Person-In-Charge Responsibilities

During a health inspection, the inspector may ask who is the person-in-charge. That is you if you are the cook!  The inspector may ask you to answer a few questions about the concepts in this manual. Simple questions about good hygiene and safe food handling practices that you use every day on the job.

This manual contains information about the following that may be the subject of the inspector's questions.

Preventing Foodborne Illness

Preventing food borne illness is primarily what food safety training is all about. Foodborne illness, sometimes called food poisoning, usually arises from improper handling, preparation, or food storage.

Foodborne illness can be caused by a large variety of toxins. However, many outbreaks and individual cases of foodborne illness result from consuming the two most common types of foodborne pathogens: Bacteria, like Salmonella, Listeria, or E. coli, or a Virus, such as norovirus or hepatitis A.

Symptoms can be mild to severe, to life-threatening illness. Common symptoms include upset stomach, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and dehydration. Anyone can get a foodborne illness. But some people have a higher risk, such as pregnant women, young children, older people, and those with weak immune systems.

Good hygiene practices before, during, and after food preparation can reduce the chances of foodborne illness. This guide is dedicated to concepts and procedures for the prevention of food borne illness.

1. Handwashing

Regular hand-washing is one of the most effective defenses against the spread of foodborne illness.

Initial hand washing when you begin work, followed by hand washing at various important points as follows, is vital to avoid the spread of foodborne illness. These are:

  • Before beginning work
  • After using the restroom, and again before resuming food handling
  • After touching hair, face, body, or clothing
  • After taking out garbage, sneezing or coughing
  • After eating, drinking or using tobacco
  • After leaving the cooking line and returning to it
  • After clearing or busing tables, and after touching money
  • When cooking -- after touching raw foods and before touching "ready-to-eat" foods. More on this later.

How to Wash Hands

Wash hands in the hand wash sink. If the hand wash sink is not stocked with soap, paper towels, and sanitizer, refill these items from inventory or notify your manager immediately.


Wet, Soap, Rinse, Dry

Hand Washing Video

Watch this important little video, it has more information than just how to wash hands.

Final Step of Handwashing - Hand Sanitizer

One thing the video didn't mention that we must apply hand sanitizer after each hand washing. A sanitizer dispenser is located by each hand washing station.

2.  Personal Cleanliness

These other personal cleanliness requirements play a major role in food safety. Failure to meet these requirement can become a source of contamination.

  1. Hair Restraints - Food handlers must wear a clean hat or visor.
  2. Clean Work Uniforms - All uniforms and aprons should be laundered.
  3. Aprons - An apron must be worn when cooking in the kitchen.
  4. Jewelry - Jewelry should be removed before handling food because it can harbor germs or accidentally fall into food. A plain wedding band is acceptable.
  5. Eating and Drinking - Employees should never eat or drink near food and food prep areas. Beverages must be kept out of the kitchen and out of customer view. Keep beverages on the employee break table.
  6. Fingernails - Food handlers must keep their fingernails trimmed, filed and maintained so the edges and surfaces are cleanable and not rough. Food employees may not wear fingernail polish or artificial fingernails.
  7. Cuts, wounds, sores on hands - Food handlers must completely cover the affected area with a waterproof bandage and/or single-use gloves.

3. Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination is the transfer of harmful substances to food, potentially resulting in foodborne illness. One form of cross-contamination is the mishandling of ready-to-eat foods.

What are ready-to-eat foods? Ready-to-eat foods are those that will get no further cooking before consuming (an example is cooked meat); or foods that get no cooking (an example is lettuce).

Strictly speaking, the food code requires freshly washed hands inserted into food service gloves, or the use wax paper or a utensil to assure that bare hands don't touch ready-to-eat foods.

However, in our fast paced operation with  near constant switching of tasks, it's impractical to put on and take off gloves over and over all shift long. So there is a provision in the food code that allows restaurants to establish a Bare-Hand Contact Plan for the safe touching of ready-to-eat foods.

4.  Bare Hand Contact Plan (for the handling of ready-to-eat foods)

The purpose of the plan is to assure that we don't cross-contaminate when touching ready-to-eat foods with our bare hands. The plan has several control measures. The first is how to specifically handle each food item in our operation as follows:

Image of Raw Egg

1. Use bare hands to touch raw shell eggs, and raw griddle items such as frozen hamburger patties, steaks and bacon; or partially or precooked griddle items - hashbrowns, ham, sausage links or patties, and chicken breasts, and fryer items - french fries, fish, shrimp, and appetizers. The cooking, or cooking-to-serving-temperature process, will kill and bacteria that your bare hands might bring.

Image of Cooked Food

2. Use utensils to touch cooked ready-to-eat foods. Especially after touching raw food items such as raw shell eggs and the other items in #1 above... use the food turner to remove items from the griddle such as cooked pancakes or hamburger patties, and for cooked eggs, slide those from the pan onto the plate without touching them with your fingers.

Image of Uncooked Food 3. Use bare hands to touch these uncooked ready-to-eat foods but only after washing your hands especially after you touch a raw food item such as raw shell eggs and before touching toast, buns, and sandwich ingredients like bread, cheese, lettuce, raw onions and pickles. So wash your hands, then you may touch these ready-to-eat foods. Note: Alternatively you can use a physical barrier such as tongs, spatulas, or deli paper.

Our having the bare hand contact plan is contingent on us adhering to the procedures above, plus these additional control measures of the plan:

Wash Nails with Brush

When washing hands a nail brush is available at the hand washing sink in order to remove dirt or bacteria from underneath your finger nails. Use the brush at least at the first hand washing at the beginning of the shift.

Double Hand Washing

This doesn't mean washing twice each time. It means washing hands before leaving the restroom, and again when returning to the kitchen before resuming food handling.

Hand Sanitizer

Apply hand sanitizer after each hand washing.

5.  Exclusion and Restriction of Ill Employees

Another element to prevent foodborne illness is the exclusion or restriction of ill employees (with certain illnesses). A food handler that is sick with certain types of illness, can contaminate food or utensils. Therefore, food handlers must notify their manager if suffering from diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice, fever, or sore throat with fever. These employees may may be excluded from work or be assigned to duties that minimize the potential for contaminating food and equipment.

6.  Time and Temperature Control of Foods

Image of Thermometer

This area of food safety refers to how we handle foods being held in refrigeration, outside of refrigeration at room temperature, being cooked or heated, cooled down, or held under heat.

Important concept: Bacteria multiplies rapidly between 41 F and 135 F. This is known as the Temperature Danger Zone.

Any food that is being held in the temperature danger zone for more than two hours such as in: refrigeration that isn't at the proper temperature, outside of refrigeration at room temperature, being heated up or cooled down, or held under heat...  bacteria can grow.

Again, the temperature danger zone is between 41 F and 135 F. We must keep food out of it, or pass through it within not more than two hours. Here is how this applies to varying situations:

  • In cold holding foods in the refrigerator, the air temperature in the refrigerator, and the food itself in the refrigerator, must be at or below 41 F.

  • In thawing of foods we cannot will allow the food to stay in the temperature danger zone for more than two hours or bacteria will rapidly grow in the outer layers while the core is still frozen. So the best thawing method is to move the food from frozen storage to cold storage so it will not remain in the temperature danger zone for more than two hours.

  • In reheating foods, we need to bring the temperature of the food to at least 165 F for at least 15 seconds within two hours of starting to reheat it. Then promptly move the food to hot holding.

  • In hot holding foods, we must keep it at or above 135 FIf the temperature is below 135 F, the food is in the temperature danger zone.

  • Finally, in cooling down foods after cooking, we need to cool from 135 F to 70 F within the first 2 hours; and the total cooling from 135 F to 41 F or less within 6 hours.

If you discover that a food has been held in the temperature danger zone, but you're not sure how long, we must discard it. When in doubt, throw it out!

Applying these Concepts To Our Operation

Refrigerators:  Check and log the temperature of refrigerators and the food in the refrigerator regularly. We have a log for this purpose.

Thawing chili meat: We place a new frozen chili meat package into the refrigerator. The chili meat will never enter the danger zone as it goes from frozen to not higher than 41 F which is not a problem.

(An alternative quick thaw method if there is only frozen chili meat available, is to place the frozen chili meat in the chili pot on a low flame, add a cup of cold water, place a lid on the chili pot, begin to cook the chili meat by constantly attending to it, scraping off the outer thawed layers of meat with the large spoon. Never thaw the chili meat under cold running water, in warm or hot water, and never in the microwave.)

Thawing steaks:  We move the individually frozen and sealed-in-plastic steaks into cold storage. This assures that the steaks will not enter the temperature danger zone as they go from frozen to not higher than 41 F.

(An alternative quick thaw method is to place frozen steaks into a food storage pan filled with tap water and thaw for not more than one hour. Then discard the water and move the pan with steaks into cold storage.)

Thawing corned beef hash:  Remove a frozen corned beef chub from the freezer to the refrigerator just long enough to be able to cut it into individual portions. Then portion up and freeze again. Do not  let the corned beef hash sit out in room temperature.

Reheating food:  We have no need to reheat food in normal operations. An exception is if we close the restaurant for a period of time, we move prepared chili or soup to the refrigerator. Then, at reopening, we reheat the soup or chili by placing it on the stove, stirring it thoroughly and repeatedly during reheating, which should take no longer than an hour which keeps the product within the temperature danger zone for less than the maximum two hours. Test the temperature of the food using the probe thermometer until the soup or chili reaches165 F for at least 15 seconds.

Hold Holding of foods:  We hot hold chili and soups in electric heating units. Use the probe thermometer periodically to test for at least 135 F.

Cooling down food after preparation:  We have no need to cool down food in our normal operations. The only items possibly are the soups and chili which we move directly to hot holding as soon as they are complete. Or, if we close the restaurant, we move hot chili into cold holding.

7.  Storage of Image of EggsRaw Shell Eggs

Raw shell egg are considered a potentially hazardous food. We keep eggs in cold storage as follows with limited storage of eggs outside of cold storage as follows:

1. Walk-in refrigerator:  Primary storage in the walk-in keeps the eggs at or below 41 F in their original cartons.

2. Kitchen refrigerator: Secondary storage in the kitchen refrigerator keeps the eggs at or below 41 F in their original carton or loose trays.   

3. Room temperature in kitchen:

  • From 6 am to noon daily we can keep a working supply of two (2) trays of eggs out at room temperature to keep them handy. We use use the "Time as a Public Health Control" (TCS) procedure for this. As you take the two trays out of the refrigerator, mark the time on each tray (example "6 a").  As you need an additional tray, mark it and place it under the last tray. At 12 noon, return to the kitchen refrigerator any remaining trays  that are not older than four (4) hours. Discard any that are older than four hours. NOTE: The brisk pace of eggs sold during the 6 am to noon period, pretty much assures that eggs trays will not be older than four hours.

  • Bar time 2-4 am:  The above method can be used during this period as well.

8.  Proper Cooking Temperatures

For Food from Raw

While we typically cook these foods to temperature by appearance, such foods are safe for consumption when reaching the following temperatures:

  • Hamburger 155 F
  • Eggs (such as omelets) 155 F
  • Chicken Tenders 155 F
  • Steaks 145 F
  • Fish 145 F

9.  Food Storage Methods

First In First Out (FIFO)

When stock is put into storage it must be placed newest behind oldest. This is the FIFO method: First In, First Out method of food rotation.

Date Marking

Image of Prep Lables Any ready-to-eat potentially hazardous food must be marked with a discard date at the time of opening or preparation. In our operation we apply a discard date of no more than seven days for the following foods:

Desserts:  When placing desserts into the refrigerated display case, date mark each by placing a "USE BY" sticker on each wrapped piece. Add seven days to the current date.

Prep Bins:  When prepping foods such as omelet mixes, French Fries and other frozen items, place a "Date Prepared" sticker on the food bin.

10. Cleaning and Sanitizing (of Food Contact Surfaces)

Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting are incredibly important to prevent cross-contamination and the spread of viruses. All during the shift, we must keep the clean and sanitized as you go, the food contact surfaces like the grill board and prep tables.

Red and Green Buckets

Green Wash BucketImage of Green Bucket

The green bucket is filled with fresh hot soapy water from a dispenser. Use the soapy water to wash out soiled wiping towels.

Red Sanitize BucketImage of Red Bucket

The red bucket is filled with fresh bleach/water sanitizing solution from a dispenser. We keep all washed wiping cloths stored in the red bucket at all times between uses. The red bucket contains a chlorine/water sanitizing solution that must be maintained between 50 and 100 parts per million (ppm). Change the bucket often, at least every 2 hours or more.

Image of Test StripsTest Strips for the Red Sanitizer Bucket Solution

It's important to test the sanitizer solution in the red bucket regularly. Insert a test strip into the water as follows:

1) Into the water stream as it comes out of the dispenser. It should read 100 ppm.

2) Into the red bucket water. It should read between 50-100 ppm.

11. Food Allergy Procedures

You must have an understanding of food allergies in order to protect customers who identify that they have a food allergy and inquire about the preparation or content of our foods.

Nine (9) Major Food Allergens

Image of Allergens

Cross Contact and Allergies

As it relates to allergies, cross-contact occurs when one food comes into contact with another food and their proteins mix. One food may contain small amounts of the other food, which is often invisible. Contact may be direct (e.g. cheese on a hamburger), indirect via hands, or from utensils. Even a tiny amount of the allergenic food is enough to cause an allergic reaction in some people. Precautions must be taken to avoid cross contact as follows:

For servers:  Cross contact can occur during the serving process. Unclean hands, splashed or spilled food, improperly cleaned tables, chairs, utensils, shared utensils, apron or uniform pockets.

For cooks:  Shared pans, fryers, grills, counters, dishes, trays, cutting boards and utensils like knives, improperly cleaned equipment, unclean hands or gloves, spills or splattering while cooking, and removing an allergy-causing food from a meal without replacing the whole meal (such as scraping cheese from a cheeseburger instead of making a new hamburger with no cheese).

Symptoms of Allergic Reaction

  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Itching or Tingling in and around Mouth, Face, Scalp, Hands and Feet, Hives (Welts)
  • Wheezing and Difficulty Breathing
  • Swelling of the Face, Eyelids, Tongue, Lips, Hands, or Feet
  • Tightening of the Throat (difficult swallowing)
  • Sudden onset of Vomiting, Cramps, or Diarrhea

Customer Who Inform You about a Food Allergy

When a guest informs you that he or she has a food allergy you may need to inform them of ingredients in the foods they are ordering. Be understanding, listen carefully, and answer thoughtfully. If you're not sure of the ingredients it is safer to say "I don't know", and then seek the manager to find out.

If a Customer Has an Allergic Reaction

Call emergency medical services immediately. It is also important to keep the person where they are and not have them stand into an upright position.

Certification of Training

Please sign click here.

You were asked to sign off on the following form during orientation.


Bare Hand Contact Plan

I the undersigned, acknowledge that I must:

  1. Handle ready-to-eat foods per the company's Bare Hand Contact Plan as approved by the local heath department;
  2. that it is my responsibility to ensure compliance with the Bare Hand Contact Plan at all times;
  3. that failure of George Webb Restaurants to comply with the Bare Hand Contact Plan may result in cancellation of our Bare Hand Contact Plan;
  4. that continued non-compliance could result in citations, fines, loss of food license to operate, or other punitive actions.

Exclusion and Restriction of Ill Employees

Ill food employees may unintentionally spread illness if they work while ill. To protect public health, ill food employees must either be restricted from certain food handling activities or excluded from working in the food establishment.

Employees with a foodborne illness (such as salmonella, shigella, E. coli 0157:H7 or Hepatitis A) or onset of vomiting or diarrhea, must be excluded from the establishment. Employees with fever, sore throat with fever, or open/draining lesions must be excluded from working with exposed food or clean equipment, utensils, linen, and unwrapped single-service and single-use articles. If you are ill with any of the following symptoms, report to the manager:


  1. Diarrhea
  2. Fever
  3. Vomiting
  4. Jaundice (yellowish discoloration of skin, eyes or inside of mouth)
  5. Sore throat with fever
  6. Lesions containing pus on the hand, wrist, or an exposed body part (such as boils and infected wounds, however small)

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