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Prevent Cross-Contamination in Your Restaurant

Prevent Cross-Contamination in Your Restaurant

Cross-Contamination from unsanitary practices or food mishandling can be detrimental to your restaurant. Cross-Contamination can lead to foodborne illnesses which can cause bigger issues for your business. “Foodborne illnesses affect as many as 76 million Americans each year. It is claimed that about 58% of the instances of foodborne illness arise out of commercial and institutional foodservice.” [1] From liability risks to a tarnished reputation, we here Tagrisk care about safety in the restaurant industry. Below are some tips to avoid cross-contamination and prevent foodborne illnesses.

Personal Hygiene

One of the first steps to preventing cross-contamination is maintaining clean personal hygiene. Employees should keep their hands clean by washing their hands frequently. Anytime disposable gloves are changed, hands should be washed with hot water and soap to fight germs and harmful bacteria. Hands also must be washed after using the restroom, coughing, sneezing, handling dirty dishes, handling money, eating, smoking, etc. Hands should be dried with a hand dryer or clean single-use paper towels. Employees should never wipe their hands on their apron or uniform. Policies and standards should be put in place to prevent employees from beginning their shifts if they are not meeting hygiene standards. Staff should come to work with a clean complete uniform, properly groomed, bathed, and any other standards that fit the safety needs of the restaurant. Employees should not come to work sick or with open wounds. Personal Hygiene is essential in preventing cross-contamination.

Separate Food – Separate Equipment

People are allergic to all kinds of foods. The way employees handle food and equipment is extremely important. Each type of food should be prepared and handled with clean equipment. For example, raw meat and fresh produce should not be cut with the same knife as this leads to cross-contamination. Gloves should also be changed for every different kind of food that is being prepared. If possible, color coding stations and equipment could help keep equipment separate. There are multiple points of contact from food preparation to end customer. Every point matters just as much as the last.

Clean and Sanitize Surfaces

Wash, Clean, Sanitize. Rinsing hands, tools, surfaces, and equipment is not enough to kill germs and harmful bacteria. Before and after food is prepared on a work surface, it must be cleaned with soap and water, and then sanitized. Remember, gloves need to be changed after using cleaning solvent. Work surfaces are not the only surfaces that need to be kept clean. Counters, utensils, cutting boards and tables need to be cleaned in between uses.

Maintain personal hygiene standards. Separate different foods and equipment used to handle food. Always keep surfaces clean and sanitized!

Tagrisk Insurance Services’ risk appetite includes but is not limited to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and lounges. Our hospitality insurance programs fill coverage gaps that may exist in your current policies. Do not renew your insurance without a quote from us. Contact Tagrisk Insurance Services for a quote today!


Tagrisk Restaurant Safety - Restaurant, Food, Salmon on a Dinner Dish with Glasses

Restaurant Safety

Restaurant Safety

Restaurant safety is essential in the restaurant industry. It is equally important to the employers, employees, and customers alike. There are many potential hazards in the restaurant industry which is why Tagrisk Insurance Services offers a complete suite of hospitality insurance programs to protect restaurant owners and their businesses.

Cross Contamination

Proper food prep, handling, and storage are essential for restaurants as the smallest mistakes can have enormous ramifications. Cross Contamination can leave your customers sick or worse! Some restaurants must operate faster than others (maybe speed is one of their core values). The employees at these restaurants may forget to put gloves on when using solvent to clean up messes. Clear labels and a storage section/closet dedicated to cleaning materials may deter this from happening.

Health Care Inspection

Sanitation, good hygiene, and food temperature control are mandatory for restaurants and are major points during a health care inspection. Thermometers should always be calibrated and heavier items should be stored on the bottom rack/shelf. Employees should also be frequently washing their hands (especially when leaving the bathroom). Employees should also come to work clean and with a clean uniform. Depending on the restaurant, your staff may require an apron, gloves, hairnet, and slip resistant shoes.

Ergonomics/Slip and Falls

Ergonomics from comfortable seating for guests to employees standing for long periods of time requires attention. Consider the cause of one of the most common hazards in restaurants, slippery floors. Slip and falls do happen but there are preventative measures your establishment can take before a slip and fall turns into a lawsuit. Don’t forget that your employees can hurt themselves the same way customers can in your restaurant! With sharp objects, fryers, and hot stoves the chances of your staff getting seriously hurt increases exponentially. To help mitigate these situations, consider slip-resistant shoes, slip-resistant floor mats, and lighting for maximum visibility in your establishment.


It is no surprise that employees get burned working with equipment that heats to over 300 degrees from time to time. But how prepared are you for when this happens? A plan needs to be in place on how to handle burns efficiently and effectively as possible. If you notice your employees are receiving burns frequently as opposed to from time to time then you may need to revisit and reevaluate your safety handbook. Extra safety equipment such as heat resistant gloves and pot holders may need to be added to your inventory. There are also fire hazards while working with equipment that hot. Employees should be trained on what to do if a fire breaks out in the restaurant

Lacerations, Strains and Sprains

Lacerations, strains and sprains are almost as common as burns in the restaurant industry. Lacerations (cuts) occur from using knives or other sharp cutting equipment. Safety procedures should be put in place on how to operate sharp cutting equipment and knives should never be improperly stored. Customers can also get cut if they touch broken plates, bowls, or glasses. It is important that defective or broken utensils/dinnerware are never served to customers. Strains and sprains come from lifting incorrectly and repetitive motions (such as cutting and folding). Proper technique and communication can curb these injuries.

Tagrisk Insurance Services’ risk appetite includes but is not limited to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and lounges. Our hospitality insurance programs fill coverage gaps that may exist in your current policies. Do not renew your insurance without a quote from us. Contact Tagrisk Insurance Services for a quote today!