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Common Foods That Can Become Dangerous If They Go Bad

December 22, 2022
Potatoes ready to be prepared

The holidays are a busy time for restaurant owners. There’s a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it. But one thing that should always be at the top of your list is food safety. Unfortunately, accidents happen, and sometimes those accidents involve serving bad food to your patrons.

To help you avoid serving dangerous food this holiday season, we’ve put together a list of common foods that can become dangerous if they go bad.

We’ve also included some tips on using organization and labeling to prevent the accidental serving of bad food during a holiday rush.



Potatoes are a staple of many holiday meals. But did you know that potatoes can actually be dangerous if they’re not stored properly? If potatoes are stored in an area that’s too warm, they can start to sprout eyes or develop a green tint. Both of these are signs that the potato has gone bad and should not be eaten.

Even worse, rotting potatoes exude noxious gasses that can render a person unconscious and even result in death.

Store your potatoes in a cool, dark place, and check them regularly for signs of spoilage. If you start to see eyes looking back at you, it’s time to throw them out and start fresh.


Pasta Sauce

Pasta sauce is another common ingredient in the average kitchen. But like potatoes, pasta sauce can also cause some serious health problems if stored improperly.

According to an article from Pantry Guide, unopened pasta sauce, stored in a dark, cool pantry can last 3 – 5 months beyond its expiration date.

This, however, isn’t the problem. The issues start once you’ve opened the jar and left it unfinished. A pasta jar with a broken seal is a botulism time bomb waiting to happen.

Botulism is a serious bacterial illness that impacts the nervous system, leading to muscle paralysis, respiratory issues, and even death.

Avoid these horrific threats! Always refrigerate your pasta sauces after opening.


What Other Foods Get Seriously Dangerous After Expiration Date?

Other foods that can become dangerous if they go bad include meat, dairy products, eggs, and seafood. These types of food can contain harmful bacteria like salmonella or E. coli that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even death if ingested.

So it’s important to ensure your backend team cooks these foods properly and stores them based on the latest food handler and industry standards.

Also, keep your kitchen organized and your food properly labeled to stay on top of upcoming expiration dates. Let’s look deeper into that!


Use Organization and Labeling To Prevent The Accidental Serving Of Bad Food

One way to prevent the accidental serving of bad food is by using proper organization and labeling techniques in your kitchen.

For example, you can use color-coded labels to indicate when food was prepared and when it needs to be used. This will help ensure that older food is used before newer food and nothing low-quality or rotten accidentally ends up being served to your customers.

Another way to prevent accidents is by training your staff on proper food handling techniques. This includes everything from washing their hands to cooking food properly.

We’ve extensively covered proper food handling and labeling techniques in some of our past food safety updates.


Avoids Food Prep Problems With the Help of Certified On The Fly

The best way to avoid problems with serving bad food is by getting all of your employees food handler certified. Rather than forcing your entire team to leave their shifts and take an in-person course, the online course through Certified On The Fly can meet your certification needs without cutting into your business.

Our course is affordable and lets users navigate and learn at their own pace. Register online today to ensure your team is food handler certified in the new year!

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