As a restaurant manager or owner, you’re probably aware of the thousands of frivolous complaints made about food quality – from objects in the food, concerns that the food may be past the expiration date, to other issues that are unlikely to be true.  However, a very real and disturbing trend is occurring quite frequently in restaurants regarding undercooked food.  This is a risk that can be very serious to your customers, and your insurance costs.

Customers sometime return food that is undercooked, including beef, chicken, and other items.  In all cases, and especially with chicken, a patron can become seriously ill when eating undercooked or raw meat.  In many crew interviews, employees often admit to rushing through the cooking process. They confess to either removing the hamburger or chicken from the grill early, or taking out the fried items from the fryer before the proper cooking time.

Improper cooking is often a choice made by crew members. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure that proper procedures are translated by managers and followed the right way, every time.  Even if a customer doesn’t fall ill, your store could be identified as serving sub-standard food.  Poor customer comments travel fast. This could result in a loss of business not easily recovered. So start taking these precautions now.

Always train employees on these food safety rules:

  • Handle food properly, and wear gloves where required.
  • Wash hands often.  And again if any object or tool is handled with raw food.
  • Never rush through proper cooking, even if the restaurant is busy.  An order may be taken more quickly, the food may be packed faster, but never risk undercooking the food.
  • Remind employees daily that food is why people come to the restaurant, and quality is a number one priority for your reputation and repeat business.
  • Make a goal of zero undercooked items being returned, and remind crew members that it is more important for a customer to wait a few more seconds, than for them to become dangerously ill.

When it comes to food safety, you have 100% control over the outcome.  Through employee training and strong diligence in properly cooking the food you serve, your store can reduce the risk of life threatening and costly insurance claims.

For more details and information, see your Operational and Training Manual.

Source:  Amerisure – Eric Austin