Brush Up On Basics for Food Safety Month

safe food

Although food safety should always be a top priority for your business, September is National Food Safety Month, a great time reinforce its importance with your employees. Brush up on these basic principles with your employees this month:

  • Temperature Monitoring – Maintenance of proper food temperatures is critical for preventing foodborne illnesses. Poultry should be cooked to 165° F, ground meats to 155° F, and seafood to 145° F. Instawares offers a variety of thermometers to monitor food temperatures while cooking and serving. Plus, from now through the end of the month, all Ecolab thermometers are 20% off.
  • Cross Contamination – Pathogens can easily be transferred from one surface or food to another during prep and storage. Avoiding bare hand contact with food and cleaning and sanitizing food-contact surfaces are good ways to prevent this from happening. Another easy way to avoid cross contamination when prepping food is using a produce wash like ProduceShield to guard against harmful organisms.
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing – Always clean and sanitize food-contact surfaces:
  1. After they are used
  2. Any time food handlers are interrupted during a task and the items being used may have been contaminated
  3. Before food handlers start working with a different type of food
  4. After four hours if items are in constant use

Following these simple steps goes a long way in preventing illnesses and can save you time and money.

Don’t Give Them What They Want

A blog post from Restaurant Hospitality magazine last Monday explored consumers’ desire to want what they cannot have:  access to exclusive clubs, tables at restaurants with lengthy waiting lists, limited edition products, etc. When supply doesn’t meet demand, those who demand will pay more for access to the supply.

Sold Out sign

Every restaurant wants a menu item to get this kind of attention!

So, create it!

Limited-supply menu items can be “available” at any price point; there’s no need to go way above what your demographic is willing to pay. Get creative and do some market testing within your own restaurant to see what creates buzz. It can be a simple food idea or an entire concept.

  • Small-batch, chef-created ice creams to polish off summertime meals? Invest in a 4-qt Hamilton Beach Ice Cream Maker and invent a new flavor every day — one batch only!
  • Keep some rich Belgian chocolate on hand and dip only the very best fresh fruit from the day’s market, pair it with espresso for dessert and then package the limited-quantity pairing as a special service for the whole table.
  • One day a week, during a short window, offer afternoon tea for moms (or dads) and kids with lovely but durable Tea Rose tea service. Allow only a few sittings. Serve some small eats that are easy to prep (got leftover ingredients?) and suddenly, it’s an exclusive event!

Out with Cupcakes, In with…

Packnwood eco-friendly wooden macaron box holds 7 cookiesOn Jul. 7, the Manhattan-based chain of cupcake bake shops Crumbs surprised employees and customers alike by suddenly closing all of its locations due to financial difficulties.

News outlets and social media went berserk over the news, calling the cupcake trend officially “dead.” Fortunately, within the week, investors had stepped in to revive the cupcake and reopen Crumbs!

Are they just delaying the inevitable, though? The trend has been well on its way out since Jack Donaghy shared need-to-know information with a NYC tourist on an episode of 30 Rock in 2008, “Let’s see, we’re using credit cards in cabs now. All the galleries have moved to Chelsea, and we’re off cupcakes and back to doughnuts.”

We all know cupcakes will survive at bakeries, coffee shops, grocery stores, and mom’s kitchen for forever, but there will always be new trends. As cupcakes slowly bow out, one thing’s for sure; the macaron is emerging as a national trend!

They’re kind of fancy. They’re colorful. And when they’re traditionally made, they’re gluten free. They‘re also delicate and difficult to make, and that’s why they sell for $1.50 a pop. Or more!

For that price, they deserve very special packaging and Packnwood has an absolutely adorable, eco-friendly, unique macaron box made just for them! Customers will fawn over this box at least as much as the cookie (which means the cost of $2.53 can be easily passed on to them).