How to Use Daydots Portion Bags
By Cindy Rice, RS, CP-FS, MSPH Eastern Food Safety
Consistent portioning and quality control is critical to a successful food operation, and from an operator’s point of view, excess proteins or portion sizes can make the difference between a profitable menu item or a loss. The bottom line is that portion bags work, especially when coupled with day-of-week labeling and FIFO rotation:
Quality. Improved appearance, taste, fresher foods and customer satisfaction leading to repeat customers.
Food Safety. Safer food products (lower risk of illness), minimizes cross contamination and foods protected.
Control Costs. Reduced product loss, more efficient ordering practices and improved staff behaviors and compliance.
How to measure out accurate portion sizes for your foods?
1. Establish your specific food cost and allotment of ingredients per menu item, to meet your price point or quality.
2. Use weight or volume measurements for consistent results
- Weigh food items on a calibrated food scale, for measuring proteins such as scallops, steak tips, deli meats, etc. OR
- Measure out the volume of certain items into appropriate portions (eg., cups, tablespoons) for foods such as vegetables, pasta, salad dressings, etc.
3. Place items into Daydots Portion Bags
4. Datemark bags for FIFO rotation:
- Use day-of-the week preprinted portion bags, or labels
- If food is not going to be used within 24 hours, label the bag with the Use-by/discard date, according to FDA 2017 Food Code guidelines for ready-to-eat TCS foods:
- Use your company’s own internal shelf-life protocols, but do not exceed FDA’s shelf-life limit of 7 days from preparation date.
- Discard food at the end of day on Use by/discard date, and rotate products in storage accordingly, using the oldest foods first, before they expire
5. Training tips for implementing portion bags in your operation:
- Communicate with staff, the reasons for portioning, labeling and rotating, namely, for controlling costs, food quality and safety
- Demonstrate methods for measuring portions, labeling portion bags, datemarking and rotating by date
- Review discard procedures
Keeping foods safe with a consistent quality translates into satisfied customers and keeps profits in the refrigerator. To avoid untrained or “philanthropic” employees contributing to your runaway food costs, control portion sizes for your more costly items, and it will be “money in the bank.”