Kitchen sanitation laws?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by pastachef, Mar 7, 2001.

  1. pastachef

    pastachef

    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    10
    Can anyone tell me whether or not it is against the law to have a slop sink in an industrial kitchen a mere few inches from the meat slicer on the right and the freshly washed dishes on the left? Our housekeeper at the sorority where I cook keeps her dirty mops and buckets, etc. in the sinks that should be for my large pots and pans. It's a really gross area because she never cleans those sinks, and I'm sure the germy water splashes all over my counters and equipment. I'm hoping there is a law against it, because there is no reasoning with her. She has two large, deep sinks while I have one small one to do my huge pots and pans and wash vegetables in.
     
  2. greg

    greg

    Messages:
    1,056
    Likes Received:
    24
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    In Minnesota, it would be a violation, as would using your pot sink as a vegetable prep sink. However, I would feel less guilty about having a pot sink doing double duty as a prep sink. As far as also using the same sink as a mop sink; never, never, never! Generally, mop sinks are set directly on the floor. Pot and prep sinks are stainless steel sinks mounted on legs.
    Call your local health department for details regarding local laws. I'm 99.9% certain that it is against your health codes. Just remember that they may also tell you that the same sink used for pots can't be used for vegetables as well. Good luck!
     
  3. pastachef

    pastachef

    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thank you so very much. Now I feel I have something to work with.
     
  4. pastachef

    pastachef

    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    10
    Oh, and before I forget, I NEVER use her sinks. That leaves me with only one small sink to do everything! I even empty MY mop bucket in the floor drain in the pantry. It has a hose that goes down inside the drain. Thank you again.
     
  5. layjo

    layjo

    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Sous Chef
    Yeah, I agree with Greg. You should have that three compartment sink to yourself for your pots. Wash>Rinse>Sanitize! And the housekeeper should have a floor drain with a grate cover to empty the mop water, or a mop sink. Explain to the housekeeper your concerns and if you still have a problem explain your concerns to the supervisor in order to get things going the way you need them go. Good Luck!
     
  6. lynne

    lynne

    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Dear Shugie-

    I can guarantee you that Maryland mandates having a seperate mop sink; with a 3 compartment sink designated for the kitchen! I also heard that MD is tightening up its act with "custodial care" facilities (hospitals, nursing homes, schools, etc). Checking out the 3 compartment sink/dishwashing area is on the health inspection list (here in Texas, it's a 2 point violation).

    I would definitely talk to the house mother or supervisor about the violation, options.

    Good Luck!
     
  7. lynne

    lynne

    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Shugie,

    You had asked previously about storage of luncheon meats -- the "new" guidelines for labeling and dating gives luncheon meat 5-7 days if stored at 41 degrees or below or 3-4 days if stored at 45 degrees. I believe that MD requires refrigeration units to be maintained at a 40 degree temperature. (Texas is in the process of lowering their max temp).

    Hopes this helps! Maryland should have a department of health website with rulings and guidelines.
     
  8. pastachef

    pastachef

    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thank you so much for the info. I keep a close eye on the temperature gauges of my refrigerators and freezers, so I think I'm okay there. I worry about the girls on weekends though. They tend to leave things out, sometimes overnight! (It's the age.) Then someone else comes along and puts the item in question back in the fridge! I will go to the house director about the matter of the sinks. I already talked to the maintenance man about them today. He agreed with me, but we both know it's going to be a tough issue. I don't believe the Health Department has any jurisdiction over us because we are a privately owned business. The sorority owns the house. I do hope they crack down though.
     
  9. lynne

    lynne

    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    To pull from another state, I know in NC, sorority and fraternity houses are inspected. Because the girls pay room and board; they should be viable for inspection. Again, all types of properties subject to inspection should be found on the MD Department of Health website. We wish you the best!
     
  10. pastachef

    pastachef

    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    10
    Hello, and thanks to all of you for your help. I talked to the house directors husband today and he said that the fraternity where he came from in another state had health inspections once a month. I explained about the sinks and our maintenance man said that he has a friend at the health department that he is going to have visit us to scare the housekeeper. Of course, talking to her about it today did no good. I asked another housekeeper from another sorority about their kitchen. She said that we used to have inspections but that the inspectors let them get by with a lot :( I explained to OUR housekeeper that MD was getting ready to begin inspections again and I wanted to be prepared. Her attitude was that they have to give us notice, then a list of what we're doing wrong and allow us time to fix it. She entirely misses my point. I WANT A HEALTHY KITCHEN AT ALL TIMES! Then she said they would cite us for the dried chemicals on the outside of the dish sanitizer, but that the sinks were all right. The war has just begun, but thanks for backing me :)
     
  11. chef david simpson

    chef david simpson

    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    10
    These laws are the same in pretty much all states. BUT, this is a law that has broken against a friend of the toque. Even though you are just a cook in a sorority, I commend you on your safety and sanitation practices. We all know this is a wrong and it must put in the right.
    How long has this been going on?
    Do you yourself have the power to change this?

    [ March 09, 2001: Message edited by: Chef David Simpson ]
     
  12. pastachef

    pastachef

    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    10
    This has been going on for about two years. This particular housekeeper used to be both cook and housekeeper for 29 girls before HER sorority closed down. We then moved in. I was moved up from housekeeper to cook's assistant. This was because of my sanitation practices and knowledge of it. I read a lot :) It's been MY kitchen for nine years, but every time we get new house directors a new war breaks out with this housekeeper. She literally still believes that she still runs the whole house. I cook for 150 or more a day, two meals a day. I manage the snack foods and sandwich supplies,etc. In other words, I keep them well fed and they have it all. The girls and I are very close and there is a lot of resentment over the praise and respect that I get. The housekeeper will not accept that clean and sanitary are two different things. She used to wash my kitchen towels and cloths with her personal laundry from home! I had to take over and do them myself because she gets furious with even a hint that she's doing something wrong. It's all been such a touchy thing. I don't really have the power to change the situation because every house director that moves in quickly learns to avoid her. She hits them first thing in the morning with non-stop complaints about the girls and their messes. The house directors sneak in and out themselves to work and to classes, and each one warns the new one about this woman. I went off on the housekeeper once and snatched my purse and coat, telling her to just tell the boss I quit. She locked me in the pantry! She KNEW she was in trouble if I got out that door. She left me alone for awhile, but she's back at it again. When I throw away out dated food she fusses at me. She lectures me about the budget when I serve what the girls want to eat. I do a good job with the budget and it's none of her business. She nags and gripes under her breath at me so no one else can hear what I have to go through with her. It is her job to help out in the kitchen and she got a large raise to do so in order to save us the money in hiring an assistant. Once a week I do a formal sit down dinner for the entire sorority. This is for the live-ins and live-outs, as well as for the girls who are going to replace the ones graduating. I feel that these dinners are a celebration. I like beautiful table settings because The housekeeper was just throwing the place mats, dishes, utensils, etc. on the tables until it looked like a jumbled mess. I got so disgusted with it that I found myself beating her to the punch in order to make them look nice. She doesn't know how to set a table properly and refuses to learn. When she wipes off a table, if there is a dried food stain, she swipes over the stain, not bothering to dig up the food :( I guess I brought all of this on myself. I work nine hours a day without a sit down break while she languishes over her lunch, sitting at my work island. The only solution the house directors could come up with was to keep her out of my kitchen, so I have taken over all of the work. When they are around, she swishes a few dishes around in the sink, but as soon as they leave, she flees. I'm not complaining about my job. I LOVE my job. My complaint is the way she butts in to my responsibilities in keeping the girls healthy, safe and happy. She got fired for all of this at the end of last year, but during her remaining months worked so hard and behaved herself so well that they thought it was safe to keep her. Here we are back to square one. Her newest thing is nagging me to get down to scrub the woodwork in our huge dining room. I DON'T HAVE THAT KIND OF TIME! I know what the solution is going to be. I'm going to have to find another job and get away from her. My doctor had put me on tranquilizers last year because of her. Now where could someone my age - 56, find a job that pays as well as I am paid, who is totally in love with cooking and pleasing, determined to practice sanitation, and is always willing to learn something new? I'm totally terrified, but I have to get out of there. At every sorority over there the cooks cook. She even has it fixed so that I have to clean house when she's out for a day! Thank you for listening and trying to help. I need all of the suggestions I can get. I wish I could have all of your autographs, because to me, the title 'Chef" is like the title God :)
     
  13. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    64
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    Oh man~ you can't destroy your health....
    Crudeau is right. I would put in writing what you need, an asst. to help in the kitchen so you get a break. I'd outline the sanitation violations and give a written copy to the housekeeper and cc a copy to the house director with a suggested time frame for compliance. GET TOUGH!!!That is your kitchen! Start looking at other soroities and frats to see who has an opening...With your caring dedication anyone would want you....believe me....believe in yourself! Destroying your health is not worth it. Sounds like a her or you solution...she's pushed it to that point.
     
  14. pastachef

    pastachef

    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    10
    Shroomgirl, Thank you so much! It IS my kitchen! I am going to take every bit of your advice :)
     
  15. david jones

    david jones

    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    When I was KM at my fraternity house, the law required someone responsible for foodservice to have a sanitation certificate. These classes were offered through the university. Maybe the housekeeper should take the class, too?
     
  16. pastachef

    pastachef

    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    10
    I have wondered many times why a food certification license isn't required in these kitchens. I'm not certified, but I have studied the books on sanitation, etc. My daughter got her certification and I managed to learn a lot through her. I believe I can pass the test.