FOOD SERVICE PERSONNEL
Food service personnel are a most important
link in the transmission of disease through foods.
The health and personal habits of food service
personnel and the methods of preparing and
serving foods are vital factors. Health standards
for food service personnel are discussed in the
HM 3 & 2 Rate Training Manual.
SANITARY PRECAUTIONS FOR
PREPARING AND SERVING FOOD
Food poisoning and the spread of foodborne
illness would be eradicated if food were procured
from approved sources and processed, prepared,
and served according to recommended sanitary
practices. Most foodborne illnesses can be traced
to one or more of the following:
. Food prepared too far in advance of
l Poor refrigeration
l Disregard of time and temperature factors
l Poor personal hygiene practices
. Food service personnel who are ignorant
of or careless in applying recommended
Even with exact care and handling, most
uncooked foods harbor some microorganisms.
Their growth can be prevented or retarded
through proper temperature control. Only the
quantity of food that will be consumed at each
meal should be prepared, and hot foods should
be kept hot and cold foods cold.
Do not return open jars or bowls of
mayonnaise and salad dressing from salad bars
to refrigerators for reuse at later meals.
When leftovers or warm foods are to be
chilled, ensure prompt and thorough chilling to
the center of the food mass (40°F or lower). Foods
to be refrigerated should be placed in shallow pans
of not more than 3 inches in depth and covered
with lids, waxpaper, or other appropriate covers.
Food to be chilled should immediately be placed
in the chill box and labeled with the time and date.
Leftover foods must not be held longer than
Foods that were cooked and then refrigerated
shall be rapidly heated to 140°F (60°C) or
higher throughout before being placed in a hot
food storage container. Steam tables, warmers,
and other food holding facilities must not be used
for rapid heating.
Ground or chopped food that is to be cooked
later or incorporated into a recipe must be
refrigerated immediately in covered shallow pans
not more than 3 inches deep.
Cut, sliced, or diced meats must be re-
frigerated immediately in shallow containers not
more than 3 inches deep.
Green vegetables of uncertain origin or
suspected of being contaminated must be
chemically sanitized by immersion for at least
15 minutes in 100 parts per million (ppm) free
available chlorine solution or 30 minutes in
50 ppm free available chlorine solution. These
items must then be thoroughly rinsed with clean,
potable water before use. Head items such as
lettuce, cabbage, and celery must be broken apart
before they are sanitized.
Frozen foods are subject to deleterious quality
changes in color, texture, odor, flavor, and
nutritional value if improperly packaged, frozen,
stored, or thawed. The proper procedures for
managing frozen foods include sealing the foods
in moisture- and vapor-proof containers or
wrappers to prevent dehydration and freezer burn.
Other measures are freezing foods in process
freezers designed to cool bulk foods quickly to
reduce chemical and biological deterioration, and
storing the foods at a constant temperature
not above 0°F.
Frozen foods must be thawed in a refrigerated
space. Once thawed, frozen foods must not be
refrozen. Thawing by exposure to excessive heat is
prohibited. Likewise, thawing by immersion in
water or with the use of fans is prohibited.
Frozen meats must be thawed gradually at
temperatures of 36° to 38°F and used as soon as
possible thereafter. Frozen foods may be thawed
in the galley or meat preparation space on board
ship at room temperature if thaw boxes have not
yet been installed and if no refrigeration space is
available for this purpose. When frozen foods are
thawed by this method, the temperature must not
exceed 80°F, items must remain in their original
containers while thawing, precautions must be
taken to ensure that foods are not allowed to
remain at room temperature once thawed, and the
Medical Department representative (MDR) must
be notified of the thawing procedures. Frozen