A recent report conducted by a company that helps businesses with FDA compliance released the top 5 violations reported at FDA-regulated food facilities. Among the top 5 infractions was the improper implementation of controls that mitigate the risks of food hazards, such as, the growth of microorganisms, as well as, facility maintenance and sanitation. These FDA violations combined accounted for almost 40% of all the violations reported in FY 2018.
In the food-service industry one of the most overlooked preventative maintenance items is the regular cleaning of ice machines. The FDA considers ice a food item and as such should be treated with the same level of cleanliness, sanitation, and equipment maintenance as other food products. If you’ve ever seen the headline “Slime in the Ice Machine” this is likely due to inconsistent ice machine maintenance and irregular water filter replacements. We recommend cleaning ice machines and replacing the water filters at least once every 3 months depending on the volume of usage.
When it comes to refrigeration, proper operational performance is essential to preventing the onset of microorganism growth that can lead to foodborne illnesses. Pathogenic bacteria begin to grow quickly when temperatures reach what is called the “danger zone” (temperatures between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F).
If your refrigerator thermometer is showing improper readings or not providing the full picture of the entire unit’s operations your foodstuffs may potentially be contaminated. One way to prevent this is by logging temperature throughout the unit at regular intervals to ensure your equipment is properly holding the right temperature settings. We offer automated logging and reporting systems with wireless sensors that are placed in your refrigerator and take readings at specificied intervals. It can also be set up to alert personnel of extended door openings or prolonged temperature fluctuations by email or text message.