08 Poisonous or Toxic Items
This is the final critical item topic. It’s an important topic because these items can cause a serious reaction or illness if they are not properly used. A poisonous item refers to items ranging from chlorine to medications and everything between that could be toxic if used incorrectly.
08a- Properly Stored
Toxic items are required to be stored in a manner that they will not contaminate other items such as food. A violation here could be bleach containers stored over dry food items in a storage room or medications that are stored in a spice rack in the kitchen. It’s important that these items are kept separated from food so if they spill they don’t find their way onto a customer’s plate.
08b- Properly Labeled
Toxic items need to be properly labeled so they can be easily identified and to make sure they aren’t accidentally added to foods. A common violation is this section is when bleach water for sanitizing is put in a plastic bottle but not labeled. To the person who made the sanitizer it may be obvious that it is sanitizer but to anyone else it looks like a plain bottle of water and could easily find its way into the wrong place. A fix is simple, write bleach or sanitizer on the bottle.
08c- Properly Used
There are a number of potentially toxic items that are useful in the kitchen such as chlorine used to make sanitizer water. The problem arises if these items are not used properly to do their intended job. For example, chlorine should be between 50-200 parts per million (ppm) to be an effective sanitizer. If a solution is made at 400 ppm it can leave chlorine residue behind on a surface and cause a reaction in a sensitive individual if foods were prepared on that surface. There are also items that are approved for home use that are not approved for use in a commercial kitchen such as Lysol or 409. Using these items in a restaurant kitchen would also be marked down as a 08c.
Please contact Rachel Burmeister at 970-920-5075 with any food safety or restaurant related questions.