Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tips to make sure your bird is fully cooked

“My mother is such a lousy cook that Thanksgiving at her house is a time of sorrow.” – Comedian, Rita Rudner

Yup, the pressure is truly on for cooks of a Thanksgiving feast. Guests might overlook the poorly executed sweet potatoes. They might even hold off on panning the over-seasoned, soggy stuffing.

But cook that bird wrong and your dinner table will deflate faster than the Snoopy balloon after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. However, with some careful planning and following of the tips below, you’ll ensure your bird is safely roasted.

•  First things first. Make sure your turkey is thawed before cooking. If thawing in a refrigerator, allow 24 hours for each 4 to 5 pounds. That means a 12- to 16-pound bird will need three to four days to completely thaw.

•  Heat it up. Set your oven temperature for 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

•  165 is the target. Use a meat thermometer to remove any guesswork. The turkey needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees, which means a cook time of roughly three to four hours for a 12- to 16-pound bird.

•  Leave it unstuffed. While many stuff their birds, it’s recommended that stuffing be cooked in a separate casserole dish. If you do stuff the turkey, it will require additional cooking time. 

•  Know your variables. Among the variables that can impact cook times are the accuracy of the oven; whether the bird is stuffed or not; if the cook pan is dark or shiny (dark roasting pans cook faster). An oven-cooking bag also can accelerate the cook time.

For additional safety tips about cooking your Thanksgiving turkey, download a PDF from the U.S. Department of Agriculture here.

Check out more at Secura website 

Friday, October 26, 2012

NSC 2012: Preventing Serious Injuries and Fatalities

If occupational injury rates are on a downward trend, that’s good news, right? Well, yes and no – while minor and less severe injuries may be on the decline, serious and fatal injuries are not following suit. According to Colin Duncan, CEO of BST, a company that helps organizations improve their workplace safety performance, EHS professionals must start looking at fatalities and serious injuries differently.
“When we see a statistic that workplace fatalities are not going down at the rate that injuries are, we need to understand why,” Duncan said during the Oct. 23 occupational keynote at the National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo in Orlando, Fla. “We need to accept that the things that lead to serious injuries and fatalities are not necessarily the same things we’ll see for non-serious injuries and fatalities.”
Last year, BST released a white paper suggesting that reducing minor injuries and illnesses may not translate to a reduced potential for fatalities or serious injuries. Duncan followed up on that research during his presentation at NSC, where he encouraged EHS professionals to focus the underlying causes and influencing factors that specifically surround serious incidents and fatalities.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Restaurant Crime

Be ready for the unexpected

Think Twice
Always do as the intruder commands, and never attempt heroics. He or she could be carrying a weapon. The consequences of you attacking the intruder can cause you life-threatening injury, legal trouble and even the loss of your job.

Restaurants are particularly vulnerable to robbery, burglary and theft. As restaurants typically accumulate a large amount of cash, it makes them attractive targets of criminal activity. A criminal also looks for establishments with late-night hours and easy entry or escape.

If you are working in a restaurant, you need to be prepared to deal with restaurant crime. That’s why it is important for you to prepare now so that in the event that the unexpected happens, you will be able to stay calm and react quickly.

Preventing Theft
The best way to deal with the threat of theft is prevention. Some ways to discourage thieves from attempting their crime are as follows:
·       Greet and make eye contact with every person that enters.
·       If you see suspicious behavior in any area, courteously ask the person if they need assistance.
·       Always show that you are alert and aware of all customer activity by actively moving around the area.
·       During daily operations, cash registers should be inspected regularly to prevent cash buildup above the minimum amount needed.
·       The rear door leading to the trash or waste containers should never be propped open. Always keep back doors locked.
·       Be aware of and report any strange behavior to your shift manager, such as someone loitering on the premises.
General Guidelines
·       If you witness someone attempting to steal something, do not run after the person or try to intervene. Attacking the person could mean harm to you.
·       In the event of a robbery, do as the intruder commands. Speak slowly and calmly to intruders, and don’t make sudden or unexpected moves.
·       Study the suspect carefully, noting facial features, height, clothing, etc.
·       Do not follow the thief outside. The possibility of causing harm to innocent bystanders escalates in this situation.
·       Call the police and notify your manager of the situation as soon as possible.
·       If an intruder threatens you, comply with all of his or her demands. Your well-being is much more important than anything that [C_Officialname] might lose.

Know Who to Contact
·       The phone numbers of local authorities are listed near all phones on the premises for quick access.
·       Call the police as soon as possible, preserving any evidence left at the scene by the suspects, such as robbery note, objects handled, etc.

Protecting Patrons from Identity Theft

Keep customers’ personal information safe

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America today, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Stay alert for potential fraud risks at all times when handling customer information.

Identity theft is very common at restaurants, and thieves are finding more ways than ever to obtain personal information. Any time a patron makes a purchase, they are trusting  you with sensitive information, and it is the restaurant’s responsibility to protect that information.

It is important that you do your part when handling sensitive client information, such as credit card receipt information. This includes taking internal security measures to ensure customer information is shared only with necessary parties.

If you work at a register, it is important to follow these guidelines so that sensitive information is kept secure:
        Never leave receipts where anyone can find them.
        When you step away from your register, always “lock” the screen.

Credit Cards
When accepting credit or debit cards as a form of payment, be sure to verify the identity of the customer, either through their signature or asking for further identification.

Customer Contact
Only gather personal customer information through company-approved channels. Follow company policies to verify the identity of the customer when giving out or changing any personal information. Use discretion when offering or receiving personal information over the phone – this is a common way for thieves to commit identity fraud.

When processing a customer transaction in front of other clients, make sure that you are protecting the customer’s information. Do not read off any personal data and keep your screen turned so that no one else can view it.

Be sure to keep all receipts, invoices and other records secure – do not leave such paperwork lying around. When disposing of materials containing personal information, use the paper shredder or secure recycling container.

Above all, be aware of the potential for identity theft when handling personal data. If you are suspicious of a transaction or conversation you are having with a patron, follow your instinct and pursue further verification before proceeding.

Talk to your shift manager if you have a question about procedure or need assistance with a particular transaction. If we all do our part, we can keep our customer’s personal information safe.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

First week of National Food Safety Month focuses on personal hygiene

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) provides free, weekly training materials for restaurant employees as part of its National Food Safety Month (NFSM) campaign this September. The training sessions, designed to be completed in 10 minutes, focus on key issues tied to this year's "Be Safe, Don't Cross-Contaminate" theme.
thumbnail_week_1_2012.pngWeek one focuses on personal hygiene, including correct hand care, cleanliness and work attire. A free poster and activity sheet are available in the "Activities" section of
All NFSM training materials are available in English and Spanish.
NFSM highlights components of the NRA’sServSafe® Food Safety program – the leading source of food safety training and certification for restaurant and foodservice industry professionals for nearly 40 years, with more than 5 million certifications issued. Because ServSafe is developed by the NRA, proceeds go toward helping improve the foodservice industry through research and education.

To read more please click the link below.

First week of National Food Safety Month focuses on personal hygiene

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Work Comp Claims Reporting Made Easy

Taking the proper steps in your organization to ensure prompt reporting of all workers compensation claims is essential to helping control your claim costs. As an employer, there are several things you can do to ensure documentation and reporting of a claim goes smoothly.
Reporting requirements
The Division of Workers' Compensation requires that "an employer or its insurer report the injury, other than an injury that requires immediate first aid and no further medical treatment or lost time from work, to them within 30 days after knowledge of the injury. Employers have to report all injuries to their insurance carrier within five days of the date of injury or within five days of the date on which the injury was reported to the employer by the employee, whichever is later."
Missouri Employers Mutual encourages our policyholders to report all injuries, even if it only required immediate first aid. Reporting minor injuries allows for two benefits. First, when a claim is reported to us, we report it to the Division of Workers’ Compensation which establishes the beginning of the statute of limitations on the claim. Second, if the minor injury ends up requiring further medical treatment or lost time becomes a factor, the claim is already in the system and can be assigned quickly to a claims representative for handling.
Train management and staff on claim documentationThe proper documentation makes all the difference in successfully reporting a claim. Train your supervisors and managers about what documentation is needed when an employee reports a work-related injury. Start the process with basic but crucial questions including, were there any witnesses? If so, have the witnesses document exactly what they saw or heard and have them sign their statement. It is also very important to have the injured employee recount, in their own words, exactly what occurred and have them sign the document.
Documentation makes it easy to gather incident information including the date and time the injury occurred, where and how it occurred, the severity of the injury, and body part(s) injured.
Review personnel files annuallyAlong with the incident details, you will also be required to report some personal information on the injured employee. The information is required, so it is very important to keep all of your personnel files up to date. When reviewing personnel files you should ask yourself, do you have the employee's legal name, date of birth, social security number and home address? If you do not require employees to update their information when they move, marry, etc., you may not have up-to-date records. The employee’s hire date is also important for reporting and should prompt you to verify if they have had a recent promotion that resulted in a job title or salary change. If your company does not have a formal process for keeping personnel records up-to-date, we suggest that you implement one.
Although a lot of information is needed for reporting a claim, the process doesn’t have to be complicated.  Put an injury reporting procedure in place that includes documentation of all work-related injuries (both major and minor), training supervisors and managers on the documentation and reporting requirements, and keeping your personnel files updated. 
Give one of our Agents a call 800-392-0423 or click here to email us. for more information.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Economist’s Notebook: Restaurant industry adds most locations since 2007

Economist’s Notebook: Restaurant industry adds most locations since 2007

In his latest commentary, the National Restaurant Association's Chief Economist Bruce Grindy looks at the latest establishment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  In a sign of continued resilience in the midst of a challenging economy, the restaurant industry added locations last year at its strongest rate since 2007, and continued to outperform the nation’s overall private sector. 
Despite the challenging economic environment, the restaurant industry added locations last year at its strongest pace since 2007.  According to recently-released data from theBureau of Labor Statistics, the restaurant industry added a net 10,198 establishments* in 2011, which was more than the combined net increase in 2009 and 2010 (10,010 establishments).  In addition, the 2011 performance was the strongest gain since 2007, when the industry added a net 13,169 locations. 
In percentage terms, the restaurant industry added locations at a 1.8 percent rate in 2011, nearly double the 1.0 percent net increase in establishments for the nation’s overall private sector.
On the state level, trends were mostly positive in 2011. Forty-four states (including the District of Columbia) added eating and drinking place locations in 2011, while 7 states experienced a decline in locations. In 2010, 41 states (including DC) added eating and drinking place locations, while 10 states saw a decline.
Texas led the nation by adding a net 1,478 eating and drinking place establishments in 2011, followed closely by New York with a net increase of 1,412 locations. Florida added 1,225 industry establishments in 2011, while Illinois posted an increase of 855 locations.
In percentage terms, Arizona set the pace with a strong 5.3 increase in eating and drinking place establishments in 2011. The District of Columbia (4.8%), Indiana (4.2%) and Texas (3.9%) were also among the leaders in establishment growth in 2011.
In contrast, Michigan lost a net 335 eating and drinking place locations in 2011, a 2.1 percent drop from its 2010 level. California lost a net 226 eating and drinking place establishments in 2011, while Louisiana’s eating and drinking place sector declined by a net 79 locations.
Eating and Drinking Place Establishments by State
State Establishments July 2012.gif
Check out the res of the article at the link below.

Economist’s Notebook: Restaurant industry adds most locations since 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Teens and Summer Employment: Manage the Risks

Teens and Summer Employment: Manage the Risks

As the school year comes to a close, many employers will hire teenagers for summer jobs. Although the number of employed teenagers dropped drastically since 2008, those numbers are slowly rising again. In 2011, the number of youths (16 to 24 years old) employed in the United States was 18.6 million—an increase of 1.7 million from 2010 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Hiring teens can prove to be very beneficial for employers, teens and the community. With the trend on the rise, it is a great time to revisit the best ways to manage your risk.  
Higher injury ratesInjury rates are higher among teenagers. Statistics for 2011 shows that the non-fatal injury rate for employees 15 to 17 years old was double the injury rate for employees 25 and older. The higher injury rate can be attributed to a lack of experience and an under-appreciation for workplace hazards. The lack of work experience disqualifies most teenagers from more technical jobs, so they accept positions that are more hazardous by nature or involve manual labor which is inherently more risky. According to the National Consumer League, the five most dangerous jobs for teenagers last summer were:
  • Agriculture—harvesting crops and using machinery
  • Construction and height work
  • Driver/Operator—forklifts, tractors, ATVs
  • Outside labor—landscaping, grounds keeping and lawn service
  • Sales crews—traveling
Managing the riskOSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) suggests following these simple steps to prevent injuries to working teens:
  • Give clear instructions and safety precautions to take.
  • Ask for your instructions to be repeated and give an opportunity for questions.
  • Demonstrate how to perform tasks.
  • Observe tasks being performed and correct any mistakes.
  • Demonstrate how to use safety equipment.
  • Prepare teens for emergencies.
  • Ask if there are any additional questions.
Taking these simple steps can drastically reduce risk of injury while encouraging safe working habits for all employees.

  • 06/04/2012
  • Written by Brad Williamson
    Claims, MEM
  • Claims Management, Global