Food safety is important to any business in the food service industry. Whether the business is a restaurant, a school, or a hotel food safety regulations must be followed by each to ensure that customers are consuming food that is prepared in safe conditions, out of fresh foods, and is thoroughly cooked to prevent food poisoning. Many hotels practice such intense food safety procedures that even cleaning maids and maintenance personnel are required to be trained in food safety regulations.
One of the most important food safety regulations in the hotel food industry is the subject of personal hygiene. All persons in the hotel who will be touching food items or items that will touch the food are required to wash their hands after using the rest room. Personal hygiene as a food safety regulation in hotels does not only govern hand washing but also the covering of hair and cuts on the body, wearing clean clothing to work, and covering the mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing and then washing the hands again.
Cleaning and disinfecting food preparation areas and items used in preparing food are very important to the food safety standards of a hotel or another food service industry. Items such as preparation tables, stoves, ovens, knives, stirring utensils, grinding machines, and juicing machines all must be cleaned and disinfected to prevent bacteria from growing in or on the items and potentially causing food poisoning.
Making food safe in hotels does not simply mean using cleanliness when handling food or objects that will come into contact with the food. Food pests such as roaches, flies, and rodents can contaminate any foods that they come into contact with. Annual or more frequent visits from pest control services will help to prevent such problems and keep the food service sector of the hotel at top quality.
In order for food safety to be at high standards in hotels, the cooks preparing the food must learn the proper means of preparing dishes. Cooks are required to throw away any expired foods, even if they are only a day past expiration date, and any foods that touch the floor or come into contact with a dirty surface. Cooks are also required to cook food thoroughly unless otherwise directed by the person who is requesting the food item.
The Health Department of the county in which the hotel is seated reserves the right to make surprise visits to the hotel or other food service business in order to ensure that the hotel staff is observing proper food safety procedures. Because inspections can be done at any time, it is important that all standards be met or the food service sector of the hotel could be shut down, causing the hotel to lose a significant amount of revenue.