Hobart has dedicated more than a century to catering its passion for foodservice, inspired by the people who feed the world. It’s their mission to “provide food equipment that foodservice and food retail professionals can trust to work hard and deliver quality, consistent results day in and day out, empowering them to focus on what they love most – creating great food for great people.” That’s why Central is proud to partner with them to offer our customers quality products and help carry out our own purpose – equipping people who feed the world.
As mentioned above, Hobart is a leading manufacturer of durable equipment and supplies useful in the areas of cooking, food preparation, dishwashing, waste reduction, weighing and packaging. They were established in Troy, Ohio is 1897, dedicating all this time building upon a clear vision of leading the foodservice and food retail equipment industry through technological innovations, operational excellence, customer service and value you can trust to support commercial and institutional foodservice and food retail professionals.
June marks National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, and what better way to celebrate than incorporating delicious produce into your school’s meals? Central offers a plethora of products that make it easy for schools to handle fresh fruits and veggies for students from washing and prepping to serving and storage.
Handling Fresh Produce in Schools
The National Food Service Management Institute details their best practices for handing fresh fruits and vegetables in schools, but they are the best practices that any foodservice operation facility could use to follow proper protocol for produce.
Washing and Preparation
Inspect the produce for signs of soil or damage before prepping for further use. If you see affected areas, cut them off or just simply do not use them and avoid the risk! A sharp knife will actually increase employee and safety, and get the job done right! Vegetable brushes are also a great investment to help scrub off dirt and spots on produce.
Don’t forget to actually wash the produce under continuous running water or use a chemical disinfectant. Never soak produce or store it in standing water.
If you receive packaged produce that says it’s ready to eat, washed or pre washed, do not rewash the produce.
There are a variety of food prep appliances that can get the job done while cutting the time it takes in half. Options range from slicing, dicing, chopping or sectioning. If you want apples sectioned out in seconds, or lettuce conveniently chopped for the salad bar, these appliances will make food prep a breeze!
Finally, it’s important to wash all the equipment, utensils and food contact surfaces that came into contact with your washed produce. Keep these things clean and sanitized for the next use. NFSMI recommends rinsing, sanitizing and air-drying each item before use.
Proper hand washing techniques must be implied to ensure clean, fresh produce that’s safe to eat for everyone! Some might think this is a no brainer, but, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling or prepping fruits and vegetables. Remember to rewash your hands after using the restroom, sneezing, coughing or handing anything that’s not produce.
Use gloves or a utensil when touching ready to eat produce – but remember, you must still wash your hands properly. If you use disposable gloves, change them anytime they could have become contaminated in between tasks. Never wash or reuse disposable gloves, and change them if they are torn or damaged.
One of the easiest ways to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into your school is to serve them on a cold food bar, or display them in an attractive way. This is a popular choice, but it’s important to make sure it’s a safe one, too!
Creating a pretty display is definitely worth the effort, but do not store produce in direct contact with ice or water while on a salad bar or serving line. Place fruits and veggies in a beautiful display bowl or platter and then on ice! Leave out cut produce for a maximum time of four hours, after that it needs to back into refrigeration or in containers surrounded by ice.
NSFMI details how to create a safe salad bar and self-service lines by following these tips:
Protect food with sneeze guards or food shields in a direct line between the food and the mouth or nose, usually 14 to 18 inches above the food.
Use cleaned and sanitized long-handled tongs, spoons and ladles so bare hands do not touch food and the utensils do not drop into serving pans.
Change utensils periodically.
Set up the salad bar or self-service line as close to mealtime as possible to reduce the time that produce sets out.
Keep cold foods at or below 41°F in a refrigeration unit or surrounded by ice
Monitor and document the internal temperature of self-service items every 30 minutes as with other foods on the service lines.
Clean up spills promptly. Wiping cloths should be stored in sanitizing solution and laundered daily.
Teach children salad bar etiquette. Assign an adult to monitor the salad bar and self-service line to make sure the customers – especially children – are not touching food with their hands, tasting food while in line, putting their heads under the sneeze guards or returning food items.
Clearly label all salad dressings and other containers to discourage tasting.
Never add freshly prepared food to food already on salad bars and self-service lines.
Always keep fresh fruit and vegetables at the right recommended temperature, whether it be refrigeration or in a dry atmosphere. Store produce in a covered container, at least six inches off the floor and above items that might cause contamination. Mark dates on when you receive the product, when it’s been cut and when to throw it out by.
Central has everything you need to celebrate national fresh fruit and vegetable month all year long! From food prep equipment all the way to storage containers, you can find it with us. If you’re a little confused as to how to properly prep your produce or set up a suitable buffet or food bar, give one of our helpful Product Consultants a call at 800-215-9293 or chat with them live!
Owning a restaurant can be difficult – you need to know a lot about your facility to have a successful business. Central has compiled some helpful tips that range from dining room apparel to cleaning supplies to keep your restaurant in tip top shape.
Don’t Know What Size Gloves To Order? Gloves need to fit properly in order to ensure proper sanitary and safety conditions. To measure, wrap a tape measure around the widest part of your palm. This measurement is closest to your actual glove size shown in the chart on this link.
Keep Your Liquor Pourers Clean! Pourers allow a smooth flow of liquid out of a bottle by providing a path for air to enter the bottle. Liquid will not come out of the bottle if the air vent is blocked. You need to clean your pourers so that sugar cannot build up inside the vents. For information on the dos and don’ts of pourer cleaning, click here!
Are Your Bar Glasses Crystal Clear? Everyone wants a nice-looking, freshly cleaned glass when they order a drink at a restaurant, so make sure yours are sparkling! Glass washers are designed to fit in any bar sink and are best used with a three compartment sink. The first compartment contains the washer, luke warm water and liquid detergent. The second compartment should have clean water while the third should have clean water with a sanitizer.
Easily Turn Any Table Into A Showpiece! Looking to turn your table from boring to wow-worthy? Consider an ice sculpture! Ice sculpture models that are filled with tap water will turn out bright white. Simply fill the mold with water and freeze it for 48 to 72 hours. Cut away the mold starting at the base. Sculptures lasts for about four to five hours at room temperature, and last longer in cooler temperatures!
Think Ahead, So Your Chafers Are Ready When You Are When you’re catering a big event, your worst fear is unappealing, cold food! Don’t let this happen to you! Ensure warm food by heating water in your chafer before dropping in your hot food pans about 20 minutes before you’re supposed to serve. Don’t forget to light the fuel either!
How Many Bar Glasses Do You Need? Estimating how many glasses you need for your restaurant can be a chore, so take the guess-work out of it and use our handy chart!
Ordering The Correct Glass Rack Size It’s important to remember to choose a glass rack that has a greater compartment size than the maximum diameter of your glass. Also, select a rack that has a higher height than your glass.
Advantages Of Cooking With Steam Steam cooking has been around for thousands of years, and has many benefits. Here are some of the advantages: 1. “Steam-cooked foods look much brighter and fresher than those foods cooked by other methods. 2. Steam cooking saves energy. 3. Steam cooking retains more nutrients in the food. For example, a food that is steam-cooked loses 40% of its original amount of Vitamin C. A food that is boiled loses 70%. 5. Foods are more tender at the end of cooking. 6. You can use less fat additives when cooking with steam because you won’t need to use oils to keep food from sticking.” This information about cooking with steam is from our helpful link, located here.
Choosing The Best Ice Machine For Your Needs Ice machines are essential to any business in the foodservice industry. It’s important to choose the correct one to ensure you’re getting the most out of your machine. First, you must choose between air cooled and water cooled machines. Air cooled machines remove the heat from the water and into the air surrounding the machine. Water cooled machines remove the heat from the water by moving that heat into waste water. These machines are quieter, but use more water than air cooled ones. Click here for a chart that helps you choose what level of ice production you’ll need for your business.
Installing Your Grease Interceptor & What Size You Need A grease interceptor should be installed as close to the fixture it is servicing as possible. An interceptor is crucial because it prevents grease from accumulating in the piping. Consult a professional for help with installation. A helpful calculation can determine the correct size for your kitchen.
Buying for your restaurant can be a hard task. Choosing the right equipment is essential to a profitable business, yet it can be complicated. Central has also put together buying guides to help you make the best informed decision you can.