Conserve Water in Commercial Kitchens: Save Resources and Money

While most people may think of food ingredients, equipment, property rental, and décor as the primary costs a restaurant has to deal with, water usage adds a considerable amount to their monthly bills. Not only does excess water usage boost operational costs, but it also involves a lot of waste of the most precious natural resource on Earth.

Restaurants join the rest of the professional world in the quest to maintain a more eco-friendly existence. Customers that care appreciate the efforts and may even go out to eat at establishments that operate with more efficiency and conscience. Whatever the reason for water conservation, the biggest question is how to put a functional plan in action.

How Much Water Do Restaurants Use?

According to a recent study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), restaurant and institutional water use totals 52% of all commercial use in the United States. Totals range from around 3,000 gallons for a small diner to 6,000 gallons and more for large sit-down restaurants.

Where does all this water go? A large part of the water slipping away down the drain in a commercial kitchen comes from washing produce and dishes. Of course, quite a lot is actually used in cooking things like soups, sauces, and boiling pasta and similar ingredients. The list of uses for water in a commercial kitchen is virtually endless.

Luckily, there are two very good and relatively simple ways to conserve water in commercial kitchens. Soon, your establishment will save more money on the monthly bills and get the peace of mind from knowing you are making every effort to stop the waste of natural resources.

Efficient Equipment Helps Conserve Water

Certain kitchen equipment such as EnergyStar washers can help alleviate some of the water usage. Low-flow valves on everything from sink sprayers to the toilets in the restrooms also help with the savings. The FOG Tank pot and dish soaking tub stops a large amount of waste. Instead of the wasteful three-sink method for cleaning pots and pans, you can enjoy faster and more efficient cleaning with this space-saving and efficient piece of equipment. Not only does it use a lot less water than traditional methods, it improves sanitation and hygiene, and only uses biodegradable cleaning solutions.

For all water-using equipment, avoid using more than you need or draining it off more frequently than necessary. Remember that every drop of water that goes down the sink drain or pipes represents lost money and resources. Practice proper maintenance of all equipment, and repair leaks and drips immediately.

Adopt Best Practices to Save Water, Money, and the Environment

Besides general conservation efforts and choosing the best possible equipment for your restaurant, diner, café, lunchroom, or cafeteria, train all the staff to use best practices focused on saving water. If you focus on environmentally friendly behaviors, and spread the benefits to the staff, some of these actions will become second nature. The outcome provides double benefits. Your commercial kitchen stops wasting water and you can advertise your establishment as an eco-conscious or green business.

Food preparation includes washing and rinsing off vegetables and fruits every day. Do this in bulk at the start of a mealtime rather than washing items individually. The more you wash at once, the less water you use for each item. If your sink uses commercial grade sprayers, attach lower flow nozzles that offer more control over how much water you actually use for each tomato or lettuce leaf.

Do not thaw frozen meat or other ingredients under running water. Not only does this send a lot of water and money down the drain, it is not recommended for food safety reasons.

Only serve water to patrons when they request it. The old habits of filling water glasses in front of everyone’s plates has become passé in recent years. A lot of this gets wasted when diners choose other beverages. Also, consider upgrading to an air-cooled ice maker instead of one that uses and wastes water to do the same job.

The list of opportunities to save water in a commercial kitchen has quite a lot of excellent ideas. While small changes can build up to a big difference over time, things like upgrading to new, more efficient equipment like FOG Tanks makes a bigger impact.

Commercial Kitchen Fires: Minimize Risk With Clean Hood Filters

One of the most common types of accidents or incidents that occur in a commercial kitchen are fires. Estimates put the number of fires around 8,000 every year in the United States. Having a fire in a restaurant, lunchroom, or café kitchen can do everything from increase wait time due to a burned meal all the way to total destruction of the property and multiple injuries to staff and customers.

The prevention of commercial kitchen fires is one of the top safety-related tasks of both kitchen designers and the staff that works in them. A large part of the solution involves not only proper use of equipment but also how careful chefs and other restaurant employees act.

What Causes Most Kitchen Fires?

Fires occur with the right recipe of fuel and heat mix together and combust. In a professional kitchen, the fuel is frequently grease, oil, or other cooking materials. Even food scraps and entire meals can burn up if the people responsible for them do not take sufficient care. Of course, heat is a constant in a busy kitchen.

Besides pots and pans on the stovetop or in ovens, many fires occur because of a buildup of oil and grease in the exhaust hoods and filters. These filters are designed to safely remove these things from the air and to keep them, odors, and smoke out of the kitchen itself. This makes the area much safer and healthier for the chefs and other cook staff.

However, if the hood filter does not get changed frequently enough or experiences an undue collection of flammable compounds, the risk of a commercial kitchen fire increases by quite a bit. Many people understand that an unattended pot or an overcooked pan can burst into flames. They may forget about the inner workings of kitchen equipment, however.

Minimize Commercial Kitchen Fire Risk

Three methods of fire risk reduction exist: careful cooking practices, equipment maintenance, and detailed policies that everyone understands.

Every single person who does any type of work in a commercial kitchen needs to understand fire risks, preventative measures, and what to do in case something catches fire. This pertains to chefs, who are usually well-trained in the proper techniques to put out small grease and other fires, support staff who may be on hand at any time, and even wait staff who go in and out of the kitchen regularly. The restaurant owner or manager should position and point out fire blankets and extinguishers placed conveniently around the room.

As hood filter fires represent a large cause of many problems, equipment maintenance is a must. These items and the attached ductwork can build up a coating of dangerous grease and oil particles, which greatly increases the chance of catching fire. Instead of letting this happen, create a regular schedule of replacing the filter or cleaning it properly.

A FOG Tank gives restaurateurs the perfect option to eliminate grease and oil buildup before it causes a problem. These safe and efficient pieces of soaking equipment can fit neatly under a counter out of the way. Use it to not only refresh hood filters to prevent dangerous situations but for all the pots and pans in the kitchen, as well.

Finally, proper fire-prevention and safety policies require training, practice, and clear posting at various points around the kitchen. No one should be allowed to enter a commercial kitchen unless they know exactly what to do in case of a fire. Align these not only with best practices for maximum safety but also the regulations and fire codes required by the city or municipality.

While the safety of all workers in a commercial kitchen is the top priority in the case of a fire, the best way to do this and protect your business is to minimize the chance of a fire happening at all. With all the potential fuel and heat in any restaurant or public eatery kitchen, careful precautions are needed. As hood filter fires represent a large number of the thousands experienced every year, using a FOG Tank soaking tub to clean all the residual grease and oil makes good sense.

Commercial Kitchens Downsized: Optimized Kitchen Space Succeeds

The less space a commercial kitchen takes up, the more space exists for customers out front. When restaurants redesign to suit the needs of their diners, the focus shifts from impressive kitchens that would make a residential kitchen remodeler giddy, to the types of compact, efficient kitchens that make a professional chef comfortable. Not only does this push for more table space in the restaurant, but it also creates higher degrees of overall efficiency.

Bigger Is Not Better

Every step a chef or helper needs to make between ovens, stovetops, and storage is another bit of wasted time and efficiency. Experts in both form and function design commercial kitchens with ease of use in mind. What makes cooking a smooth and comfortable experience, and what maximizes safety? They also need to take into account all the other things that go on behind those doors. Depending on the venue, this can include everything from temperature-controlled storage of artisan cheeses to a tired waiter rolling utensils into napkins.

With all the activity in any restaurant kitchen, it may seem counterproductive to minimize kitchen space. Current trends point to downsizing of eateries in general, however. In the larger established ones with dedicated clientele, providing a more comfortable and less crowded experience for visitors outpaces the desire for bigger kitchens.

When it comes to outfitting the commercial kitchen, bigger does not equal any real benefits either. As innovations continue to appear on the market, equipment gets smaller and more effective at doing its intended job. Heated soak tanks like the FOG Tank replace outdated dishwashing methods. Multi-use devices replace separate ones formerly used for specialty cooking jobs.

Downsizing Makes Financial Sense

For culinary entrepreneurs eager to launch their own restaurant or café, choosing a smaller commercial property from the start obviously costs less. Picking one that does not need extensive renovation as it becomes more popular makes even more sense. As owning anything from a fine dining establishment to a neighborhood diner involves a considerable degree of risk, investing less at the start helps soften the blow of potential failure.

In existing restaurants, reconfiguring the commercial kitchen for less size and greater efficiency represents a sound financial move. Even if business improves and reservation-only seating keeps things at capacity, moving to a new location could spell disaster for your bottom line. Instead of risking everything, renovating the commercial kitchen space makes more sense from a profit standpoint. You fit more people into the restaurant on a nightly basis, and maintain customer brand loyalty throughout the process.

From an operational standpoint, building smaller kitchens also provides financial benefits. Increased efficiency decreases customer wait times, helps you deliver hotter, fresher meals, and minimizes errors and accidents that can slow things down even more. When everything hums along smoothly, people are more likely to come back, tell their friends, and make your eating establishment their favorite.

Space and Time-Saving Equipment Needed

Every piece of cooking and service equipment in a commercial kitchen needs to provide a solution for a necessary task. Unlike the average home kitchen with gadgets strewn about the countertops and shoved into cabinets, no space is wasted behind the back doors of a restaurant or lunchroom. Every inch of space either needs to contain something the cooks, wait staff, and others need or a quick, safe, and efficient pathway to get from one station to the next.

The equipment chosen for a commercial kitchen all comes down to the menu. A steakhouse will require much different stoves, work stations, and even knife sets than an organic salad bar. Some things exist in every eatery, however. One of the main needs has to do with washing dishes and utensils quickly and efficiently. It does not matter what type of food you serve. Your customers and the health code require absolute hygienic cleanliness.

The FOG Tank represents a bold step forward in efficient kitchen design for restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, and other commercial settings. It replaces conventional dish washing stations with a smaller, environmentally-friendly solution that tucks away easily under any counter. Not only does it clean everything from a hood filter to an old frying pan with ease, its efficiency and eco-friendly function improves the restaurant’s overall function.

Bigger goes against the interests of many eating establishment customers these days. Instead, a focus on less wasted space, more efficiency, and a nod to energy and water savings give the best impression of your restaurant or other commercial kitchen location.

Opening Up: A Kitchen Restaurant Design to Impress Patrons

In this modern world where connectivity is the key to commercial and personal success, the restaurant industry answers the call to make dining a more connected experience for everyone who walks through the doors. Part of this new trend involves menu phone apps, new ways to provide friendly customer service, and increases in home delivery to serve all customers wherever they may be.

Open kitchen design also gives commercial dining establishments the opportunity to give people what they want when it comes to forging relationships. People want to feel like they are a part of the action. While a restaurant is not about to hand over a knife and spatula and invite customers into the kitchen, they are tearing down the walls that separate the two spaces with increasing frequency.

Benefits of an Open Commercial Kitchen Design

People who enjoy going out for a meal at a local restaurant share everything from detailed photos about the food to scathing reviews about the wait staff on the internet these days. Entire social media accounts are dedicated to showing off how different eating establishments plate their sandwiches or serve their drinks.

The world involves a lot of sharing these days, and people crave even more no matter what type of business they interact with. Consumers value transparency and tend to trust companies more if they operate out in the open for all the world to see.

These new trends in business also affect the restaurant industry, and they have responded with increasing appearances of open kitchen design. Instead of tucking the chefs and food preparation staff behind a closed door, everyone sitting around and eating their meals can glance up to see them hard at work.

Open commercial kitchens allow diners to sink into the experience more. They see their food being prepared, smell mouth-watering dishes, and enjoy the added ambience of the sounds of hissing pans and rhythmic chopping. Also, the public view may improve hygiene and adherence to best practices of kitchen safety.

How to Hide in the “Nothing to Hide” World

While customers want to peek into the formerly hidden inner workings of their food preparation and cooking methods, not everything that goes on in a commercial kitchen looks appetizing. Things like dirty dishes, food scraps, and smoky fumes do little to impress people watching while they wait for the waiters to deliver their meals.

Smart equipment choices can help hide the things that customers do not need to see. In busy moments during lunch or dinner rushes, piles of dirty dishes may pile up for a bit as the staff hurries to deliver meals quickly. Using something like an under the counter FOG Tank can sweep the potentially unappetizing mess out of sight immediately. This efficient and environmentally conscious soak tank offers quick cleaning service and top level hygiene in a way that restaurant customers appreciate. Best of all, for an open kitchen design, its sleek and can easily be tucked out of sight.

Problems To Overcome With an Open Kitchen

Not everything about commercial cooking looks pretty or improves appetite. Not only do waste and dirty dishes get in the way of the experience, but occasional accidents or acute problems do arise. Things that appear as benefits, such as the delicious aromas of cooking can detract from some customer experience. For example, if someone hates the smell of fish and another patron orders the halibut, the first may find it quite unpleasant.

A pan left on the heat for a few too many seconds may emit a plume of smoke that looks quite shocking. Fires may occur, which makes the lack of a wall a safety issue in some establishments. Even something as small as a cut on the finger can give diners a bad impression of the restaurant. The last thing you want to do is have people imagine the chef’s blood in their food.

Open kitchens in general introduce more noise, action, smells, and challenges for restaurants that follow this burgeoning trend. With the right attitudes, hygiene and safety standards, and equipment to help hide the less-than-pleasant aspects of commercial cooking, customers can enjoy their newfound connection and leave stellar online reviews.

 

Prevent Duct Fires Through Optimized Hood Filter Cleaning Methods

In the US alone, there were over 7410 structure fires in eating and drinking establishments between 2010 and 2014. These
fires resulted in over $165 Million in lost property, three civilian deaths, and over a hundred injuries.

Did You Know? Every year, thousands of fires are started in commercial kitchens, often resulting in injury or death as well as loss of property. These fires are, for the most part, preventable. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 20 percent of fires in eating and drinking establishments had “failure to clean” as a listed cause. Fire suppression systems, while generally reliable, can fail, allowing fire to spread quickly.

The Dangers of Improperly Cleaned Hood Filters

Fat, oil and grease accumulated in hood filters cause ducts to become lined with combustible, greasy residue. This is why regular cleaning of hood filters is such an important task in any kitchen. While your kitchen may maintain a strict cleaning schedule, combustible residue can easily start to build in hard to reach places, creating a fire hazard in a short period of time. Industry standards dictate that equipment be cleaned to bare metal– Grease and residue must be removed from all equipment; failure to do so can result in compliance issues with regulatory bodies, and the risk of starting a fire is greatly increased.

As any seasoned restaurant professional knows, cleaning grease-prone areas and kitchen equipment is a tiresome, costly affair. Although necessary to prevent fires in the kitchen, cleaning the hood and other equipment requires additional labor, affecting the restaurant’s productivity in the kitchen. Manual cleaning can be unreliable, as staff may miss spots that are hard to reach. As a result, the cleaning of hood filters in particular can be a neglected task.

Fires in ducts are fairly common, and are usually started by alcohol vapors from flambeing, overheated fat in a pan, or a faulty electrical connection somewhere in the duct system. While there are safeguards in place in all industry standard equipment, such as fire suppression systems, safety measures such as a meticulous cleaning schedule are the best ways to prevent a fire from happening in the first place. 

Traditional Cleaning Methods vs Self-Cleaning with Appropriate Equipment

Conventional cleaning methods can be arduous and inefficient. They often require long soaking periods, followed by scrubbing. By cutting out this process by using a  dedicated piece of equipment, the kitchen team can focus on other duties. The Hyginix FOG Tank is an easy solution.

Essentially, the FOG tank- FOG being an acronym for fat, oil and grease- allows equipment to soak thoroughly in much less time and much more efficiently than through traditional methods such as hand scrubbing, power washing or running through a dishwasher. While cleaning a typical hood filter by hand would take roughly 5 hours, the FOG Tank is able to clean anywhere between 6 and 28 hood filters, depending on size, in less than 4 hours. The food industry is second only to the war industry as being the driving factor behind new technology, and the FOG Tank is an example of evolving technology in the industry. The key difference stems from the efficiency of a dedicated  system- rather than relying upon employee labor. The Tank provides the same results time after time, saving labor cost for more meaningful tasks and ensuring safe and efficient removal of grease and carbon.

Analysis on the FOG Tank’s abilities and uses

The FOG Tank is currently in use in several operations across the US, including hotels, casinos, and high volume fast food restaurants. It has gained a loyal following due to its ability to clean heavily soiled equipment while using minimal water and product. It comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from 25 gallons to 125 gallons, making it a functional piece for operations of all sizes.

The FOG Tank comes with its own cleaning powder, known as Tiger Carbon Remover Powder, which is added to the soak tank and effectively removes carbon build up on steel equipment, allowing bare metal to shine through without any stains or residue remaining. The powder is environmentally friendly, non caustic, non toxic, aluminum safe, biodegradable, and- of course- food safe. Other operations have had equal success in cleaning heavily soiled metal equipment as well as melamine trays, which speaks to the versatility of the FOG Tanks cleaning abilities.

 

Using the FOG Tank is simple!

  1. Fill the tank with hot water, plug into an electrical outlet and turned on
  2. Add the Tiger Carbon Remover Powder
  3. Place any dirty pots, pans, hood filters and other soiled equipment in the solution to soak for anywhere between 1 and 4 hours. (The tank comes equipped with a basket, so the equipment is easily removed once it’s been soaked)
  4. Hose down the appliances to remove any carbon fragments still present
  5. Use your fully sanitized, the equipment is fully sanitized and ready to use.

Best of  all, the water in the tank can be reused for up to a month, saving on water bills and cleaner. It also has a sensor that shuts off the system once it’s reached a certain point, meaning your team can leave items that are in use all day- such as the hood filters- in the tank overnight to soak without using electricity unnecessarily.

Cleaning Schedules to Ensure A Properly Maintained Hood Vent System

 The FOG Tank’s varied sizing and ease of use make it a commodity in restaurant operations of all sizes and service levels.  Food service operations that run for 24 hours are required to have their entire hood ventilation system inspected on a quarterly basis; cleaning should be done on no less than a monthly basis in order to keep in compliance with health and safety codes.  The same is equally true for wood-burning facilities, as well as kitchens that utilize charcoal, as flammable creosote buildup happens quickly and poses a real threat to the restaurant.

High volume restaurants and restaurants that fry foods regularly should clean their ducts no less that once a quarter. If your kitchen changes frying oil more than once a week, your operation falls under this category. Most fast food establishments, Chinese restaurants and busy pubs would need to adhere to a minimum 90 day hood cleaning schedule.

While restaurants that don’t fry often or use solid fuel sources don’t build up oils, grease, or creosote as quickly, their hood systems should still be cleaned every 6 months or so. Pizza restaurants typically fall into this category, and while they have their own unique fire prevention issues, the hood ventilation system still must be maintained in order to adhere to health and safety codes as well as reduce any risk of hood and duct fires.

Of course, the best way to properly maintain ventilation systems is to ensure that filters are cleaned regularly. The FOG Tank provides an easy solution to regular filter cleaning, making it a more manageable task and therefore more likely to be done on a consistent basis.

New Website and FOG Tank at the National Restaurant Association Show

New Website and FOG Tank at the National Restaurant Association Show 

We are excited to introduce our brand new website, which features new videos, before and after photos, and product details that will help you learn more about the FOG Tank. The FOG Tank is a fully insulated and thermostatically controlled stainless steel soak tank that safely and easily removes fat, oil, grease, and carbon build-up from your metal cookware and kitchen equipment. We invite you to visit our site and learn more about how the FOG Tank could help you save money, increase staff productivity, and reduce your carbon footprint.


 

If you’d rather learn more about the FOG Tank in person, we urge you to attend the National Restaurant Association’s NRA Show 2014 from May 17-20 at McCormick Place in Chicago. The NRA show is a chance for restaurant owners, kitchen managers, and other food service industry professionals to meet with the biggest restaurant suppliers. FOG Tank will have a booth at the show, and we will have knowledgeable staff members standing by to teach you more about how the FOG Tank can help make your business more efficient and profitable. They can also teach you more about our 1 Week Risk Free Trial, or help you choose whether a renting plan or outright purchase makes more sense for your company. 

We hope you enjoy our new site. Stay tuned for more events and updates from FOG Tank, and if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us by filling out the form on our Contact Us page. 

FOG Tank Meets Top Chef Fabio Viviani

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FOG Tank Meets Top Chef Fabio Viviani 

We had a great time at the 2014 National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago! It was wonderful to speak to all of the chefs, restaurant owners, and managers that stopped by our booth. We also got a special surprise when we were able to meet Chef Fabio Viviani, who you may recognize from Season 5 of Top Chef.


 

Fabio is an Italian chef and restaurateur and just published his second cookbook, Fabio’s Italian Kitchen, last year. Kelly enjoyed talking to him and discussing some of the challenges that chefs face in busy kitchens. 

Although it was great meeting celebrity chefs like Fabio, we value all of our customers equally, from the smallest single location restaurants to big chains. We’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who came by our booth this year. We love our product and there’s nothing better than getting to share that with others. For those who weren’t able to make it to the show, or who couldn’t make it to our booth, we’d love to talk to you more about the FOG Tank! Drop us a line on our Contact and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have. 

We hope you enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend! 

7 tips for cleaning commercial kitchen floors

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7 tips for cleaning commercial kitchen floors

We can help you clean all of your kitchen equipment, but to have a truly clean kitchen you can’t forget about the floor. Read on for some advice from restaurant-hospitality.com.

Energy is low by the time your back-of-the-house staffers reach the end of a long shift, often causing routine kitchen clean-up tasks to be performed with less enthusiasm than they deserve. That’s why it’s important that operators periodically check to ensure that employees pay attention and adhere to best practices when performing these tasks.


The issue, says cleaning equipment manufacturer Powr-Flite’s Mike Englund, is that foodservice floors must be hygienically maintained to protect the health of restaurant patrons as well as to meet health codes and regulations. It’s a high standard in a tough environment, and Englund offers these tips that can help operators meet it:

1. Before cleaning foodservice floors, make sure floor drains are unobstructed and working properly.

2. Foodservice floors, which are typically quarry or ceramic, should be sealed with a low- or anti-slip coating to foster proper sanitation and reduce the possibility of a slip-and-fall accident.

3. All floor care work should be performed before food handling/processing equipment is cleaned; this helps prevent floor soils and debris from becoming airborne and landing on workstations or equipment.

4. If using mops and buckets, they should be cleaned/changed daily.  Soiled mops and buckets can spread contaminants across the floor, increasing contamination concerns.

5. A squeegee should be used to move moisture into floor drains for quicker drying.

6. A 175-rpm buffer should be used at least once per week, or daily if necessary, to loosen soils, grease and oil that may build up on floors. Use a blue or green scrubbing pad along with a 17-inch or 20-inch floor machine; a smaller machine can better maneuver in and around counters and cooking areas in a foodservice kitchen.

7. Mops, buckets, squeegees, chemicals and all floor care equipment should be stored off the ground on shelves or racks. This helps keep the equipment clean and deters pests.

Pay attention to how your clean-up personnel handle your kitchen mats, too.

“Many foodservice kitchens now use approved antifatigue mats to help prevent slip-and-fall accidents and worker fatigue,” says Englund. “It’s very important that mats be cleaned and sanitized at closing, allowing them to air dry before the facility reopens.”

 

To find out more about how we can help you get your kitchen equipment clean, visit our benefits page.

 

Is Your Restaurant’s Spotless Kitchen Really Clean?

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Let’s be honest, just because your restaurant’s kitchen looks clean, doesn’t mean that it IS clean.

One of the tedious aspects of fighting illness-causing germs and bacteria is that you can’t see these invisible but formidable enemies. They lurk in your produce, spread like wildfire, and attack when and where you’re most vulnerable. But don’t worry, you can and will defeat them. With a little bit of know-how and a practical mindset, you can take your restaurant’s kitchen back.


 

Know your enemy.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report indicating that two million Americans become infected with anti-biotic resistant bacteria, annually. One of the ways you can minimize infection, or contamination around your restaurant’s kitchen, is by being aware of where bacteria comes from and how it spreads. Raw eggs, different types of meat and poultry, even fruit and vegetables that most of us assume are safe to eat, can be contaminated with dangerous pathogens. Furthermore, placing contaminated items on restaurant kitchen counters, and other surfaces, allows these pathogens to spread around your establishment and on to your consumers.

Here are some of your restaurant kitchen’s worst offenders –

Salmonella: A common group of bacteria that is most dangerous during the summer months. It is usually found in beef, poultry, milk, and eggs. If consumed symptoms will develop within 12-72 hours and could include a high fever, abdominal pain, headaches, and severe diarrhea.

Escherichia coli: This bacteria is often found in undercooked beef, raw milk, and contaminated water. It lives in human intestines, as well as those of farm animals like cows, goats, and sheep. If ingested, it can cause severe infection and brutal symptoms that include stomach pain, heavy vomiting, and severe diarrhea that can last up to 10 days.

Listeria monocytogenes: This type of bacteria is found in soil, water, various raw and processed foods, as well as unpasteurized milk. Unlike other germs, Listeria is incredibly dangerous because it can grow and spread in cold temperatures. It affects older adults, pregnant women, infants, and individuals with weakened immune systems. Symptoms consist of high fever, muscle aches, and diverse gastrointestinal issues.

Noroviruses: These viruses cause gastroenteritis, an illness characterized by inflammation of the stomach and intestines. This is what is usually referred to as the stomach flu. Found in contaminated foods and beverages, these viruses can also thrive on various surfaces, such as those in your restaurant’s kitchen, and spread through contact.

While it may now seem like your restaurant’s kitchen is a hotbed for bacteria, you can do something about it. Always wash your hands before and after handling food. Replace sponges in the restaurant’s kitchen every two week, as it contains lots of bacteria, mold, and yeast. Always keep fridge temps under 40F, but remember that bacteria can still grow there. Never use the same cutting board for meat and fish, and fruit and vegetables. And most importantly, wash all dishes within two hours of eating. Of course, you can always invest in an incredible piece of technology like Fog Tank and not worry about that last part, but we’ll leave that up to you. 

 

The Perfect 4th of July Burger

The Perfect 4th of July Burger

Back in 1776, the United States of America declared its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain on July 4th. Today, Independence Day is a nationwide holiday typically associated with fireworks, parades, family reunions, concerts, carnivals, beverages and food. Lots and lots of food.

According to Heavy, Americans put down an astonishing 150 million hotdogs and some 750 million pounds of chicken during the holiday season. While Oklahoma State University reports that we consume 25 billion pounds of burgers a year. Needless to say this is mind boggling amount of meat. Yet, veganism and vegetarianism are being increasingly adopted by a growing number of Americans.

So, we’ve decided to compile the three best Fourth of July burger recipes we’ve found for all of your various pallets.

For the Meat Lovers:


This Perfect Burger recipe is brought to you by Bobby Flay.

Here’s what you’ll need:

          1 ½ pounds ground chuck, a cut of beef that’s part of the sub-primal cut known as the chuck (80% lean) or ground turkey (90% lean)

          Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

          1 ½ tablespoons of canola oil

          4 slices of your preferred cheese

          And, of course, 4 hamburger buns, split. If you want to toast them, more power to you!

Here’s what you’ll do:

Take the meat and divide it into 4 equal portions, try to make them about 6 ounces each. Then, form loose patties, making a deep depression with your thumb in the middle. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Brush the burgers with oil and then grill to your preference, and add cheese.

For the Vegetarian Burger Warriors:

This Chick Pea Burger recipe is brought to you by Martha Stewart.

Here’s what you’ll need:

          1 can (15 ounces) of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

          4 scallion, trimmed

          2 slices of white sandwich bread

          1/3 cup of unsalted peanuts or almonds

          ½ teaspoon of ground cumin

          1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, chopped

          Coarse salt and ground pepper

          1 large egg

          Olive Oil

          1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

          1/3 cup of mayonnaise

          Whole-wheat English muffins and lettuce, to serve with the burgers

Here’s what you’ll do:

Combine chickpeas, scallions, bread, peanuts or almonds, cumin, and ginger in a food processor, and season with salt and pepper. When you see that the contents are roughly chopped, remove half of the mixture to a bowl, and add an egg to the food processor. Process until you have a smooth mixture, and mix in with the contents you took out. Form four patties, brush each side with oil, and then grill to your preference. Serve the burgers on English muffins with lettuce, mustard, and mayo.

For the Vegan Burger Aficionados:

This incredible Beet Burger recipe is brought to you by Versa Stick.

Here’s what you’ll need:

          1 teaspoon of butter

          ½ finely diced yellow onion

          2 finely diced cloves of garlic

          2 peeled and finely diced roasted beets

          1 rinsed, drained and mashed can of black eyed peas

          1 egg

          1/4 cup chickpea flour

          2 tablespoons of chipotle BBQ sauce

          1 tablespoon of yellow mustard

          2 tablespoons of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

          1 Tablespoon of cider vinegar

          1 teaspoon of ground cumin

          1 tablespoon of dried basil

          Sea salt, aim for smoked if you can find it

          Pepper

Here’s what you’ll do:

Melt butter over medium-low heat and add onion, sautéing it until it’s translucent, then add garlic. Keep sautéing for a few more minutes, and then add diced beets and black eyed peas. Cook until the peas are soft and the beets are thoroughly heated. Add BBQ sauce, mustard, Bragg’s, vinegar, spices, salt and pepper, seasoning to taste. Allow the mixture to cool, then add the egg and chickpea flour. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Once that’s done, form the mixture into patties and grill to taste.