The Critical FDA Food Code item #6 associated with an increased risk of food borne illness is eating, tasting, drinking or using tobacco in a non-designated area.
Avoid eating, tasting, drinking or using tobacco in non-designated areas to prevent potential food borne illness and practice standards of common courtesy. Our mouths carry germs. Most of those germs are safe and don’t cause harm but at any point in time we may be carrying a germ that hasn’t yet made us sick. Eating, tasting and drinking in food preparation areas could contaminate your customer’s food and put them at risk. Consider those you are serving like guests in your own home. Respect their sensitivities. Avoiding these practices will reduce the likelihood of your facility being cited for this common violation and help keep your restaurant’s food safety image clean.
So, what is NOT acceptable by FDA code?
- Any tasting, eating, drinking or smoking in non-designated areas.
When I worked full time in a busy emergency room, it was very tempting to eat or drink in the patient care “arena”. When working hard, it is sometimes difficult to take a personal break. Understandable but attention to acceptable commercial food preparation standards is important.
What is acceptable by FDA code?
- Drinking from a closed beverage container.
- Keeping the beverage container stored away from food, food contact surfaces, clean equipment and unwrapped articles.
What are examples of acceptable non-designated area?
- Employee lounge
- Inconspicuous booth or table
- Non-food preparation area
In reviewing our Dining Grades database of nearly 3 million health department scores, we have discovered national trends. A subset of that database is the distribution of FDA Food Code top violations. Eating, tasting, drinking or using tobacco in non-designated areas is a top trending violation. To see further reports, claim your restaurant listing.