The importance of documentation

Whether a restaurant belongs to a large chain or simply a mom and pop operation, it is always beneficial to document cooler temperatures, hot holding temperatures, sanitizer concentration for dishwashers, time/temperature checks on a daily basis. A quality control program never hurts. I despise those restaurant inspections where I end up tossing away copious amounts of food simply because something went wrong; in this case, their cooler was inoperable. The other day on a routine restaurant inspection, I found that the temperature of all pre-made food products in a display cooler which included sausage hamburgers, cheese hamburgers, and others were reading at an internal temperature of 20°C. This could have easily been avoided if temperatures were routinely monitored. Apparently, this has been going on for a while without proper adjustment. Cooler temperatures must be maintained at 4-5°C to slow bacterial growth, not eliminate, to slow growth. Good idea to check your refrigerator at home as well. What a waste of food. Furthermore, perishable food products that are maintained at refrigeration temperatures must be labeled to verify the date it was prepared. If it is not consumed within three days, get rid of it, like you would with your old Milli Vanilli LP’s.