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Safe Sandwich Making Retail Meat & Poultry Processing Training Modules Produced under a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Developed by: Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Dairy and Food Inspection Division

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Safe Sandwich Making

Retail Meat & Poultry Processing

Training Modules

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Produced under a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)

Developed by:

Minnesota Department of Agriculture,

Dairy and Food Inspection Division

Hennepin County Environmental Health

Minnesota Department of Health

University of Minnesota Extension Service

September 2004

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Sandwich Types

Sandwich Safety Concerns

Bare Hand Food Contact Alternatives

Hand washing Steps

Single-Use Glove

Avoid Cross Contamination

Temperature control—cold & hot

Cooling Methods

5 Steps to Effective Cleaning

Storing Wiping Cloths

Washing Raw Produce

Listeria Control

Self-Service Sandwich Items

Packaging & Labeling Requirements

Safe Vending Storage


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Learning Objectives

  • Identify personal hygiene practices that prevent foodborne illness.

  • List alternatives to bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food.

  • List 3 ways to prevent cross-contamination.

  • Recite cold holding and hot holding temperature requirements.

  • Explain the difference between cleaning and sanitizing.

  • Apply food safety practices to make sandwiches safely.

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Sandwich Types




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Sandwich Safety Concerns

  • Ready-to-eat sandwiches will not have a cook step or a “kill step.”

  • Making sandwiches may involve bare hand contact by the food handler.

  • Ingredients may include raw produce such as lettuce, sprouts and tomatoes which may carry disease causing organisms.

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Bare Hand Food Contact

  • Eliminate use of bare hands where possible when handling ingredients.

  • Effective hand washing is essential when bare hands are used to handle ingredients.

  • Glove use is one option to avoid bare hand contact with food. What are other options?

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Hand Washing Steps

  • Wet hands using warm water.

  • Apply soap.

  • Work up a soapy lather.

  • Rub lathered hands together for 20 seconds.

  • With fingernail brush, work lather under fingernails.

  • Rinse well and dry with single-use towel.

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Single-use Gloves

  • Never reuse gloves.

  • Always change gloves between handling raw foods and cooked or ready-to-eat foods.

  • When do you need to change your gloves?

  • Change gloves hourly when doing the same task.

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Hand washing with Single-use Gloves

  • Wash hands before and after wearing gloves.

  • Wash hands when changing to a new pair of gloves.

  • Sufficient time is always needed for effective hand washing.

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Avoid Cross Contamination

  • Improper storage of ingredients can result in contamination.

  • Store ready-to-eat ingredients separate from raw ingredients.

  • Cover ready-to-eat ingredients properly.

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Raw Versus Ready-to-Eat

  • Use separate cutting boards for raw food and ready-to-eat ingredients. Why?

  • Use clean and sanitized equipment for each different task.

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Temperature Control

  • Keep hot foods hot and keep cold foods cold to control microorganism growth.

  • Pre-chilling of ingredients is a key to temperature control during some sandwich making.

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Cold Holding Temperature

  • If you are “cold holding” a sandwich ingredient, it must be stored at 41º F or below.

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Hot Holding Temperature

If you are “hot holding” a sandwich ingredient, it must be held at 140º F or above.

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Cooling Requirements

Cooked foods must be cooled:

  • To 70°F or lower in 2 hours.


  • From 70°F to 41°F or below in 4 more hours.

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Cooling Requirements

  • Foods at room temperature must be cooled to:

    • 41°F or below within 4 hours.

  • In summary, different handling processes may require different cooling processes.

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Cooling Methods

  • Shallow pans

  • Separate Foods

  • Rapid cooling

  • Ice Baths

  • Addition of ice

  • Other effective means:

    • Loosely cover or uncovered if protected from overhead contamination

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Cleaning Food Contact Surfaces

  • Clean and sanitize slicers, choppers, and other equipment after each use, before next use.

  • Cleaning and sanitizing is required between raw animal species.

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5 Steps to Effective Cleaning

  • Pre-clean

  • Wash

  • Rinse

  • Sanitize

  • Air dry

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Cleaning Ingredient Storage Areas

  • It is important to clean sandwich ingredient storage areas such as:

    • Full service display cases

    • Refrigeration areas

    • Self service display cases

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Cleaning Packaging Equipment

  • Properly clean and sanitize packaging equipment and packaging areas.

  • Properly store all packaging materials to protect from contamination.

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Storing Cleaned Equipment

  • Store cleaned and sanitized equipment so surfaces are protected.

  • Avoid storing already cleaned and sanitized items where they may get recontaminated.

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Wiping Cloths

  • Store wiping cloths in properly mixed chemical sanitizer when not in use.

  • Store wiping cloths and sanitizer in properly labeled containers when not in use.

  • Change sanitizer in container when necessary.

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Sandwiches with Raw Produce

  • Fresh produce must be thoroughly washed in water to reduce contaminants before use.

  • Use a clean produce sink for this step.

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Raw Produce Washing

  • If chemicals are used in the washing step, the final step must be a rinse with water to remove residues as much as possible.

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Pre-washed Produce Ingredients

  • Pre-washed produce must be prepared and stored safely

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Fresh Ingredients

  • Do not exceed the manufacturer’s use-by-date for each ingredient such as ready-to-eat deli meats.

  • Do not combine “old” sandwich items with “new” ones.

  • Some prepared sandwich items held more than 24 hours, may require date marking.

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  • Properly protect sandwiches while being transported to prevent any environmental contamination.

  • Provide proper temperature control for sandwiches while in transport.

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Listeria Concerns

  • 95% of individuals who are infected with Listeria monocytogenes are hospitalized

  • This disease is the leading cause of death from a foodborne illness

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Listeria Control in Sandwich Making

  • Listeria is a microorganism that is associated with ready-to-eat sandwich ingredients.

  • Clean and sanitize to eliminate Listeria.

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Listeria Controls

  • Effective and frequent cleaning process.

  • Cleaning “Flow”

  • Effective sanitizer use.

  • Safe product storage.

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Environmental Sources of Listeria

  • Contaminated equipment

  • Raw product and ingredients

  • Air

  • Water

  • Sewage

  • Pests

  • People

  • Dirt/soil

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Facility Sources of Listeria

  • Floors

  • Drains

  • Moisture from cooling units

  • Cleaning Tools

  • Walls

  • Ceilings

  • Hollow equipment parts

  • Slicers/Dicers

  • Underside of conveyors

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More Facility Sources of Listeria

  • Knives/Holders

  • Air ducts

  • Refrigerated areas

  • Wooden Pallets

  • Cracks in storage equipment

  • Movable equipment

  • Maintenance tools

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Self-Service Sandwich Displays

  • Food handlers should minimize bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food.

  • Instruct consumers to use utensils provided for handling condiments by posting signs.

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Self-Service Sandwich Condiments

  • Monitor temperatures of condiment display units.

  • Condiments such as ketchup may be individual packages.

  • Bulk ingredients must be filled and dispensed to prevent contamination.

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Cleaning Self Service Sandwich Displays

  • Clean and sanitize at least every 4 hours:

    • Utensils

    • Tongs

    • Food contact surfaces—counter tops, cutting boards

    • What else?

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Consumer Reheat of Sandwiches

  • Clean and sanitize microwave as needed.

  • Make sure sandwich labels include proper reheat instructions.

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Labeling Prepackaged Sandwiches

  • Product identity

  • Complete ingredients and possibly nutrition facts

  • Address information of manufacturer

  • Net weight

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Labeling Prepackaged Sandwiches Continued

  • Quality assurance dating for the consumer and for proper rotation with prepackaged product.

  • Lot coding/production dates for recall purposes.

  • Consumer reheat instructions for immediate consumption if applicable.

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Safe Vending Storage

  • Good sanitation and servicing practices are key to safe products.

  • When loading, keep product out of refrigerator for as short a time as possible.

  • Rotate product so that quality assurance dates are not exceeded.

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Vending Storage of Sandwiches

  • Machine must have easily readable thermometers.

  • Maintain cold foods at 41°F or below and hot foods at 140°F or above.

  • Some machines may have automatic shutoff.

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General Vending

  • Condiments—individual or dispensers.

  • All food must be properly labeled.

  • Only a properly working machine can vend a safe product.

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Summary for Safety

  • Ready-to-Eat (RTE) sandwiches do not have a “kill step” or a cook step.

  • 5 step cleaning process of equipment is needed for thorough cleaning.

  • Controls includes effective employee hygiene, safe use of single-use gloves and safe ingredient storage.

  • The food handling process must controlmicroorganisms such as Listeria.

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  • Do you have any questions?

  • What information was new?

  • How will you apply what you learned today?

  • Posttest