Survey Reveals Chefs' Top Food Safety Concerns
A new survey conducted by Rubbermaid Commercial Products reveals No. 1 concern for chefs about cross contamination is their customers getting sick. Findings also disclosed nearly two-thirds of chefs worry about how cross-contamination could damage their reputation, especially in the age of social media when more consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Chefs are not only worried about cross-contamination's impact on their customers, but for the direct impact on themselves. American Culinary Federation (ACF) participants deemed reputation and social media impact as more important than the cost of an incident to business. However, 84 percent agree that using a color-coded system helped them be more compliant with food safety regulations.2
While food safety has always been a top priority for chefs, many believe Americans are more aware of food allergens and sensitivities today than in the past.
"Chefs and other food professionals are faced with many challenges in the kitchen, one of the largest being food safety," says Anna Whitton, vice president of marketing, Rubbermaid Commercial Products. "Our Color-Coded Foodservice System was designed to help meet strict regulations and encourage food safety in restaurant environments. This product offers kitchen personnel a system to simplify food preparation and storage, while giving chefs time to focus on a great culinary experience for their patrons."
RCP selected a subset of ACF member chefs to trial its Color-Coded Foodservice System, and 95 percent were satisfied with the product. The results of the trial and survey uncover the behaviors and attitudes of chefs towards food preparation and storage, and how they manage these challenges in their kitchens.
Key findings include:
One key pain point for chefs is that food safety takes a large portion of their time on the job. Ninety-six percent of chefs say they spend a fair amount of their day making sure food is being handled and stored correctly in their kitchen, while nearly half of chefs find food safety practices to be very time consuming.
Food safety remains a top concern for chefs today. More Americans are now aware and educated about food allergies, therefore more Americans are able to diagnose themselves. Ninety-eight percent of chefs believe that the prevalence of allergens and food sensitivity has grown in America in recent years.
This awareness makes it increasingly important for food professionals to pay close attention to recent developments regarding food allergens and sensitivity and their implications. Customer demands have increased and almost three-in-five chefs find staying on top of food safety issues and regulations to be a top concern.
Chefs want a solution that provides time savings and is up to par with food safety regulations so they can focus on the more appealing parts of their job. Four-in-five chefs said they felt more confident about food safety regulation compliance after using the RCP Color-Coded Foodservice System in their kitchen, and 95 percent agree they would recommend this product to other chefs.