The road to chef stardom is not without its obstacles. If you’re looking to pursue a career in foodservice, then you’re going to learn a lot about the dos and don’ts of fine cuisine over this next stretch of your life. Among the many crucial skills you’ll learn is how to cut meat correctly. If you want to hit the ground running, read this article so that when your instructor teaches you the basics, you’ll be two steps ahead.
Rule 1: Hygiene
Mishandling meat is one of the easiest ways to get you or someone else very sick. Meat carries all kinds of dangerous bacteria that can be so damaging that it could land you in the hospital. That’s why you must be as scrupulous as possible with cleaning everything with which the meat comes into contact. That means washing your hands both before and after handling the meat. Any time you touch the meat, you must rinse your hands afterward before handling other food. You must also wash the meat itself, thoroughly, before putting it on the grill.
Rule 2: Learn the laws of your state
Different states have different regulating bodies. Most likely, you will have to abide by the rules of either the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Find out which one inspects restaurants in your city and look up their rules for how to cut your meat. These rules are designed for your safety and the safety of your customers. Knowing them will only help you. Neglecting to learn them can only hurt you.
Rule 3: Make sure you’ve completed all prerequisites
First and foremost, you must have at least a high school diploma or a GED. With those credentials, you’ll be eligible to study for your food handler certification, which you’ll be required to have in order to even get a job handling meat. You may find some butchers willing to train you under the table, but ultimately, if you want a career in food service, you’ll need legal certification before you can really go anywhere in this industry.
Rule 4: Make sure that you can stomach it
Cutting meat is not for everyone. You will be handling dead carcasses. That means handling blood and guts, which is not something that every living soul feels totally comfortable working with. For some, it’s a matter of growing accustomed. Others it’s out of the question. And others it’s no problem from the start. Figure out which category you fall under early so you can save yourself the trouble later.
Rule 5: BE CAREFUL!
The knives you’ll be using are going to be very sharp, and very dangerous. Stay safe and practice caution. The speed will come with time. First just get familiar with how to handle the equipment. Your own personal safety should always be the number 1 priority.
Call Ken Kuscher at 561-369-2622 to learn more about how to handle meat, vegetables, and everything else that comes with being a professional food handler.