How Server's ProPortion™ Dispenser Promotes Food Safety
If you’ve ever worked at a restaurant, you’ve heard the term “first-in, first-out” in some shape or form. FIFO means using the food you make or receive first before using any new food.
Grocery stores implement this system by putting new shipments of food behind what’s already on the shelf, and restaurants stock coolers by keeping the closest “use by” dates in the front.
One hazard to food safety – both front-of-house and back-of-house – is refilling squeeze bottles from the top before they are empty. It may seem harmless, but some condiments are more hazardous than others.
Some restaurants leave the most popular condiments on the table: ketchup, mustard and hot sauce.
Let’s look at tartar sauce, for example. Not only is it dangerous to leave out on a table for an entire day part, but adding fresh product on top of the old to keep the bottle full for the next customer can lead to even more food safety issues.
The bottom half of the tartar sauce will never get used, and can sit on a table to grow warmer for up to six hours, depending on shift lengths. What’s more; if, at the end of the night, a prep worker condenses multiple almost-empty squeeze bottles into one, the old product will still be at the bottom while more of the old product from other bottles is squeezed on top.
The same goes for potentially hazardous condiments like mayonnaise. Busy or newly-hired employees preparing sandwiches may not follow safety measures during peak hours when they're under pressure. For those that don’t keep back-up bottles in a refrigerator or cold table, it may mean refilling a squeeze bottle during a rare lull by scooping more mayo into a half-empty squeeze bottle.
If kept in a cold table, the mayo will be fine for the day, but without proper labeling, no one on the next shift will know that there is older product below the fresher product.
It’s best to use squeeze bottles with one opening until they are empty and replace them with a fresh bottle so they can be washed after use. For bottles with two openings, it’s still best to wash them routinely, but rather than washing after one use, these can be filled from the back opening so the condiments you put in first get used up before the newly added condiments.
Server’s ProPortion™ handheld dispenser has FIFO built right into the design. After filling the dispenser and locking the handle in place, operators will squeeze the handle to advance the seal downward, leaving no condiments or sauce behind.
Once the seal has moved all the way to the dispensing point, less than an ounce of product will remain at the bottom. Remove the handle and refill from the top – once you start dispensing again, the remainder of the first batch of product will be pushed out before the new product, ensuring your toppings are always fresh.
Not only does the ProPortion™ help keep diners healthy, its added portion control features give it a cost-savings advantage over regular squeeze bottles!
Another way the industry keeps food safe is hermetically sealed pouches. Server has many pouched product dispensers in its arsenal already in an effort to uphold food safety.
Sticking to this trend, Server designed the ProPortion™ to work with Cryovac FlexPrep™ pouches, which hold up to 24 oz of product. Because these pouches hold food with an airtight seal until they are burst by the dispenser, the food is shelf stable and less likely to come into contact with harmful bacteria.
Since we’re talking about food safety, on September 19, FES Magazine will be hosting a free food safety webcast you won’t want to miss!