Food safety should be the foremost priority of every restaurant owner and manager. Diners place a great deal of trust in eateries, and serving food that is unfit for consumption is the greatest betrayal of that trust. Not only can shrugging off food safety cost your restaurant business, it can land you in hot water with health inspectors and make you the subject of costly lawsuits. Fortunately, ensuring food safety in your restaurant doesn’t have to be difficult. With the help of the following pointers, you can make food-borne illness in your establishment a thing of the past.

1. Invest in High-Quality Refrigeration Units

Improperly refrigerated food is among the foremost causes of food-borne illness. That being the case, it behooves every restaurateur to invest in high-quality fridges, freezers and refrigerated displays. Furthermore, to ensure these devices are able to operate at peak efficiency, you’ll need to have them cleaned and serviced on a regular basis.

2. Strictly Enforce Hand-Washing Guidelines

All servers and food preppers should frequently clean their hands throughout the workday. Hand-washing should always occur after an employee has used the facilities, sneezed into their hands or handled raw ingredients or dirty dishes. It’s in every restaurant manager’s best interest to take a hard line against employees who put hand-washing on the backburner, as this will effectively illustrate the importance of clean hands to your workforce.

3. Buy Exclusively from Trusted Vendors

It pays to do your homework when deciding which food vendors to give your business to. When making your decision, it’s important to remember that “cheapest” doesn’t necessarily mean “best.” Before committing to do business with a vendor, do some research online in order to get a feel for their reputation. If a vendor is known for subpar or spoiled meat and/or produce, take care to avoid them. Not only will doing business with them compromise the quality of your food, it can also put the safety of your diners at risk.

It behooves every restaurateur to prioritize food safety. Since a restaurant is only as good as the food it serves, it stands to reason that unsafe food is an indicator of a terrible restaurant. Maintaining food safety doesn’t have to be arduous or time-consuming. With a little bit of persistence and the proper equipment at your disposal, you can ensure the safety of your patrons and the quality of your entrees.