Food is food right? Not when it comes to restaurant kitchens. A local restaurant lost points because workers had their packed lunches stored with food for the customers. Chef and GTCC instructor Keith Gardiner explains the dangers in this Restaurant Report Card lesson.
Keith says, "I can bring my lunch in a plastic bag - no label on the outside and nobody knows who's it is or what it is - and I can put it here on the shelf of this walk-in cooler. One thing you wouldn't want to happen is for the food to get mixed up and someone comes in - there's so much traffic in restaurants - and someone sees it, thinking it's what they need, and they grab it. But that wasn't supposed to get used. That could be a scenario."
He says, "One of the things that scares me - people having their bagged lunch on their seat or floor and who knows what they stepped in outside or if they have a pet. And then it contaminates the shelf. So one of the dangers is cross-contamination from bacteria or it could also be cross contamination from allergens."
Keith says there's a safe way to do it. "People ask us here at GTCC. 'Where can I put something?' We always make them put in the cooler upfront."
A restaurant can lose up to three points not keeping employee food separate from restaurant food.