Petrogram - Fall 2017 - 11
Sanitation in Your Store
By Greg Bradley
A FOOD SAFETY
TOP TO THE
BOTTOM OF THE
s food service has now become the most profitable category among today's conve-
nience stores, sanitation and food safety has become of prime importance within
any store's food service operation. However, in many cases, very little attention
is being given to proper employee training as it pertains to food safety.
There is not faster way to discredit a c-store's food service business than to
make a customer sick from your food beverage bar. The financial and public
relations implications of such of such an occurrence can spell disaster for most c-store operators.
Even though food service now accounts for more than one out of every five dollars spent inside
the average convenience store, many consumers report that they do not think c-stores are clean
and they do not trust the quality and safety of food sold in those stores. True or not, these per-
ceptions must be altered before c-stores can truly compete with majority of fast food operators.
Proper sanitation starts with education. Not just education of the owner/manager, but of all
of the employees. Two of the violated sanitation practices that I see in stores today are improper
hold times and improper hold temperatures. Often employees are not trained on proper rotation
or pull times their food products. Also, they often are not aware of the temperatures at which
certain foods must be maintained. Other health violations that I frequently see are improper
cooking, cleaning and storage procedures and not washing hands or wearing gloves.
So, education is the first step in any c-stores food safety plan. External training is available
for operators who do not have the resources to train their food service employees. The Florida
Department of Health offers training in order to become a Certified Food Manager examina-
tion. That individual is responsible for training all other employees working in that store's food
operation. And this training does not just happen once. New employees must be trained and
existing employees must be retained and the trainers recertified.
It is the responsibility of the owner/manager to furnish the tools required by the Certified Food
Manager. These include hand sinks, gloves, hairnets, thermometers, labels and storage containers.
A quat sanitizer and test strips must be furnished in operations utilizing a three compartment
sink (which includes most food service operations).
Any store with serving hot or cold food should have a list of food safety procedures in place.
This should include:
* Procedures for cleaning, sanitizing and pest control.
* Food safety training for new and existing employees.
* A delivery check in procedure of food products from the distributor.
* Storage procedures of food products to include shelf-life and rotation.
* Actions required to correct deficiencies and deviations.
* A food service crisis response plan.
Food safety and building a food safety culture require uncompromising commitment from
the top to the bottom of the organization. Food safety and sanitation must be taken seriously by
anyone in the c-store food service game. Failure to do so not only poses a risk to your customer's
health, the financial damage could destroy your company. ●