Kitchen Prep - Handling Food Safely - Portion Control & Planning for Events

Kitchen Prep

Be a safe food handler by requiring strict personal hygiene. All employees should wear clean uniforms and hair/beard restraints. Jewelry and artificial nails must not be permitted as these can get caught in equipment causing injury or fall off into food or equipment. restrict or send home crew members that are ill—they must not handle foods!

Train and enforce a "no bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods" policy. Always wash hands first along with using protective food handling paraphernalia such as disposable gloves, clean utensils or paper wraps to handle all ready-to-eat foods.

Keep foods out of the DANGER ZONE (41°F to 140°F). Check food temperatures in 2 places—the thickest portion and the center. Sanitize the thermometer stem before and after use with an alcohol swab.

The equipment in your kitchen should meet industry and regulatory standards. The following are some standard NSF requirements for food prep and storage equipment.

  • 1. Food contact and food-splash surfaces must be:
    • • easy to reach
    • • easy to clean
    • • non-toxic
    • • non-absorbent
    • • corrosion resistant
    • • nonreactive to food or cleaning
    • • should not leave a color, odor or taste to food
  • 2. Should be rounded with tightly sealed edges and corners.
  • 3. Should be designed with solid and liquid waste traps that are easy to remove

Food cost refers to the menu price of a certain dish in comparison to the cost of the food used to prepare that same dish. Generally, food cost should be around 30-35%.


Portion Control

Restaurants that have a firm handle on portion control are able to control food costs, minimize waste and increase profit.

In order to practice portion control in your own kitchen, everything should be measured out. Chicken, beef and fish should all be weighted, while shredded cheese can be stored in portion control cups and a measuring cup can dish out mashed potatoes. Tools to have on hand include scales, measuring cups, pre-portioned ladles and scoops. Having adequate supplies in your prep area can save you a lot of profit.


Planning Food Portions for Events

Evening function with no dinner served: 10-15 pieces per person. These should be hearty appetizers.
Before Dinner: 3-5 Pieces per person
Before Lunch: 1-3 pieces per person. These can be lighter (veggies or cheese).

3-4 beverages per person. (For lunch and dinner, serve soda, beer, wine, mixed drinks, tea or lemon water).
Coffee—1 cup of coffee every 1-1/2 hours per person.

Each person should get a main entree (5 oz.), 2-3 sides (4 oz. each), bread or a starch and dessert.

Serve water with a lemon slice along with any other beverage.
5-7 oz. entree dish, 2-3 sides (4 oz. each), bread and soup or salad.

1 piece per person

Beverage Guide
Coffee/1 pound........(50) 1-cup servings
Punch/1 gallon.........(32) 4-ounce serving
Soda/2 liter................(11) 6-ounce glasses
                                    (10) 8-ounce glasses