Five Guys Receives Honorable Mention For Excellence In Food Safety

Correction: Chipotle is the winner of the 2023 Excellence in Food Safety Award; Five Guys received an honorable mention.

A food safety award might not seem like the coolest accolade for a restaurant to receive, but they're certainly important, especially in the realm of fast food. That's why Five Guys Enterprises, the company behind the popular burger chain, is celebrating an honorable mention in the 2023 Excellence in Food Safety Awards, according to a press release. The award, presented by SteriTech and FastCasual, recognizes fast-casual restaurants that meet SteriTech's seven pillars of food safety excellence, which are senior leadership commitment and engagement, food safety communications, defined standards and procedures, training, key performance indicators and scorecards, oversight programs, and positive recognition.

Five Guys prides itself on using some of the freshest ingredients in the fast food sector. Known for their straightforward menu, copious topping choices, and generous servings of cut in-house French fries, Five Guys aims to deliver delicious, consistent burgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, and fries across their 1,700 stores. The burger patties it uses are hand-formed and never frozen and the fries are cut daily. But that emphasis on freshness means that food safety is critical. 

Fresh, clean, and safe

If you have any food service experience and step into the kitchen of a Five Guys, you might notice that one major piece of equipment that's found at nearly every restaurant is missing. Five Guys doesn't have freezers because it doesn't need freezers. The kitchen staff at every location chops vegetables, forms hamburger patties, and cuts fries throughout the day then stores them in standard refrigerators. 

Because Five Guys doesn't freeze its ingredients, these refrigerators need to be regularly monitored to be certain they are maintaining a safe temperature. The same goes for food items, which must be checked periodically as well. The United States Department of Agriculture says that perishable items need to be held above 140 degrees or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The range in between is known as the "danger zone" and foods that spend too long at temperatures here can become ideal breeding grounds for foodborne pathogens. 

Five Guys' commitment to food safety doesn't end at careful temperature control though. As detailed in a behind-the-scenes look, Insider says that the importance of personal hygiene is impressed upon all of their staff. Handwashing must be done for a minimum of 20 seconds in water that is 100 degrees, and employees have to wash their hands every time they change the gloves they wear for service. There are also myriad hand sinks in a typical Five Guys kitchen in order to keep the task convenient and top of mind. 

These are just a few of Five Guys' safety procedures, but it's this ethos and the chain's commitment to safety that helped it land the 2023 Excellence in Food Safety Award. More importantly, it means a safe dining experience for customers.