Sunday, July 06, 2008

Camp 2008 -- Goal #3: Watch food production worksheet instructions

My third goal of the week was to carefully watch the instructions that I give to the cooks via the food production worksheet. We were only moderately successful at accomplishing this goal.

This ties nicely with the other two goals -- to reduce volume of leftovers and reduce end-of-camp donations. This point is important because I use the worksheet to communicate meal instructions to the crew.

My intent here was to improve the staff's use of the worksheet. Until two or three years ago, I was the only one recording information onto the worksheet. Then in 2005 or 2006 I started training the cooks to record to use the worksheet.

It's difficult to get the cooks to take time to document their actions. Most cooks like to focus on cooking, not record keeping. I spent most of the week reminding my second and third cooks to record the number of portions that they prepared, final cooking temperatures for potentially hazardous food items and leftover portions.

I say I was moderately successful because the cooks were using the worksheet about 60 to 75 percent of the time. I filled in the gaps for about one out of three meals.

We'll keep working on the importance of keeping good records next year. The food production worksheet, along with the inventory and food safety log, give me the history (click here and here) that I need to plan for next year's camp.

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