Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, TCMC staff members have benefited from a wide array of food donations from local individuals, businesses and restaurants. This support is tremendous and greatly appreciated.
In an effort to protect the health and safety of our valued team members, we have looked to the County Department of Public Health for guidance on best practices for receiving donated food. Below you will find those best practices, which are now adopted as TCMC’s standards for all food donations:
- Donated Food prepared outside the Food and Nutrition Department MUST NOT be served to patients.
- Restaurant must provide a copy or picture of their Health permit.
- Cold perishable foods should be kept in refrigeration at or below 41°F and hot foods should be kept at or above 135°F. Food may be accepted at a lower temperature if the original temperature is provided and taken within 4 hours of delivery.
- Restaurants must provide a temperature log indicating the food was cooked to proper temperature.
- For cold items (sandwiches, etc) perishable ingredients need to have an internal temperature of 41 degrees or below.
- There is a 4 hour window after the food is cooked for the food to be consumed without risk of food borne illness
Safe Food Handling
- Ensure that hands are thoroughly washed with warm water and soap before handling food and/or utensils and when switching from raw animal products to ready-to-eat foods and as often as necessary to remove all contamination.
- Donated food should be covered and protected from contamination before and during transportation. Transportation vehicles should be maintained clean and vermin free.
- Avoid storing raw meats and/or foods containing major food allergens with or on top of ready-to-eat foods. Note: Major food allergens include milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans.
- Ensure the name of the food item and its date and time of preparation are clearly labeled. Food should be labeled “Process Immediately” for instances where refrigerated transport is not available.
- Only produce that requires minimal handling, such as apples, pears, bananas, and oranges will be accepted.