Public Health offers guidance on food service

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Temporary food service activities for fundraisers and other on-base events can present unusual problems for maintaining safe food products. The 21st Medical Group has some quick tips on how to prevent food borne illness. 

These tips are required to serve food on base but are also a good idea for any temporary food service activity. 

First, anyone providing temporary food services must contact the Public Health office to receive food safety information and request approval to operate a temporary food service activity. 

Ensure people preparing or serving food are free from illness and have no cuts, wounds or sores on their hands or arms. Smoking, eating and drinking are not permitted in the food preparation or food serving area. 

Do not contact food with bare hands. Always use utensils such as deli tissues, spatulas, tongs, single-use gloves or dispensing equipment. 

All food must come from an approved source. Foods purchased from the commissary and shopette are permitted; other sources must be verified through the Public Health office. Foods such as hamburgers and hot dogs should be prepared when ordered by customers. In addition, foods must be thoroughly cooked. 

Keep your hands clean and wear gloves while serving food. Sanitize the food preparation area and all utensils as frequently as needed. One tablespoon of household bleach added to one gallon of water is a sufficient sanitizer concentration. 

All hot food must be kept at or above 135 degrees. Cold food must be kept at or below 41 degrees during all phases of food service. 

Public Health has the right to inspect any facility where food is being stored or prepared. This includes temporary food service activities. If the requirements of these guidelines are not followed, Public Health can condemn foods or close operations that pose a significant health risk. 

It is everyone’s responsibility to protect the Air Force community from food-borne illness. Food poisoning can cause pain and suffering, mission delays, and in some cases even death. 

For questions or concerns, contact your local Public Health office. 


Editor's Note: This is provided as part of the "101 Critical Days of Summer."