Five Food Safety Tips for Restaurants

Food Safety, Restaurant Operations, Insurance,
 Five Food Safety Tips for Restaurants

By Society Insurance


In each restaurant, there are four basic components for safe food preparations: clean, separate, cook and chill.  A real or perceived foodborne illness is one of the frequent claims made to restaurant insurance carriers and voiced on social media platforms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that roughly 48 million Americans get sick due to foodborne illness every year. Restaurant operators can successfully battle this issue by being proactive with food safety programs. Using food safety best practices can keep customers safe and protect the restaurant’s reputation.


Below are several food safety tips that restaurant operators can adopt into their food safety programs.


  1. Store Food Safely

Ensure every appliance has a thermometer that reads 40°F or below for refrigerators and 0°F or below for freezers. Cook or freeze fresh poultry, fish, ground meats and some varieties of meat within two days. Cook or freeze beef, veal, lamb and pork within three to five days. Securely wrap perishable foods to maintain quality and prevent cross contamination. Use labeling methods to ensure a standard of when food items are opened and/or prepared.

  1. Prepare Food with Care

Handwashing is the first step in preparing food with care. Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before handling food. Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils and work surfaces frequently with hot, soapy water. Designate separate preparation areas for cooked and raw foods. 

  1. Cook Food to Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures

The only way to ensure harmful bacteria is destroyed is to cook food to minimum temperatures. Use food thermometers to check the internal temperatures of meat, poultry, casseroles and other foods in several spots.

  1. Hold Food Safely

The danger zone is considered 40°F -140°F. Storage temperatures can help reduce the amount of bacteria growth on food. Keep hot foods at or above 140°F and cold foods at or below 40°F.

  1. When in Doubt, Throw it Out

Use shallow containers when storing food in the walk-in cooler and refrigerate or freeze food immediately after receiving it. Discard any food left out at room temperature for more than two hours or one hour when the temperature is above 90°F.


Society Insurance offers all policyholders programs and discounts to save on the ServSafe Food Handler, Manager Food Safety, and Allergens training and certification.  Society Insurance is committed to helping businesses operate in a safe and practical way. Learn more business best practices by visiting


Note: The information provided is adapted from published guidance from the United States Department of Agriculture. More detailed food safety information from the USDA is available here.


This information is provided as a convenience for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute legal or professional advice.  It is provided to assist you in recognizing potential unsafe work problems or conditions and not to establish compliance with any law, rule or regulation.


Society Insurance is recognized throughout the industry as a leader in providing superior restaurant and bar insurance custom-tailored to fit the unique needs of each operation. To learn more, visit