Stay in the Safety Zone

Food safety blog

APD’s Nutrition team has completed online AAA Food Safe Handling certification training. The course covered topics such as cross-contamination, hand washing, temperature danger zones, and cooling practices.

Food handler training helps professional kitchens minimize improper food safety procedures and prevent or eliminate foodborne illness.

“When food is in the temperature danger zone of 40–140°F, bacteria can grow and thrive,” said Shawn Richardson, director of nutrition and environmental services at APD. “Keeping certain foods within this temperature range for too long allows foodborne pathogens to grow. Those pathogens can make us sick if we eat them.”

Refrigerating or freezing perishable foods at the right temperatures can prevent the growth of bacteria.

The training covered best practices for cooling before refrigeration. According to Shawn, refrigerators cool containers from the outside, and it can take a while for food to be cooled through, leaving the center susceptible to bacteria growth. Placing hot containers inside a refrigerator can raise the temperature inside. That’s why it’s important to know about safe temperature zones and cool-down time.

“This was a great educational opportunity for the team,” Shawn said. “Thanks to this training, we’re able to serve the food at the highest possible quality, and keep our community safe.”