Identifying and Addressing the Top Five Food Safety Issues

Keeping your customers safe and healthy is vital to the success of any food service business. Not only is it an ethical responsibility, but it also ensures that customers return to your establishment for quality food.
Restaurant kitchen working washing produce in a sink

Despite strategies like handwashing, sanitation, and temperature control measures, food safety issues continue to arise. Identifying and addressing prevalent food safety issues is important. We’ve curated a list of the top five food safety issues to watch out for and how to tackle them!



Cross-contamination can occur when contaminated surfaces, equipment, or hands come in contact with food. This can lead to illnesses caused by pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli. To avoid cross-contamination, it’s necessary to separate raw and cooked foods and use different cutting boards, utensils, and surfaces. Clean and sanitize surfaces and equipment frequently, and wash hands before and after handling food.


Improper Temperature Control

That chicken your customer is ordering may look and smell fine, but do you know if it has been kept at a safe temperature? Foods that are not kept at a safe temperature can harbor bacteria and other pathogens that can cause foodborne illness. Avoid keeping food in the temperature danger zone between 40 °F (4.4 °C) and 140 °F (60 °C). Ensure that all equipment is calibrated and functioning correctly, keep hot food hot and cold food cold, and ensure all employees have been adequately trained and know how to maintain safe food temperatures.


Poor Personal Hygiene

As much as it may seem like common sense, employees may fall short on proper hygiene practices including handwashing, disinfecting, and even using hairnets and gloves. To avoid contamination and keep customers safe, insist on proper hygiene practices. It’s essential that all employees wash their hands frequently and properly throughout their shift, wear protective gear when handling food, and avoid preparing food when they have cuts, sores, or illnesses.


Unsafe Food Sources

When sourcing food, it’s important to use your franchisor’s recommendations for reputable and safe suppliers who follow the necessary protocols to ensure the safety of the food they provide. Make sure the suppliers have fulfilled the food safety protocols and checks before they supply you with the produce. Properly inspect the food, ensure that the packaging is intact and that the contents are up to standard before accepting delivery of any goods.


Pest Infestations

Pest infestations in your business premises can be one of the most dangerous food safety issues that can happen. It’s a possible sign of unsanitary conditions along with health risks for employees and customers. Implement pest control measures such as regularly cleaning and sanitizing the area, storing food appropriately, sealing any potential entry points, and keeping track of any possible pest issues and dealing with them quickly when they arise. Moreover, ensure that your employees are trained in identifying the signs of pest infestations and how to report them.


Every food industry business owner should ensure the correct procedures are put in place to prevent the most significant food safety issues. Get educated, train your staff, and put measures in place to evade these problems. Take the necessary steps to mitigate any risks to your customers’ health and safety. Following simple precautions, including proper food storage, handling, and clean-up, can make a big difference in the safety and quality of your products. It’s important to make food safety not just a priority but a habit in your business. Keep your customers safe, and your business thriving, by being vigilant in identifying and addressing food safety issues.

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