “wash” his hands by dipping them into a nearby sanitizer sink. He then dried his hands with a paper towel, use same paper towel to wipe his face, and then proceeded to go back to cooking on the grill without further handwashing….Eeeeeewwwwweee!

Let’s revisit Food Safety 101, shall we?

Hands are the largest culprit of food borne illnesses? They can carry bacteria and viruses which transmit to food due to poor personal hygiene.  How often do you spend time training and re-training your staff? Personal Hygiene Training is NOT a one and done… you must constantly review with your employees. Things like hand washing procedures, uniform expectations, and glove usage are key factors to safe food and good personal hygiene. The employees must be held accountable and you as a manager must lead by example.  I wonder, did that grill cook learn to wash his hands that way? Or is his management’s training plan just not up to par? When in the kitchen don’t forget to WASH YOUR HANDS… and NOT in the sanitizer sink!

ATC Food Safety teaches ServSafe Manager Food Safety Classes for local business and food service operators throughout South Carolina, including the counties of
Abbeville, Aiken, Allendale, Anderson, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown, Greenville, Greenwood, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Orangeburg, Pickens, Richland, Saluda, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union, Williamsburg, and York. Click here to register for a food safety class in South Carolina.

Be sure to follow our blog and keep up-to-date on food safety information, and all around tidbits of information in food safety news. For more information on the regulations that govern South Carolina food safety, check out this link to South Carolina Food Safety – Food Code.

Editorial by Guest Author: Kim Hall