separated during receiving, storage, and preparation. For example, cooked shrimp should not be returned to the same container that previously held uncooked product. Cutting boards should be washed, rinsed, and sanitized between trimming uncooked chicken and cooked steak.
In addition, raw animal foods should be separated by cooking temperatures such that foods requiring a higher cooking temperature, like chicken, should be stored below or away from foods requiring a lower temperature, like pork and beef. If potentially hazardous foods (TCS foods) are not being cooled, they should be covered or packaged while in cold storage.
Following the flow of food as it is prepared in the food establishment may alert inspectors to opportunities for cross-contamination. When contamination has occurred between raw and ready-to-eat food, inspectors should assess whether the food can be reconditioned. In some cases, depending on the affected food, it may be possible to reheat the food to eliminate any hazards. If the food cannot be reconditioned, then the food should be discarded.
Inspectors should verify that exposed food such as chips, bread, and dipping sauces are not re-served to the consumer. Consumer self-service operations are addressed in the Code with regard to the types of food offered for consumer self-service, the protection of food on display, and the required monitoring by employees of such operations.
A visual check of the food-contact surfaces of equipment and utensils should be made to verify that the utensils are maintained clean and sanitized using the approved manner and frequency. Utensils that are observed to have debris, grease, or other visible contamination should be rewashed and resanitized.
Observations should be made to determine whether practices are in place to eliminate the potential for contamination of utensils, equipment, and single-service items by environmental contaminants, employees, and consumers. When clean equipment and utensils are stored where they are subject to environmental contamination such as near handwashing sinks or prep sinks, inspectors should have the operator rearrange the equipment in a manner to prevent cross-contamination. Depending on the circumstances, the operator may need to rewash and resanitize the equipment.
Inspectors should observe handwashing operations. If handwashing sinks and fixtures are located where splash may contaminate food contact surfaces or food, then splash guards should be installed or food-contact surfaces should be relocated to prevent cross-contamination.
Inspectors should pay particular attention to prep sinks, especially those that are currently in use at the time of the inspection. Built-up grime is a visible sign that the sink is not being washed, rinsed, and sanitized appropriately before use. If there are designated vegetable or meat sinks, inspectors should verify that the placement of sinks
Annex 5 – Conducting Risk-based Inspections 525