Monthly Archives: January 2014

Improving Restaurant Food Safety

Foodborne illnesses are among the biggest problems facing the fast casual and quick­service industries, with one in six Ameri­cans each year becoming sick from dining out. Almost any type of food can spread ill­nesses, particularly meat, greens and dairy. Outbreaks tend to be traced to improper storage and unclean surfaces that allow bacteria to latch onto food products.

The cost of treating people with illnesses linked to restaurants annually tops $365 million in direct medical costs. Combating potential illnesses, however, doesn’t require extensive costs; there are a number of easy steps restaurants can take that involve little or no additional expenses.

  • Train workers to clean work stations, prep meals, and properly handle and store image009products
  • Workers must be aware of the resistance of highly contagious germs like Norovirus
  • Constant hand washing and sanitizing must be enforced across the restaurant.
  • Correct food storage is important to keep food from becoming contaminated.

Proper food storage ensures the retention of the nutritional value and functional property of a food product without compromising its aesthetic value. Perhaps the most common choice for commercial food storage is plastic storage bags. Often freezer-proof, they can be simple bags with a twist tie or they could have a zipper or press-seal to keep the air out. There are also specially designed bags for fruit and vegetable storage which allow some air into the bag. Fruits and vegetables can last for up to six weeks in such bags.

Restaurants need to maintain rigid quality assurance and sanitation standards to ensure that patrons always receive fresh, wholesome products. This can easily be achieved by the proper usage of polyethylene products for food storage such as plastic bags, plastic rolls, lock top reclosable bags and/or sandwich bags.

Check out our Foodservice line of products to help your establishment keep foods fresh and prevent the spread of foodborne illness.

Feeding the Public on the Go

Grab-and-Go options help foodservice operators address the growing demand for convenient, pre-packaged foods. Consumers are increasingly on the go in today’s lifestyle and foodservice operations hoping to capitalize on their demands for more convenient food products are turning to offerings of pre-packaged food products. Items that qualify as Grab-and-Go are those that consumers are able to select from refrigerated or heated displays areas without assistance. Pre-packaged Grab-and-Go items are ideal for those in a hurry to make a decision and purchase.

Foodservice industry executives state that the need for speed, accuracy, and efficiency in theGrab 'n Go quick service environment has fueled the rapid growth within the Grab-and-Go concepts. Quality meal offerings coupled with customer convenience is driving the trend. The concept is continuing to grow in popularity due to consumer demands for better portion control, healthy ingredients, lower calories, and packaging that assist in the control of food allergens. As one food prep manager states: “Making a fresh, quality sandwich is relatively simple, but to repeat that across many locations, many times a day, with different people making those products is actually quite difficult”! Maintaining freshness can be a challenge and packaging alternatives play a big role in the provider’s success.

Today clear packaging is playing a vital role in sales of Grab-and Go offerings. Operators offering these types of items say that providing products in a transparent package can increase sales as much as 20 percent. Offering the industry packaging that allows the consumer to see what they are purchasing, provides protection against handling allergens, and delivers an extra measure of freshness seems like the optimal solution to offer to end user foodservice customers.