Food Handler Training 101: A Guide For New Employees

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If you take on an employment position where you will be directly in charge of handling food that is served to the public, don’t be a bit surprised if your new employer requires that you are certified in food handling. Even though this sounds like an intimidating process, becoming a certified food handler only gives you better qualifications for future employment. Here are a few of the most common questions new employees tend to have about taking part in a food handler program and the answers you will want to know.  Why do only some employers require that you take part in a food handler training program? There are a lot of reasons why some employers require food handler certifications. For one, some states mandate that people working in certain roles have been adequately trained in food safety. Beyond the state-mandated reasons, employers will usually want this certification as a form of liability protection. When they know their employees know what they’re doing when handling food, there is less of a chance that their customers could be exposed to risks. Even when employers do not require a formal food handler training program, they do always offer some form of training or education.  What will you be expected to learn during a food handler training program? During a food handler training program, you will be exposed to several different areas of information on proper food handling. All of this information is designed to make you a well-educated employee who is completely conscious of food safety and all that it entails. Some of the things you should expect to learn during a food handler training program will be: proper food holding temperatures for hot and cold foods risks associated with cross-contamination between raw and cooked foods appropriate sanitizing procedures during food prep clean up  the different forms of food-borne illness  How do you take part in a food handler training program? Food handler training programs are usually offered by third-party employment education institutions. When the training is required, your employer may refer you to a specific place for a course or they may already have a program contracted that you can take part in through them. In most cases, food handler training can be completed online, but may also be offered through your local employment agency or career development center as a physical class.  For more information, contact a company like Ace Food...

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Six Stout Styles To Sample And Sip

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They are visually characterized by their espresso brown to black hue crowned by rich, tan heads. Stouts, which are members of the ale family of beers, are all created from a base of roasted malts, which impart an aroma that is often reminiscent of coffee, bittersweet chocolate or caramel. Stouts are less carbonated than other beer styles. The Beer Judge Certification Program Style Committee guidelines now recognize six styles of stout. Each style has its distinct character, so order up a tasting flight and some friendly food pairings, and treat your palate to a lesson in stouts.   Dry Stouts Also known as Irish stout due to its prevalence in Irish pubs, this style has a dry finish that is the result of using roasted barley in the brewing process. Dry stouts are black in color. Having the lowest density of the six styles of stout, dry stouts are not full-bodied. They tend to be lower in alcohol. Dry stouts pair exceptionally well with the following foods: Oysters and other shellfish Irish farmhouse cheddar cheeses. Milk Stouts Also known as sweet stouts or cream stouts, milk stouts often contain lactose. Lactose is an unfermentable sugar, which gives the beer a sweet flavor and a smooth and creamy finish. The lactose also provides a more substantial body than that of the dry stout. Milk stouts are black in color and opaque in appearance. The subtle flavor notes of chocolate or coffee that the dark malts infuse into milk stouts marry well with rich desserts, including the following: Chocolate cake Chocolate mousse Mocha gelato The flavor notes also pair well with Mexican mole sauce dishes. Oatmeal Stouts As the name implies, the oatmeal stout delivers a full body that comes from the addition of oatmeal during the brewing process. The oatmeal is also responsible for the stout’s silky texture. Oatmeal stouts should be dark brown to black in color and opaque in appearance. Oatmeal stouts are ideal accompaniments for creamy desserts, such as the following indulgences: Zabaglione Tiramisu Cheesecake. Foreign Extra Stouts Foreign export stouts are higher in gravity and in alcohol than the aforementioned stouts. There are two subcategories of this stout style, which are the sweeter, fruiter tropical stouts and the drier and more bitter export stouts. Pair foreign extra stouts with the following foods: Gouda and cheddar cheeses Macaroni and cheese Pork roasts. American Stouts Craft brewers across America have produced hoppy variations of the dry and foreign export stouts by heaping more hops into the brew, contributing a bitterness and citrusy aroma to counter the sweetness of the roasted malts. Some brewers are aging these stouts in burbon or whiskey barrels. Additional ingredients may be incorporated to enhance the chocolate or coffee notes or to create new and unique flavors, such as pumpkin or cherry. American stouts are black in color and range from clear to opaque in appearance. Enjoy American stouts with the following foods: Sharp cheddar Grilled or smoked meats Lamb Imperial Stouts Also known as Russian stouts or Russian Imperial stouts, these beers were originally produced in England for export to Russia, where they were savored by members of the Russian Imperial court. Imperial stouts have the highest alcohol by volume content of all stout styles, lending a warming sensation to the imbiber. At...

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Winter Barbecuing Tips

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Most people assume that hosting a barbecue in the winter is a horrible idea, because it’s cold outside. However, barbecuing is a great way to cook meat any time of the year. You don’t have to eat outside just because you’re cooking outside—however, eating outside can be fun if you have a source of heat, such as a bonfire or heat lamps. Check out these winter barbecuing tips if you don’t want to wait until summer rolls around to host a barbecue for your family and friends. Outside Lighting When you’re hosting a winter barbecue, lighting is extremely important. After all, it gets dark outside early in the winter. If you’re planning to cook outside and eat inside, you only need to illuminate the area surrounding your grill. However, if you are hosting an outdoor barbecue, you’ll need to make sure all of the outside areas that will be used by your guests are well lit. To illuminate your yard or patio: Hang strands of Christmas lights. Fill every available surface with clear vases, and place a lit candle in each vase. Use outdoor candle lanterns, oil lanterns, or tiki torches as additional sources of light. Food and Drinks You don’t want to serve light dishes, such as salads, at a winter barbecue. Your guests expect a hot, hearty meal and warm beverages. In addition to the meat of your choice, serve side dishes such as grilled corn with butter and baked potatoes. You could also call a catering company that specializes in BBQ catering to order comfort-food dishes, such as mac-n-cheese and green bean casserole. There are several alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages that will help keep your guests toasty during your winter barbecue, including: Hot tea Coffee Hot chocolate Warm cider Warm rum punch Hot Toddies Irish coffee Hot buttered rum Choose a Good Date You can’t plan a winter barbecue too far in advance, because you need to know what the weather will be like on the date you choose. Try to avoid windy weather and any type of precipitation. Not only will moderate weather conditions make it easier to cook outdoors, it will be easier to keep a bonfire going so that your guests stay warm. Hosting a winter barbecue for your family and friends is easy and fun. Just make sure your outside area has ample lighting, you choose a day with moderate weather, and you serve food and drinks that keep your guests warm. Remember, if you don’t want to do all of the cooking on your own, you can always hire a catering company that specializes in BBQ catering {go online to read...

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Tips To Save Money On Your Wedding Menu

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Weddings can be incredibly expensive, and food and drink is often one of the worst offenders to your budget. Here are some tips on saving money while planning your wedding menu.   Choose a Flexible Wedding Venue Your ability to plan a great budget-friendly wedding will depend on you choosing a flexible wedding venue that will work with your catering needs. While many wedding venues offer great food service options that can take the pressure off of you for catering, the best venues will also allow you to bring in some of your own refreshments. Then it will be up to you to find the right balance between your budget and the time that you spend preparing refreshment.  Bring Your Own Appetizers If there’s any place where it’s easy to cut back on pricing, it’s on the appetizers. Keep it simple before the main course with some cheese and crackers, a few wine or beer selections, and some non-alcoholic drinks. Consider Meal Stations Many wedding venues are beginning to offer food stations as an alternative to the plated dinner. For instance, you may choose to have a carving station, a burrito station, and a vegetarian station. These can sometimes cut down your costs if the plated meals are too much food for your guests. This idea has to be balanced carefully, though, since you don’t want guests to feel like they’re at a buffet. If you still present the stations as a selection rather than a free-for-all, you can limit the amount of food you go through. Choose Your Items Wisely When choosing off of the catering menu, you can do a few things to lessen your final expenses. Choose seasonal items, since you may have a surcharge for off-season plates. Also consider the venue and make sure that your wedding plans won’t cause any of your food to go bad; if you want to serve ice cream at your beach wedding, work with the planner to make sure that none of the ice cream will melt and be wasted. Many brides and grooms feel the need to provide an extravagant feast to complement their wedding. However, your guests are there to celebrate you; as long as you provide enough food to keep them fed, it can be acceptable to cut back on several parts of your refreshments. Work with your venue’s food service team to coordinate a great package that includes a few splurges and a few cutbacks.  To learn more, contact a wedding venue like McHale’s Events &...

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What Different Services Does A Catering Company Provide?

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When you are planning a large celebration, the food that will be served to your guests is one of the top priorities. Fortunately, hiring a professional caterer can help ensure you have plenty of delicious food that everyone will enjoy. However, many catering companies provide more than just the food for parties and other dining engagements. These are some of the additional services that some catering companies also have to offer.  Planning the Menu   If you are not sure which meals and drinks will be best for your friends and family members, the catering company can plan the menu for you. Whether you are planning a large five-course meal or a country buffet style feast, professional caterers can put together a menu that will guarantee you and your guests are happy and satisfied. Providing Beverages  While it is common knowledge that a catering company provides the appetizers, main course and desserts for a dinner party, they can also supply you with all the beverages you will need as well. Be sure to let the caterer know you wish to have drinks included and whether you prefer alcoholic, non-alcoholic or both types of drinks.  Servers  Catering companies will also hire servers to assist in serving meals to your guests. If you are having a buffet-style gathering, the servers can fill the plates of your guests as they go through the buffet line. However, if you prefer to have your guests receive service at their tables, this is also an option. Servers can also circulate throughout the venue of your dinner party and deliver hors d’oeuvres and drinks to your guests as well. Dinnerware  The catering company can also provide you with the dinnerware, silverware and stemware needed for your celebration. If you are having a large elegant dinner reception, the caterer normally has fine China and quality stemware and silverware to complement the theme of your party. However, if you are hosting a more casual dinner, you may also choose a variety of different styles that are more practical and match the setting better. Cookware and Serving Supplies The professional caterers will bring the necessary cookware for preparing dishes that must be cooked or baked. They will also provide everything needed for serving your guests, such as serving utensils and serving pans for a buffet-style meal. Table Decorations  Table decorations, such as tablecloths and matching napkins, are also provided by a professional caterer. If you want to add fresh or silk flower arrangements to your tables as beautiful centerpieces, this is available from some professional catering companies. Hiring a catering service (such as Chef Mom Grill & Bakery) can make giving a dinner party or other reception much more enjoyable and less stressful. With the many services a caterer provides, you can host the perfect event no matter how large or small....

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Avoid These Pitfalls For A Successful Restaurant Business

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According to a study conducted by the University of Ohio, 80% of restaurants will fail within their first 5 years. This number is not very promising if you are thinking about getting into the restaurant business. One of the ways to avoid failure is by eliminating some of the most common reasons why a restaurant would fail. Preventing these issues will help you become more successful. Of course, all businesses will endure some rough times, but you have to be able to persevere and use good judgment to make it through. Here are some issues you want to watch out for: Neglecting Your Online Presence One of the best ways to use the Internet to make your restaurant stand out is by promoting your sales online. Social media can come in real handy when you need to get word out about special deals and pricing. When it comes to finding a more affordable way to eat a meal, customers are going to be attracted to a great price. As more and more people start to see your promotions through social media, they are more likely to tell others. Eventually, you will see a bigger response from prospective customers and attendance may begin to increase.  Lack of Communication If you really want your restaurant to be a success, you have to have a good line of communication between your food service management and your employees. Just like any business, it is important that everyone remain on the same page. If you have some staff members proposing a special to their customers and others are not advertising this deal, problems may arise if a customer overhears and becomes upset. Communication is important on all levels. Also, if you want to get your food out in a timely manner, your servers need to be talking to your cooks and vice versa. This will help eliminate snags in the serving process.  Customer Relationship Management Not only do you want to attract new customers, you also want to make sure you retain the customers you do have. This is important to the success of your business. In order to help retain your current customer base, consider developing a log of customers who have visited your restaurant. This can be done by asking for an email address when they visit your business. Once you have a log set up with customer contact information, you can then send out special promotions to help keep them coming back. In order to achieve this, you can implement a customer relationship management strategy that helps keep your customers as the main...

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Troubleshooting Your Baker’s Pride Gas Commercial Oven

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If your gas-powered Baker’s Pride commercial oven is not working correctly, then you have come to the right place! Here is how to troubleshoot and fix the four most common problems with Baker’s Pride gas-powered commercial ovens: Problem #1: The Oven Does Not Cook Evenly If your commercial oven is not cooking evenly, then the thermostat bulb connection may not be placed in its special clip on the side of the oven. Often when the thermostat is replaced, the bulb does not get placed correctly back into its clip. This position is necessary for your oven to heat correctly. Without proper placement of the bulb, the heat in your oven will wildly fluctuate. Problem #2: The Pilot Light Will Not Stay Lit Pilot light problems are common with Baker’s Pride commercial ovens. The source of pilot light problems lays with a part known as a thermocouple. The thermocouple is connected to a safety valve that is also a common source of issues with pilot lights. When you light the pilot light on your commercial stove, the thermocouple needs to be directly over the flame. If the thermocouple is out of alignment, then the pilot light will stay lit but it will not allow the safety valve to open so that you can heat the oven. If you have checked the adjustment on the thermocouple and it is in alignment, then the oven’s safety valve needs to be replaced.  Problem #3: The Oven Will Not Get Hot Enough If your Baker’s Pride oven will not heat up to cooking temperature in a reasonable amount of time, then the thermostat has likely become damaged. The thermostat is the part in your oven that is responsible for maintaining the set temperature. When it isn’t working properly, your oven will be unable to maintain the temperature that you set your oven on. To fix this problem, you will need to replace the thermostat in your oven. Problem #4: The Oven is Too Hot Finally, if your commercial oven is consistently too hot based upon the setting you have put it on, then the thermostat is the likely culprit. Just as when your oven will not get hot enough, an oven that is too hot is typically caused by a defective thermostat. If you need parts to repair your Baker’s Pride commercial oven, then you should contact a restaurant equipment supplier like K & D Factory Service...

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