Frequently Asked Food Handling Questions in Bernalillo County in New Mexico

What Are The Key Regulations And Guidelines Regarding Proper Food Handling Practices In Restaurants in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

1. All food handlers must have a valid Food Handler’s Card issued by the Bernalillo County Environmental Health Department.

2. Food must be stored at the proper temperature, as specified by the New Mexico Department of Health.

3. Food must be cooked to the appropriate internal temperature as specified by the New Mexico Department of Health.

4. All food must be properly labeled and dated, with a “use-by” date specified.

5. All cutting boards and other food contact surfaces must be washed in hot soapy water between uses and sanitized with an approved sanitizer after each use.

6. All reusable utensils and items must be washed in hot soapy water, rinsed, and sanitized after each use.

7. Ice scoops and other utensils used to handle food must not be stored in standing water or on dirty surfaces between uses.

8. All food handling surfaces must be kept free of dirt and debris at all times.

9. Employees must practice good personal hygiene, including washing their hands before food preparation and after handling raw foods, using gloves when handling ready-to-eat foods, and wearing hair restraints while working with food.

10. All food waste must be disposed of in a sanitary manner.

Can You Explain The Importance Of Handwashing In Food Handling And The Recommended Steps For Effective Handwashing in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

Handwashing is an integral part of food handling and is essential for preventing foodborne illness. Proper handwashing is required at all times during food preparation, when handling raw meats, and before and after handling ready-to-eat foods.

The Bernalillo County Health Department in New Mexico requires that all food handlers must wash their hands with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before starting to prepare food, after handling raw foods, after going to the restroom, after touching their hair or face, and after touching any surfaces or objects that may be contaminated. The Health Department also recommends that food workers sanitize their hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer between handwashing if soap and water are not available.

In order to ensure effective handwashing, the following steps should be taken:
1. Wet hands under warm running water
2. Apply soap and lather for at least 20 seconds
3. Scrub the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails
4. Rinse hands well under running water
5. Dry hands using a clean paper towel or air dryer
6. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water is not available

When Are Food Handlers Required To Use Gloves, And What Situations Might Warrant Bare Hand Contact With Food in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

In Bernalillo County, New Mexico, food handlers are required to use gloves when touching ready-to-eat foods and food products that are not going to receive any further preparation or cooking. This includes when handling and serving food, as well as when preparing items such as salads and sandwiches. Bare hand contact with food is only permitted when handling food that will be cooked to a temperature that will destroy harmful bacteria. Examples include the handling of raw meats, poultry, fish, and eggs during preparation.

How Does The Health Department Ensure That Restaurants Prevent Cross-Contamination Between Raw And Cooked Foods in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

In Bernalillo County, New Mexico, the health department works with local restaurants to ensure that cross-contamination between raw and cooked foods is prevented. The health department staff inspects restaurants to ensure that food preparation areas, refrigeration and storage facilities, and cooking tools are being properly cleaned and maintained. The health department also requires restaurants to adhere to food safety regulations, which include having separate work areas for raw foods and cooked foods and separate storage areas for raw foods and cooked foods. Restaurants must also have procedures in place to minimize the potential for cross-contamination of raw and cooked foods. In addition, the health department provides training to restaurant staff on food safety and proper food handling practices.

What Are The Critical Temperature Control Points For Hot And Cold Foods, And How Are These Temperatures Monitored And Maintained in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

Hot Foods:

Critical Control Point: Hot foods should be held at 135°F or higher.

Monitoring and Maintaining: Hot foods should be monitored using a thermometer to ensure they are held at the correct temperature and that the temperature is maintained. Hot food should be stored in properly insulated steam tables, heated display cases, or other heating devices. These devices should be regularly monitored and maintained to make sure the food is held at the correct temperature.

Cold Foods:

Critical Control Point: Cold foods should be held at 41°F or lower.

Monitoring and Maintaining: Cold foods should be monitored using a thermometer to ensure they are held at the correct temperature and that the temperature is maintained. Cold food should be stored in an approved refrigeration unit or other cold storage device. These devices should be regularly monitored and maintained to make sure the food is held at the correct temperature.

What Methods Should Restaurants Follow For Thawing Frozen Foods To Prevent Bacterial Growth in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

1. Plan ahead: Whenever possible, restaurants in Bernalillo County should plan ahead and allow foods to thaw in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours before cooking.

2. Cold Water: Using cold running water to thaw frozen foods is the safest and fastest way to thaw food. The water should be kept at below 70 degrees Fahrenheit and should be changed every 30 minutes to ensure that bacteria does not begin to grow.

3. Microwave: If necessary, restaurants can use a microwave to thaw frozen foods. However, microwaving can create “hot spots” in the food that could lead to bacterial growth if not cooked immediately. Therefore, the food should be cooked immediately after microwaving.

4. Cook Thoroughly: Restaurants should always cook foods thoroughly before serving them to customers. This will ensure that any bacteria present on the food has been destroyed.

Can You Detail The Internal Cooking Temperatures Required For Various Types Of Foods To Ensure They’Re Safe To Consume in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb: Rare – 145°F, Medium Rare – 160°F, Medium – 170°F, Well Done – 180°F

Ground Beef/Pork/Veal/Lamb: 160°F

Poultry: 165°F

Eggs: 140°F or Cook Until Yolk and White Are Firm

Seafood: 145°F

Leftovers: 165°F

How Do Restaurants Ensure That Foods Are Rapidly Cooled After Cooking To Prevent The Growth Of Harmful Bacteria in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

Restaurants in Bernalillo County in New Mexico must adhere to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Code guidelines to ensure that foods are rapidly cooled after cooking to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. The Food Code recommends that food be cooled from 135 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees Fahrenheit within two hours, and from 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 41 degrees Fahrenheit or lower within an additional four hours. This should be accomplished by using one of the following methods:

1) Placing food containers in shallow pans, arranging them so that they do not touch one another, and placing the pans on racks or refrigerated units.

2) Separating large batches of food into smaller portions and placing them in containers that allow for maximum air circulation.

3) Using rapid cooling equipment such as blast chillers.

4) Placing food containers in ice water baths and stirring the food frequently.

5) Utilizing wet towels or ice paddles to cool hot foods.

In addition, restaurants must ensure that food is stored at proper temperatures to prevent bacteria growth. The recommended temperature for refrigerated foods is 41 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, while hot foods should be held at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

What Are The Recommended Guidelines For Reheating Cooked Foods To Guarantee They Reach A Safe Temperature in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

The Bernalillo County Environmental Health Department recommends the following guidelines for reheating cooked foods to guarantee that they reach a safe temperature:

1. Reheat all food to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

2. Heat all food for at least 15 seconds to ensure that harmful bacteria are killed.

3. Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the food to make sure it has reached the recommended temperature.

4. Reheat food in a microwave or stovetop and stir occasionally to ensure that all areas of the food reach the recommended temperature.

5. Cover any food that is being reheated to retain heat and moisture.

6. Avoid reheating perishable food more than once.

How Do Buffet And Salad Bar Setups Adhere To Food Safety Practices, Including Temperature Control And Hygiene Measures in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

To ensure food safety and temperature control, buffet and salad bar setups in Bernalillo County must adhere to all local, state, and federal regulations. Most importantly, all food that is served must be kept at or below 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius). Additionally, all food items must be protected from potential contamination sources, such as the hands of customers and workers. All utensils and equipment used for preparing and serving food must be washed in hot, soapy water before being used. Furthermore, food handlers should always practice good personal hygiene by wearing gloves when handling food. Finally, any left-over food items must be properly stored in a refrigerator or cooler until they can be properly discarded.

What Protocols Are In Place To Handle Food Allergens, Both In Terms Of Proper Labeling And Preventing Cross-Contact in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

The Bernalillo County Food Code outlines specific protocols and requirements for food allergens. These include clear labeling of food allergens on ingredient lists, clearly labeling potential cross-contact sources, and proper training for food service personnel in identifying and preventing the cross-contact of food allergens. Food establishments are also required to have a procedure in place to minimize the risk of cross-contact between food allergens and foods that do not contain the allergen. This includes identifying and labeling foods that may contain allergens, separating allergenic ingredients from other ingredients, using separate utensils and equipment, and cleaning and sanitizing equipment after contact with an allergen. Lastly, food establishments must have a policy in place that outlines how they will respond to customers who inquire about food allergens.

How Do Restaurants Ensure The Safety Of Seafood, Including Storage, Preparation, And Cooking Practices in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

1. Restaurants in Bernalillo County in New Mexico should follow the guidelines and recommendations of the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the safety of seafood.

2. Restaurants should practice proper storage of seafood to ensure it does not become contaminated. This includes storing seafood at temperatures below 40°F, and avoiding cross contamination between raw and cooked foods.

3. Restaurants should use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw and cooked seafood to prevent cross contamination.

4. Restaurants should cook seafood to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F to kill any bacteria or other contaminants present in the food.

5. Restaurants should also practice good hygiene practices, including wearing gloves, washing their hands often, and avoiding contact between ready-to-eat foods and raw foods.

What Precautions Should Food Handlers Take When Dealing With Raw Foods Like Meats And Eggs To Prevent Contamination in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

1. Wear gloves whenever handling raw food.

2. Wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after handling raw food.

3. Keep raw foods separated from cooked or ready-to-eat foods.

4. Clean and sanitize all surfaces and utensils you use to prepare raw foods.

5. Cook all food to the appropriate temperature for the type of food to kill any bacteria.

6. Store raw food at the correct temperature to help slow bacterial growth.

7. Discard any food that has been left out at room temperature for more than two hours.

8. Refrigerate leftovers right away and discard after three days.

Can You Provide Insights Into Proper Cleaning And Sanitization Practices For Kitchen Equipment And Surfaces in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

1. All kitchen equipment and surfaces must be cleaned and sanitized before and after each use. All food contact surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized between uses.

2. Cleaning supplies should be stored in a closed cabinet or other area that is not in contact with food to prevent contamination of food items.

3. All cleaning and sanitizing solutions should be prepared according to the manufacturer’s instructions and used within the expiration date.

4. Keep wet cleaning cloths and mop heads in a clean, sanitary condition and store them in a covered container between uses.

5. Before beginning to clean, remove all food debris or soil from the surface being cleaned. This can be done with a damp cloth or through scraping or brushing of the surface. Pay special attention to cracks and crevices where food matter can accumulate.

6. Use a detergent solution to clean the surface as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure the detergent is properly mixed with warm water and that it is applied evenly to the surface being cleaned. Allow it to sit on the surface for the proper amount of time before wiping it off with a damp cloth or mop head. Rinse with clean water, if necessary, to remove all detergent residue.

7. To sanitize the surface, use a chlorine solution that is mixed at a rate of 50-100ppm (parts per million) of chlorine. Apply evenly to the surface and allow it to sit for 10 minutes before wiping off with a clean, damp cloth or mop head. Rinse with clean water, if necessary, to remove all chlorine residue. Allow the surface to air-dry completely before use and/or storage of food items on it.

8. Dispose of cleaning cloths and mop heads in approved receptacles after each use and launder or replace often as needed.

What Strategies Do Restaurants Implement To Prevent Pest Infestations And Maintain A Pest-Free Environment in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

1. Regular Inspection and Monitoring: Routine inspections of the premises should be conducted to identify any potential pest problems. This could include an internal audit of the restaurant’s storage area, kitchen, dining areas, and other areas to check for signs of a pest infestation.

2. Exclusion: Exclusion measures such as caulking, sealing, and screening should be used to prevent re-entry of pests. All entry points to the restaurant should be sealed, including door and window frames, cracks in walls and floors, and gaps around pipes leading outside.

3. Cleanliness: Good hygiene practices are essential for preventing pests. Regularly sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming floors, walls, furniture, and other surfaces can help reduce the likelihood of a pest infestation by removing any food or water sources that pests may feed on. Additionally, all food containers should be securely stored away from access by pests.

4. Pest Control: Regular pest control services should be conducted to eliminate existing pest infestations and reduce the risk of future infestations. This may involve baiting, trapping, or insecticidal treatments depending on the type of pest.

5. Education: It is important to educate staff members about pest control practices so they can properly identify potential problems and take appropriate action. The restaurant should also provide training to ensure that all employees adhere to good hygiene practices in order to minimize the chances of a pest infestation.

How Do Restaurants Address The Health Of Food Handlers, Including Reporting Illnesses And Maintaining Personal Hygiene in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

In Bernalillo County, restaurants are required to follow the food safety guidelines established by the New Mexico Department of Health. This includes having appropriate hand-washing protocols in place, ensuring that food handlers are healthy and free from communicable diseases, reporting any illnesses of food handlers to the local health department, and providing personal hygiene items such as disposable gloves and hairnets for employees who handle food. Restaurants must also provide training for all food-service employees on proper food handling and safety practices, as well as on the signs and symptoms of foodborne illness. In addition, restaurants are required to check the temperature of food upon delivery and ensure that all foods prepared onsite meet the minimum internal cooking temperatures specified in the local health regulations.

What Are The Best Practices For Storing Perishable And Non-Perishable Foods In A Restaurant Setting in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

1. Store perishable foods in proper temperatures: Refrigerated foods should be stored at 40°F or below, and frozen foods should be stored at 0°F or below.

2. Segregate and store raw and cooked foods separately: This helps to prevent cross-contamination, which could cause foodborne illness.

3. Check expiration dates on food packages: Make sure all perishable and non-perishable items are still safe to eat.

4. Store items off the floor: Placing items on shelves or in coolers helps to ensure they are stored properly and out of the way of any pests or other potential contaminants.

5. Label food items correctly: Storing food items with proper labels ensures staff know what they are dealing with and can identify any allergens that may be present in the food.

6. Clean and sanitize shelves and coolers regularly: Cleaning shelves and coolers regularly removes any potential contaminants that could spoil food or cause foodborne illnesses.

How Are “Use By” And “Sell By” Dates Determined For Food Products, And How Should Restaurants Interpret And Manage These Dates in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

In Bernalillo County in New Mexico, “use by” and “sell by” dates are determined by the manufacturer of the food product. The manufacturer establishes these dates based on testing to determine the shelf life of the product. This testing helps them determine the time frame in which a product can remain fresh and safe to consume. Restaurants should follow these dates accordingly and should not use or sell any food products past their expiration or “sell by” date. The restaurant should also ensure that food is properly stored and refrigerated as needed. This will help ensure quality and safety for their customers.

What Training And Certification Programs Are Available For Food Handlers, And How Do They Contribute To Food Safety In Restaurants in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

In Bernalillo County in New Mexico, food managers and food handlers must obtain a Food Handler Certificate. The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) offers food handler training and certification programs for both food handlers and restaurant managers. The training focuses on food safety and sanitation, helping to ensure that food served in restaurants is safe to eat. The training also covers topics such as proper hand washing techniques, safe food storage, and prevention of cross-contamination. Upon successful completion of the course, participants receive a NMED-issued certificate valid for three years.

The NMED also provides additional training and certification programs for restaurant managers, including an advanced course in food safety and sanitation management. This course covers topics such as hazard analysis critical control points (HACCP) principles, pest management, and proper sanitation practices. Course participants receive an advanced certification from the NMED after successful completion of the program.

These training and certification programs contribute to food safety in restaurants in Bernalillo County by helping to ensure that all restaurant staff have the knowledge to prepare and serve food safely. By ensuring that all restaurants have properly trained staff, the risk of foodborne illness is minimized.

How Does The Health Department Work Collaboratively With Restaurants To Ensure Compliance With Food Handling Regulations And Address Violations in Bernalillo County in New Mexico?

The Bernalillo County Department of Environmental Health (DEH) works collaboratively with restaurants to ensure compliance with food handling regulations. DEH provides guidance to restaurant owners on proper food handling practices through inspections, health permits, and educational materials. DEH staff members conduct regular inspections of food service establishments to ensure that all food safety regulations are being followed. During these inspections, DEH staff members look for conditions that violate food safety regulations and address those violations with the restaurant owner. If a restaurant fails to comply with food safety regulations, DEH staff members may take enforcement action such as issuing a warning or citation. DEH also provides educational materials to restaurants on food safety topics and holds educational seminars and workshops to help restaurants understand and comply with food safety regulations.