Call anytime: 1-844-704-FOOD (3663) 


ServSafe Training Blog

Food, to label or not to label?  That is the question.


This is Part 3 of 4 on proper food labeling in retail food service establishments including, but not limited to: restaurants, cafeterias, schools, childcare facilities, hotels, healthcare facilities, street vendors, and food trucks.

The purpose of a proper label on food is not for the person who labels it. Rather, a label on food is the ONLY way to communicate anything relevant about the food to anyone else looking at it. Also, one of the most frequent items health inspectors will find when conducting inspections is improperly labeled food. So, let’s clarify what needs to be labeled, and if so, what information is required.

Links to the other three parts are at the bottom.

Key terms:

  • TCS foods - Foods which require constant time/temperature control to maintain safety.

TCS food Prepared & Packaged on-premises

Remember, cold TCS food is any food which we always have to keep cold at 41°F or below.

  • If the food is packaged as grab-and-go, a label with the following information is required:
    • Common name of the food
    • Discard date not to exceed 7 days from the date of preparation

Having a certified food safety manager on duty goes a long way to keeping your customers safe, protecting your restaurant from costly mistakes, and staying in compliance with regulations. In today’s blog post from Raise-The-Grade, we’ll discuss four of the key points of ServSafe and how investing in this class and certification benefits your restaurant, staff, and customers. Read on to learn more. 


The Importance of Food Safety

One of the biggest lessons that individuals who become ServSafe certified take away from our class is how important food safety really is. Beyond the specific knowledge and skills they’ll acquire through this class, they will also gain a more profound respect for food safety as a whole. 


Good Personal Hygiene

Another topic of discussion during the ServSafe food safety course is the importance of good personal hygiene. From proper hand washing techniques to personal grooming practices, your managers will learn everything necessary about hygiene during our ServSafe course.


Time and Temperature Control

A major topic of focus during our ServSafe class is the importance of time and temperature control (TCS) for food safety. During this section of the course, we’ll cover the temperature danger zone, how to heat, hold, and cool TCS food, as well as a more in-depth look into the pathogens that can make people sick when processes aren’t followed. 


Preventing Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination is another area of focus during the ServSafe food safety course at Raise-The-Grade. We’ll cover common ways that cross contamination can occur as well as tactics that help us to prevent the spread of pathogens through contamination.

Find a ServSafe Class Near You

To make sure your restaurant always has a certified food safety manager on duty, it’s essential that you invest in an official ServSafe food safety course. At Raise-The-Grade, we offer ServSafe manager certification classes and the exam to help keep your establishment in compliance with food safety regulations, as well as to help keep your customers safe. To get started, find a ServSafe class near you at Raise-The-Grade. With locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, you are sure to find a ServSafe class that is conveniently located near you.

M34623 Beverage Industry Challenges and Trends Hero Image

Make Sure Your Certification Is Up To Date

No matter what type of establishment in the beverage industry you own, operate, or work in — a coffee shop, a bar, a juice and smoothie bar — it’s important to keep up with current trends. Consumers are changing their tastes on what they want and are looking for in their beverages and Raise The Grade can help you stay on top of it. Our organization is well-versed in the knowledge of food safety and sanitation, offering ServSafe certification courses for restaurant managers, chefs, culinary students, and other personnel in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Raise The Grade specializes in helping our clients keep up with what’s going on in the beverage industry and ensure their customers’ needs are being met. Follow along with some of the current trends we’ve noticed and ensure your ServSafe certification is up to date!


The Rise of Better-For-You Beverages

One of the recent 2022 trends in the beverage industry that’s taking the United States by storm is the demand for drinks that are beneficial to the consumer. It’s a current challenge for those in the beverage industry to add value to their products and to distinguish their products from a competitor’s products. One of the best ways to do so in this day and age is to offer beverage options that are conscious of the consumer’s overall health and well-being. Raise The Grade’s ServSafe® Certificate Program allows those in the food service industry to have the training and knowledge possible to safely offer drinks that utilize natural ingredients, have reduced amounts of sugar, have fewer calories, and are boosted with essential vitamins and minerals. 


Mocktails For Regular Consumption

While enjoying alcohol is universal across the United States, offering several beverage options — both with and without alcohol — is necessary to increase market value. Restaurants and bars may face the challenge of alienating consumers without beverage offerings that cater to all tastes, which is something mocktails can solve. Ensuring your ServSafe certification is up to date and that your location is sanitary enough to create signature drinks allows your food service location to take advantage of a sudden rising trend: mocktails for individuals who are abstaining from or don’t care for alcohol. Raise The Grade’s ServSafe certification can help you provide your North Carolina consumers with a variety of refreshing, delicious drinks that can be sold at any time of the day or night. 


Fermented Drinks 

Consumers are changing and thinking more about what beverages they’re tasting and trying out, one of which is fermented drinks. Instead of the typical coffee and tea options, consumers are instead trying out fermented teas and kombuchas as a way of expanding their taste buds. Taking advantage of this change allows your food service establishment to avoid missing out on a huge untapped section of the consumer market. If you already specialize in other fermented beverages or teas, a current ServSafe certification from Raise The Grade can help you expand your operations and entice more customers. 


Plant-Based & Other Dietary Options

Going beyond the traditional water and tea options, consumers are paying closer attention to what they’re drinking. It’s not uncommon now for consumers to look specifically for plant-based milk to go into their coffee or other vegan-friendly and dietary-restriction-friendly ingredients. As a coffee shop or smoothie bar, you can prevent turning away customers by offering products and drinks that cater to their lifestyle choices. Keep your ServSafe certification up to date with Raise The Grade and prevent alienating your North Carolina audience by offering more plant-based and vegan-friendly options.

Stay Current With Raise The Grade’s ServSafe Certification

Raise The Grade is an organization that’s well-versed in the food preparation, food service, management, and financials of the food service industry. In addition to providing ServSafe certification courses to our clients, we also provide high-quality education on food safety and sanitation courtesy of experienced professional instructors. Learn more about how we can help you by contacting us today!

Untitled design (7).jpg

At Raise-The-Grade, it is our mission to create a food safety culture that keeps everyone safe and healthy no matter the food they enjoy. Whether you are a restaurant owner in search of adequate food practices or simply someone interested in maintaining food safety, we have the information you need to succeed! In the following blog, we will discuss some tips for handling food outdoors. If you are interested in partaking in our courses in North Carolina, South Carolina, or Georgia, contact us today. 

M34623 - Raise the Grade - infographic.jpg

1080x1080-image3 (3).jpg

Clean The Area 

When handling food outdoors, the first important thing to do is maintain a clean area. Always make sure to wash your hands, cutting boards, dishes, and anything else that will touch food. While you are at it, make sure to clean all of your products including fruits and vegetables. With canned goods, remember to clean the lids before you open them! 

1080x1080-image2 (3).jpg

Separate Your Products 

Always make sure to keep raw products separated from cooked food. If you mix the two, it can create numerous food-borne illnesses that can get you or your guests very ill. Keep different containers available for different types of products, such as raw and cooked meats. Also, make sure to use different cutting boards and never place cooked food where raw food once was. 

1080x1080-image1 (3).jpg

Cook To Temperature

When grilling outdoors, cook all of your food to the right temperature. Color and texture are unreliable indicators of safety, so always make sure to use an accurate thermometer. It is best practice to cook all food to a safe minimum internal temperature, as this destroys harmful bacteria. 

1080x1080-image4 (3).jpg

Keep Cold Food Cold and Hot Food Hot

If eating cold food, place it in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold food should be stored at 40 degrees or below to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Try and keep these coolers closed as long as possible, as constant opening can increase the temperature. Hot foods should be kept at or above 140 degrees, so wrap your food well within an insulated container until serving. 

Never leave your food out sitting for more than 2 hours, or 1 hour in temperatures above 90 degrees no matter if hot or cold. 

Food safety is always an important aspect of enjoying food, especially when outdoors. Follow these tips to make sure you and your family stay safe during those fun weekend barbeques! Visit us online today to learn more about the courses we teach!

M34623 Top 10 Food and Beverage Industry Trends Part 2 Hero Image

Make Sure Your Certification Is Up To Date

Keeping an eye out on what the rest of the food and beverage world is up to is the key to success, which is exactly what Raise The Grade in Charlotte, North Carolina is here to report. Once again we are sharing our insider knowledge of the recent trends taking over the food and beverage market and providing the necessary education courses to keep up with them. Raise The Grade’s ServSafe certification courses are ideal for not only ensuring your food preparation is sanitary and up-to-code but also for boosting your business productivity and reputation within the community. Browse through a few more recent changes restaurants, culinary students, and other food service establishments can expect of consumers, and remember to sign up for our ServSafe certification classes.


Emerging Focus on Sustainability 

Consumers are considering more and more their impact on the environment and how their everyday actions contribute to larger issues. Thus, to meet this newfound demand, food service locations and restaurants are highlighting their sustainability efforts and showcasing what they do to give back to the Charlotte community and the environment. To make sure your everyday processes and food preparation are as clean and sustainable as possible, Raise The Grade provides ServSafe certification to protect both your integrity and the health of your customer. We recommend advertising how you’re green to increase your attractiveness to diners. 


Interest in Local Businesses & Sources

With the financial and health-based struggles the United States has faced throughout the beginning of the 2020s, there’s been a recent push to support local businesses and local business owners. With regards to the food and beverage industry, this includes the creation of “Takeout Tuesday'' and renewed effort to shop small businesses and eat at local restaurants. Your food service establishment can entice consumers to continue participating in these efforts to preserve the community by continuing to provide delicious food prepared by ServSafe certificated chefs.


Gratuity to Benefit Waitstaff

This recent trend our team at Raise The Grade has noticed may depend on the location of your food service business or restaurant, but it is nonetheless very important to pay attention to. Many establishments that specialize in cooking and serving food are adding a gratuity to each bill designed to benefit the financial well-being of the waitstaff. Raise The Grade’s experienced instructors can provide even more information on this method of food service management through our online classes, so you can make an informed decision on if this trend can be taken advantage of. Depending on where you live and work in the Charlotte and Greater North Carolina area, you may see this type of gratuity on restaurant bills. 


Healthy Meal Options

While consumers and diners will occasionally crave indulgent food such as pizza or burgers, recently they tend to lean more towards healthier food options. Whether it’s the elimination of meat, the addition of vegetables, or the introduction of more health-conscious dishes in general, the diet of everyday consumers is taking a turn. Ensuring your food service establishment has the appropriate ServSafe certification it needs and integrating more low-calorie selections onto your menu are excellent means of taking advantage of this trend. 


Embracing Technology

Food service and culinary technology in general has evolved greatly over the past few years. This takes many different forms, from a business increasing its presence on food-centered mobile apps to allowing more online bookings. No matter where your food-oriented business fits within the industry, it’s important to take advantage of technology for ease of operations and customer satisfaction. In fact, doing so is easy with Raise The Grade’s online courses and ServSafe certification, both of which are critical for both long-term and short-term success.

Claim Your Spot in the Culinary Field With Raise The Grade

Raise The Grade can help you stay on top of every new food and beverage trend with our online classes focusing on everything from hospitality to food preparation, management, and business financials. From our ServSafe certification courses to our other online offerings, we can help you ensure your business is doing everything possible to be successful. Get started today!

Page 2 of 6