Buying produce from the local market offers a lot of benefits, from fresher quality to lower price. However, it is important to note that buying local ingredients can sometimes cause certain food safety concerns.
Here are five smart tips you can apply to ensure safety when buying ingredients from a local market for your business.
1. Research Applicable Food Safety Regulations
As a restaurant that purchases the ingredients from local farms, it is important to check whether they comply with the necessary regulations or not. Restaurants have to make sure that they are always up to date on recent rules.
They have to research what rules apply to them and their suppliers. Only by understanding these rules, a restaurant can determine which local farms are safer.
2. Ask for Proof of Best Practices
While the regulations provided by the government covers ingredient safety rules, sometimes it doesn’t cover everything. Therefore, restaurants need to check whether the suppliers they choose have conducted their best practices to conform to the safety measure.
Restaurants should understand the best practices in handling supplies. It is important to ask for proof of their best practices or visit the suppliers directly to inspect how they handle the products to ensure safety.
3. Regularly Inspect Shipment Quality
While suppliers usually ensure their quality standards, restaurants should also play a part in it. When the restaurants’ order arrived, a well-trained manager in produce quality should thoroughly inspect the orders’ quality.
Safety problems and concerns sometimes cannot be easily spotted. That’s why restaurants need to inspect the shipment quality.
4. Take Care of Handling and Preparation
The next step to ensure food safety for a restaurant is by taking proper care of handling and preparation of the food. The handling and preparation include thoroughly cleaning all the ingredients, keeping kitchen equipment clean, storing food at proper temperatures, wearing gloves for every different food, etc.
These steps are highly important, especially in the food industry, whether they buy their produce, local or not. A simple error while handling the food can cause foodborne illness, which can be dangerous.
5. Apply Transparency
One of the most important things to note is transparency. Restaurants should have a transparent and easy-to-track supply chain to easily track possible problems. This will help the restaurant to track any problems from the source. Therefore, restaurants will be able to act accordingly and fix the issues.
Purchasing produce from local suppliers doesn’t mean restaurants have to compromise health and safety. With the right steps mentioned above, restaurants can ensure the safety of the ingredients they use.
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