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Preventing Cross-Contamination at Self-Serve Stations

Updated: Sep 25, 2019

During a recent inspection, I saw a bread toasting station that allowed customers to potentially cross-contaminate in several ways. The Chef and I watched the customers and he was able to see my concern.

Customers were opening bags, potentially touching other slices of bread or bagels. The bagels were not pre-sliced and so customers would use the bagel slicer to cut them in half for the toaster. 

The slicer is another issue because we do not know what could already be on the slicer handle or what might be on their own hands. It is my experience that folks do not intend to contaminate anything but we pick up all sorts of things on our hands when opening doors, pulling out a credit card or touching our hair or face absentmindedly.

Food service workers are required to double wash their hands prior to starting work. A customer entering this cafeteria would be like a food service worker entering work, but they aren’t washing their hands at all. 

Here’s the brilliant workaround.

The various bread options are sealed in single-sized packages. The bagel slicer is no longer needed as cooks are pre-slicing them before going into the packages. 

Customers noticed the change immediately and appreciated the new approach to safeguarding their health. Way to go, Michael!


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