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Critical Issues in Food Service

People often look at these issues in two different ways. The first of these is that when they are building a new place to act as a food service facility and to facilitate the proper use of hygiene and sanitation. The second is when trying to figure out how to change a place that already exists in order to promote any kind of efficiency with regard to sanitation. Whichever view you take, the key components of the two systems are the same. Product and worker flow design is the first standard. Many issues in this field come from a poor flow in the facility itself. This can occur in either a large food plant or even in a place as small as a basic kitchen. One good example of a plant with good design is the Maui Medical Center in Hawaii.

In this place, the area where the food is being served is kept away from the main kitchen area in order to avoid any issued with sanitation or cross-contamination. This place also keeps the tray and dish washing area away from both the serving area and the main prep area.

The butcher area where raw meat and product products are being processed is kept away from the main kitchen. All of the fridges, freezers, dry storage, etc are also kept well away from each other. The areas do, however, all flow into the processing kitchen. This isolates sanitation and keeps cross contamination from raw areas to areas where cooking is being done and food is being served.

A good facility needs to have different work centers from which specific food safety and sanitation criteria can be shared. These work centers need to have some good work space available along with a good logical flow of equipment and tools that can be used to promote efficiency in sanitation and promote processing through both safe cleanup and best practices. A worker should know how to process items and to conduct their own sanitation all in the one work enter without having to go anywhere else and, thus, avoiding any sort of potential cross contamination.

Maui Medical Center has a good food service area. The kitchen has a good traffic flow which goes off of central hallways and avoid critical areas. All of this is being done so that cross contamination can be avoided. One problem causing work area is tray assembly. This area is usually a critical control point where the proper use of hygienic design must be highlighted. A poorly designed area for tray assembly will lead to problems down the road and in other areas of the facility.

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