969 G. Edgewater Blvd. #187
Foster City, CA. 94404
(415) 990-VEND (8363)
Corporate Vending Machines and Services
The purpose of this article is to provide basic health code information for businesses to evaluate vending machine companies safety practices. This information is also important and useful for home use to help control bacteria.
In the past, we at San Francisco Bay Area Vending and other vending machine companies were less focused about food safety, as we were mostly involved with just drinks and snacks sealed from the factory.
Now, San Francisco Bay Area Vending has; commissaries for food preparation, refrigerated and frozen food vending machines and also offer small convenience stores instead of vending machines, with coolers for fresh food (salads, sandwiches, dairy, etc.). Some unfrozen foods have a shelf live of 14 days, if they are wrapped and sealed in a gas. Wrapped only fresh foods have a self-life of 3-4 days. Dairies have expiration dates of course.
Vending food delivery.
Drink vending machines maintain temperatures around 40-50 degrees, which is fine for soft drinks mostly. But all perishable food must be kept below 40 degrees, both in refrigeration and during transportation and hot food above 140 degrees.
These temperatures apply to meal delivery and vending companies both, although food can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours only, then below and above 40 and 140 degrees, to prevent bacteria growth.
Food being delivered must be in an insulated container approved or inspected by the local Health Department. What about school lunches? The food should be kept in an insulated lunch case with liquid ice. If any of the food is freezable, then that will help in extending a safer temperature.
Ever wondered about refrigeration:
Do eggs, mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard need to be refrigerated?
Sugar, salt, alcohol, sugar and vinegar act as preservatives. Even though eggs are treated for salmonella. ketchup and mustard have plenty of vinegar. Why take the chance? No big deal to refrigerate.
Cheese? Soft high moisture cheeses such as Jack need refrigeration and hard cheeses such as Cheddar do not. But again, no big deal to refrigerate.
Mold can develop if cheese is not properly stored, which can be cut off if not excessive, using good judgment. Some soft cheeses, such as brie has a white coating (mold), which is penicillium and is obviously intentional and harmless.
Myth #1: Produce with skins (oranges, etc.) don't need to be washed, since the skin will be removed.
Fact: Cutting into the fruit to remove the skin will force germs into the center. So wash under running water or use a food detergent before cutting.
Myth #2: Thawing meat outside the refrigerator is safe.
Fact: Remember the minimum 40-degree temperature safeguard to prevent bacteria growth.
Myth #3: Cleaning the counter with soapy water removes all bacteria.
Fact: Add 1 teaspoon of bleach per quart to the soapy water or better, disinfect with the water bleach mixture after washing.
Myth #4: To remove bacteria from meats, just rinse them off with water.
Fact: Rinsing could increase the chance of food poising by splashing their possibly unsafe juices on the counters and around.
Myth #5: Once food has been cooked, all the bacteria has been killed.
Fact: The possibility of bacteria growth increases after cooking, because the decreasing temperature allows the bacteria to grow. So before that two hour period, get it to below 40 degrees or above 140 degrees. Also, cooking to the proper temperature to start is important.
Myth #6: Wash hands frequently to prevent contamination.
Fact: Almost. Hands must be washed for 20 seconds minimum.
Myth #7: Microwaved food is bacteria free and safe to consume.
Fact: The proper internal temperature is what kills the bacteria.
Suggested cooking temperatures.
- Cook raw whole; beef, lamb, roasts, pork to an internal minimum temperature of 145 degrees.
- Cook ground beef and chicken to a minimum internal temperature of 165.
- Heat cooked hams to 140 degrees minimum.
- Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm.
Cross contamination occurs when produce, cooked meat and food are accidentally exposed to raw meat directory or indirectly. So it is best to prepare cooked food first and then meat, cleaning thoroughly after each preparation. Also, uncooked meat should be stored on the lower shelf of the refrigerator, so accidental drip-age won't fall on cooked food. Handle food items when possible with utensils, rather than hands.
Marinades can add a great dimension to recipes, but protocol must be followed.
Never reuse a marinade that has already been used, due to pathogen introduction.
Wash, rinse and sanitize the container and utensils between each treatment. When refrigerating, cover and position the container on the lower shelve, below ready-to-eat food to prevent accidental drip-age on cooked food.
1. Wash with hot dishwashing soap and water.
2. Rinse with hot water.
3. Then wipe down all surfaces and utensils with a mix of regular "chlorine bleach" labeled "for sanitizing" and water, following directions (usually 1 teaspoon bleach to 1 quart water). Using paper towels eliminates the need to always be washing a sponge or cloth between each clean up.
Food borne illness is serious business.
So the purpose of all of these food safety guidelines are to prevent illness due to bacteria and viruses, such as, E. coli and Salmonella.
These illnesses are due to; undercooked ground meat, unpasteurized dairy and juice, raw; fruit, vegetables, eggs and poor hygiene. Poor hygiene in the fields, plants, transportation, retail or final food destination.
Vending company's five basic steps for Food Safety.
1. Wash hands and surfaces often.
2. Separate raw meats from cooked food.
3. Cook to proper temperatures.
4. Refrigerate promptly.
5. Maintain proper temperatures.
These five steps should apply to all vending companies, especially with commissaries and are excellent guidelines for home use.
Corporate Cuisine Vending