Frequently Asked Food Handling Questions in Erie County in New York

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

1. Food must be stored in labeled, covered containers at appropriate temperatures.

2. All employees must wash their hands with soap and warm water prior to handling food, after using the restroom, or after any other activity that may contaminate hands.

3. Food contact surfaces must be sanitized after each use.

4. Raw foods must be stored separately from ready-to-eat foods.

5. Food must be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature, as determined by the health department.

6. Employees must wear clean clothing and hair restraints/coverings, such as hats or hairnets in the kitchen area.

7. Pets must be kept out of the food preparation and service areas.

8. Food must be served promptly and not left out for extended periods of time.

9. Adequate handwashing facilities must be available for employees; sinks must have hot and cold running water with soap and paper towels or mechanical hand dryers.

10. All food containers, surfaces and utensils must be cleaned and sanitized at least once per day before storage or reuse.

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

Handwashing in food handling is one of the most important steps to preventing the spread of foodborne illness. Proper handwashing is essential to prevent contamination of food and other surfaces. The Erie County Department of Health recommends the following steps for effective handwashing:

1. Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

By following these steps, you can help reduce the risk of spreading foodborne illness and other bacteria that can cause illness.

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

In Erie County, New York, food handlers are required to use gloves whenever they are handling ready-to-eat (RTE) food. Additionally, food handlers must wear gloves when they come into contact with any potentially hazardous foods, such as raw meat, poultry, or fish. In some cases, bare hand contact with food may be allowed if the food is to be cooked or reheated to a temperature that will destroy any harmful bacteria. This exception includes foods such as hamburgers and other meats that are cooked on a flame grill. Food handlers must also sanitize their hands before and after handling foods with bare hands.

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

The Erie County Department of Health works with restaurants to ensure that proper food safety practices are followed. These practices include properly preparing, cooking, and storing foods to prevent cross-contamination between raw and cooked foods. The department also inspects restaurants to ensure that they are meeting health codes and that they are following food safety standards. Additionally, the department provides educational materials to restaurants regarding proper food handling techniques, and restaurants must provide a Food Protection Certificate to demonstrate their understanding of food safety and preventative measures.

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

In Erie County in New York, the critical temperature control points for hot and cold foods are as follows:

Hot Foods:
140°F and above

Cold Foods:
41°F and below

These temperatures are monitored and maintained using thermometers to ensure food safety. Thermometers must be calibrated often to ensure accuracy. Additionally, food should be rotated and stored properly, with colder items placed lower in the refrigerator and hotter items placed higher. Hot foods should also be served as soon as possible after cooking.

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

1. Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator: Frozen foods should be thawed in the refrigerator, allowing for a gradual thawing process that allows food to thaw slowly and prevents bacterial growth. This method also helps preserve texture and flavor.

2. Thaw frozen foods in cold water: This method involves submerging vacuum-sealed frozen foods in cold water and changing the water every 30 minutes to keep it cold. This method is faster than thawing in the refrigerator, but it must be done carefully to avoid allowing bacteria into the food.

3. Thaw frozen foods in the microwave: This method should only be used if you plan to cook the food immediately after thawing as microwaving can create “hot spots” that can promote bacterial growth.

4. Use pre-cooked or ready-to-eat foods when possible: Pre-cooked and ready-to-eat foods do not require any thawing, preventing the potential for bacterial growth.

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

In Erie County in New York, the internal cooking temperatures required for various types of foods to ensure they’re safe to consume are as follows:

Beef, Pork, Veal & Lamb Steaks, Roasts & Chops: 145°F

Ground Beef, Veal, Lamb & Pork:160°F

Beef, Veal, Lamb & Pork:160°F

Ground Poultry:165°F

Whole Poultry (Including Ground):165°F

Ham (Cooked):145°F

Egg Dishes:160°F


Seafood (Fish Fillets):145°F

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

Restaurants in Erie County in New York ensure that foods are rapidly cooled after cooking to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria by following the cooling guidelines set forth by the US Food and Drug Administration. These guidelines require that all cooked foods be cooled from 135°F (57°C) to 70°F (21°C) within two hours, and then from 70°F (21°C) to 40°F (4°C) or less within an additional four hours. To meet these requirements, restaurants typically use one of several cooling methods such as shallow pan cooling, cold water immersion, rapid chilling, or blast chilling.

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

1. Cooked food should be reheated to an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C).

2. Reheat all food evenly by stirring it frequently while reheating.

3. Use a food thermometer to ensure the food reaches the minimum internal temperature.

4. Refrigerate any leftovers that won’t be eaten within two hours.

5. Do not reheat food more than once.

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

Buffet and salad bars in Erie County must adhere to the food safety laws and regulations set forth by the New York State Department of Health. All food must be stored at proper temperatures, and all surfaces and equipment must be clean and sanitized. Each restaurant must also have a hand washing station and employees must wash their hands between tasks and following contact with raw meat, poultry, or fish. Additionally, utensils used on the buffet or salad bar must be kept clean and sanitized to prevent cross-contamination. Finally, all food should be served promptly and kept covered to reduce potential contamination.

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

1. Erie County requires that all food establishments label any food product that contains an allergen with an ingredient statement that lists the specific allergen and the source of the allergen.

2. Food establishments must implement a policy to prevent cross-contact with allergens, such as proper cleaning and sanitation practices, separate storage and preparation areas, properly labeling of food items, and training for staff on allergen awareness.

3. All management and employees must receive training on how to prevent cross-contact with allergens, including proper cleaning and sanitation techniques, proper storage of food items, and proper labeling of food items.

4. All food establishments must have a policy in place to respond to customers’ requests for information related to allergens in the food they are ordering.

5. All food establishments must provide a copy of their allergen policy and allergen statement to customers upon request.

6. All food establishments must keep detailed records of all ingredients used in each menu item, including all known allergens and their source.

7. Food establishments must ensure that any food item containing an allergen is clearly labeled on the menu or menu board so customers are aware of potential allergens in the item they are ordering.

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

• Use the first in, first out system to rotate stock
• Keep seafood separate from other foods to prevent cross-contamination
• Store raw seafood at a temperature of 41°F or colder
• Refrigerate or freeze any excess cooked seafood within two hours of cooking
• Label and date all seafood containers

• Thaw frozen seafood in the refrigerator, not at room temperature
• Cook seafood to an internal temperature of 145°F
• Carefully wash and sanitize all surfaces, utensils, and preparation areas that come into contact with raw seafood
• Do not use the same cutting board for both raw and cooked seafood
• Wear gloves when handling raw seafood
• Avoid cross-contamination by separating raw seafood from other foods when preparing meals

• Preheat the oven to the desired temperature for a minimum of 10 minutes before adding seafood
• Deep-fry seafood in oil heated to 375°F or higher
• Grill seafood over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes per inch of thickness
• Bake seafood in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes per pound
• Poach seafood in water or stock at a temperature of 165°F or higher until it is cooked through.

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

1. Wash hands with warm, soapy water before and after handling raw foods.
2. Keep raw foods away from cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination.
3. Store raw foods at the proper temperature in a refrigerator or freezer.
4. Thoroughly cook raw foods to a safe internal temperature before eating.
5. Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator or microwave, not at room temperature.
6. Cut raw foods on separate cutting boards from cooked foods.
7. Avoid cross contamination by separating cooked and raw food items in the refrigerator.
8. Use a separate pair of tongs, cutting boards and plates for handling raw meats, poultry and eggs than those used for cooked foods.
9. Discard any food that looks or smells spoiled or has been left out at room temperature for more than two hours.
10. Wash all utensils, cutting boards and countertops with hot, soapy water after contact with raw food.

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

1. Always wear proper protective clothing and equipment when cleaning and sanitizing kitchen equipment and surfaces. This includes gloves, face mask, eye protection, and aprons.

2. Disinfect all kitchen equipment and surfaces with an EPA-registered disinfectant. Read the label carefully and follow safety precautions.

3. When cleaning and sanitizing, pay special attention to high-touch surfaces such as tables, countertops, cutting boards, faucets, refrigerator handles, light switches, knobs and buttons, door handles, touchscreens, etc.

4. Use hot soapy water for manual cleaning of kitchen equipment and surfaces before disinfecting with a chemical cleaner or disinfectant.

5. Regularly clean and sanitize surfaces that come into contact with food such as cutting boards, countertops, tables, refrigerators, microwaves and sinks.

6. Allow surfaces to air dry after being cleaned and sanitized or use paper towels to wipe them down before replacing the items on the surface.

7. Store food properly to prevent contamination and cross-contamination of foodborne illnesses. This includes using separate cutting boards for raw meats/poultry and vegetables or cooked food.

8. Clean kitchen tools such as knives, cutting boards, peelers, graters and utensils with hot water and soap after each use to prevent bacterial growth. Sanitize them in a chlorine bleach solution (1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water) for at least 1 minute before air drying or rinsing with clean water before using again.

9. Clean up spills immediately to prevent bacteria from growing and spreading on kitchen surfaces.

10. Refrigerate all foods within 2 hours of cooking or purchase to prevent the growth of bacteria on food items that will spoil quickly at room temperature.

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

1. Regularly Inspect Restaurant Areas: Restaurants should inspect their areas on a regular basis to identify any pest infestations before they become a problem. Employees should be trained to watch for signs of potential problems and report them to management.

2. Store Food Properly: Food should be stored in sealed containers or in areas that are not accessible to pests, such as in the refrigerator or freezer. Any food that is exposed should be monitored regularly for signs of infestation.

3. Set Up Traps: Pest traps can be placed in key areas of the restaurant to help catch mice, rats, and other pests before they become a problem. Traps should be checked and emptied regularly.

4. Regularly Clean: Properly cleaning the kitchen and dining area is essential for keeping pests away from food and other materials. All areas should be kept clean and free of clutter, and surfaces should be wiped down on a regular basis.

5. Use Pesticides: If all other measures fail, restaurants may need to use pesticides or other chemical treatments to get rid of pests. These products should only be used by licensed professionals and should follow all safety guidelines.

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

In Erie County, New York, restaurants must adhere to the New York State Department of Health’s requirements regarding the health of food handlers. Food handlers must report illnesses to their employers and maintain proper personal hygiene to prevent the spread of foodborne illness. Food handlers must wash their hands after using the restroom, smoking, coughing, sneezing, or handling raw foods. Food handlers must also wear protective gloves when handling ready-to-eat food and change gloves when switching tasks. Restaurants are also required to provide handwashing sinks with hot and cold running water at a temperature of at least 100°F. Restaurants must also store potentially hazardous food at 41°F or below, and Cook potentially hazardous food to an internal temperature of at least 135°F. Additionally, restaurants must post signs in employee restrooms reminding employees to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

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

1. Separate perishable and non-perishable foods. Keep perishable foods, such as meats, dairy products, and fruits and vegetables, in the refrigerator or freezer. Non-perishable items can be stored in cool, dry areas away from heat or direct sunlight.

2. Label all items with the expiration date so you know when they need to be used or discarded.

3. Date mark any opened food items and rotate them frequently to ensure that they are used before their expiration date.

4. Store raw meat, poultry, and fish on the lower shelves of the refrigerator to minimize the risk of cross-contamination of other food items.

5. Place cans, bottles, and other sealed containers away from moisture or heat sources.

6. Discard any food that is moldy, slimy, rusty, or discolored.

7. Use proper food handling techniques to protect against the spread of foodborne illnesses.

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

In New York and Erie County, restaurants must adhere to the federal regulations on food labeling. All food must be labeled with a “Use By” date or a “Sell By” date on the product packaging. The “Use By” date refers to the last day that the product can be safely consumed. The “Sell By” date is meant to provide a marker for retailers to ensure they are offering their customers the freshest product. Restaurants should use the “Use By” date as an indicator of freshness and discard any product past that date. The “Sell By” date should provide a guideline for restocking shelves with fresh product to ensure customers always have access to a quality product. Restaurants should also check for any other state or local labeling requirements before discarding products past their “Use By” or “Sell By” dates.

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

The Erie County Department of Health offers a food handler training and certification program for food handlers who work in food establishments in the county. This program is designed to help ensure food safety in restaurants by teaching food handlers about safe food handling practices, food safety principles, and regulations that must be followed. The program includes an online course, a written exam, and a practical assessment. Successful completion of the course and exams will result in a Food Handler Certificate that is valid for three years. The certification is also recognized by the New York State Department of Health.

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

The Erie County (New York) Department of Health works collaboratively with restaurants to ensure compliance with food handling regulations. The Department of Health provides guidance and resources for restaurant operators to ensure that their operations are compliant with all applicable regulations. The department works with restaurants to develop and implement food safety plans and conduct periodic inspections to verify compliance. If a violation is found, the Department of Health will provide information about how to correct the violation and follow up to ensure compliance. The Department of Health also provides education and outreach on topics such as food safety, food allergies, and food borne illness. The department also works with restaurant operators to ensure they maintain proper records and documentation of their food safety practices.