ServSafe Manager Practice Test #3

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20 Questions With Explanations


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Question 1
A pathogen is considered what type of contaminant?
All of these
Question 1 Explanation: 

There are three types of contaminants to food. They are Biological, Chemical and Physical.

Biological contaminants are pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and toxins (poisons) produced by some seafood, mushrooms, and plants.

Chemical contaminants are chemicals that may accidentally contaminate food. Cleaning agents, insecticides, and polishes are some examples.

Physical contaminants are things like chicken bones, glass, dirt or bag ties that may accidentally fall into food. In the case of bones, some foods (soup for example) usually should not contain bones.

Question 2
What is a "TCS food"?
Food that requires its associated risks to be explained to the customer. Such as a rare or "blue" cooked steak.
Food that requires time and temperature control for safety.
Unsafe food for people with multiple food allergies.
A food that was purchased from an unapproved source.
Question 2 Explanation: 

TCS foods are foods that require "Time/Temperature Control for Safety".

Nearly all foods naturally contain microorganisms that can cause foodborne illness. Many of these pathogens and microorganisms can be killed at high temperatures. This is why we cook food.

Also, these microorganisms can multiply rapidly in certain temperatures. We must keep foods out of these temperatures as much as possible to limit their growth.

Some types of food contain more pathogens than others. Or they may contain different varieties of pathogens that require different levels of heat to kill them. And some foods may contain low levels or harmless pathogens and may not need cooking at all.

TCS foods contain dangerous pathogens that must be controlled with temperature or the amount of time that the food is allowed to remain in unsafe temperatures.

Question 3
Which government authority is responsible for writing the codes that regulate food service operations?
State and local health departments.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Question 3 Explanation: 

The FDA, USDA, and CDC are directly involved with many food safety regulations. But local jurisdictions are not forced to strictly adhere to their recommendations.

Each state and local health department is free to revise and adjust the recommendations given by those agencies. That is why your state and local regulatory authorities are the most important to your operation.

Question 4
E. coli is usually contracted from which food?
Ground beef
All of these
Question 4 Explanation: 
E. coli can be found in the intestines of cattle. When a cow is slaughtered and rendered the E. coli can come into contact with the rest of the meat. This is why ground beef carries the greatest risk for E. coli.
Question 5
These conditions are necessary for the growth of bacteria: food, acidity, temperature, time, oxygen, and moisture. What term is often used for these conditions?
Ready to eat foods
TCS Foods
Question 5 Explanation: 

The acronym FAT TOM refers to the conditions that are necessary for bacteria to grow. All of these conditions are present in TCS foods, except time and temperature. This is why we need to control time and temperature to prevent the bacteria from thriving and reproducing.

Food: Bacteria can survive by consuming many of the same foods that we eat. Even a small drop of fluids or food particles on a countertop or cooking utensil is enough for bacteria to reproduce to unsafe levels.

Acidity: This is measured with the pH scale which ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. A lower number is acidic and a higher number is the opposite - alkaline. Different types of bacteria prefer different levels of acidity. But no bacteria can survive in very high or very low numbers of pH. This is why pickled foods can be preserved for long periods of time - the acidity is too high.

Temperature: Bacteria reproduce very slowly in temperatures below 41°F and stop completely at freezing temperatures. Also, they reproduce very slowly at temperatures above 135°F and are killed at even higher temperatures. This is why we hold foods below 41°F or above 135°F.

Time: Bacteria need time to reproduce. But they can reproduce very quickly if all of the other conditions are present. This is why we limit the time that food is allowed to remain if the Temperature Danger Zone of 41°F to 135°F.

Oxygen: Like us, bacteria also need oxygen to survive and reproduce. But bacteria are able to utilize oxygen even underwater or submerged fluids. Some foods are stored in ROP (Reduced Oxygen Packaging) and this can preserve them longer. Ever wonder why a bag of chips is filled with air or why some containers pop or hiss when opened? This is because the oxygen has been removed and replaced with carbon dioxide. Most bacteria cannot reproduce in these conditions.

Moisture: Bacteria need moisture to thrive and reproduce. This is why foods with little or no moisture (such as bread or crackers) are not TCS foods. Also, dehydrating foods (such as jerky or fruits) can preserve them for much longer.

Question 6
Which of the following is NOT considered to be one of "The Big Eight" allergens?
Question 6 Explanation: 

Although a person can be allergic to any kind of food, there are eight foods that pose the greatest risk. These are known as "The Big Eight".

Milk; soy; eggs; wheat; some kinds of fish; some kinds of seafood; peanuts; and tree nuts are the eight most common allergens.

Foods that contain these allergens should be clearly labeled and employees should know what they are. Also, an employee should be able to inform a customer as to the ingredients in each dish in case they are asked by a customer who suffers from food allergies.

Question 7
Which type of jewelry are you allowed to wear during food preparation?
A medical bracelet
A watch
A plain band ring
None of these
Question 7 Explanation: 

Employees should not wear jewelry on their hands or wrists. This is because food particles or other contaminants can become trapped in or beneath them.

A plain band ring is the only acceptable type of jewelry for hands and wrists. This is because it can easily be covered and protected by a single-use glove. A ring with stones or gems may tear or damage the glove and should not be worn.

Question 8
In which temperature range do pathogens grow the most rapidly?
40°F - 70°F
140°F - 155°F
125°F - 140°F
70°F - 125°F
Question 8 Explanation: 

Pathogens thrive and multiply quickly when the temperature is ideal. And they multiply the fastest between the temperature range of 70°F and 125°F.

Raw and ready to eat food should never be stored for more than 4 hours in this range. But you should be even more careful than that. Pathogens can still multiply at even lower and higher temperatures.

It has been determined that in order to really limit the growth of pathogens in food, it should not be exposed to prolonged periods of time within the temperature range of 41°F and 135°F.

That's why the temperature range of 41°F to 135°F has been identified as "The Temperature Danger Zone". Raw and ready to eat food should never be allowed to remain within this range for more than 4 hours.

Question 9
What is the easiest and safest way to calibrate a thermometer?
Adjusting the thermometer so that ice-water shows a temperature of 32°F.
Properly cleaning and sanitizing the thermometer after each use.
Making sure that all thermometers are showing the exact same temperature.
Frequently replacing old or worn thermometers with new ones.
Question 9 Explanation: 

Over time, thermometers can lose their accuracy and they should be calibrated regularly. And any time the thermometer is dropped or jostled it should be calibrated again.

"Calibrating" means checking the thermometer for accuracy and adjusting it if it's needed. The two most common ways to calibrate a thermometer are the "ice-point method" and the "boiling-point method". The ice-point method is the easiest and safest because it does not involve boiling water and also because water actually boils at different temperatures depending on your elevation.

To calibrate a thermometer with the ice-point method, fill a large glass or jar with ice and then add water. Crushed ice works the best. Take the temperature of the ice water. If the thermometer does not read 32°F, adjust it so that it does.

To calibrate a thermometer using the boiling point method, you must first determine what the boiling point of water is at your location. Usually, this is about 212°F. But if you live near the mountains it may be a bit lower and if you live near the ocean it may be a bit higher. Use Google to search for the boiling point in your city.

Once you know the boiling temperature in your area, simply bring a pot of water to a rapid boil. Check to see if the thermometer gives the correct temperature and if it doesn't, then calibrate it so that it does.

Question 10
A commercially processed TCS food item is delivered to your establishment with a use-by date that is less than 7 days from the day of delivery. What should you do?
Clearly mark the package with the use-by date
Override the "FIFO" method and use this food item first
Reject that item
This food item should only be stored in the freezer
Question 10 Explanation: 

The rule for TCS food in cold storage is that it must be served or thrown out within 7 days. It's unusual to receive delivery of a food item with a use-by date that is less than 7 days from the day of delivery - but it does happen.

Because it's unusual and because the rest of the food can be safely stored for 7 days, there is a risk that the use-by date could be overlooked. Especially if it was a large delivery. This is why a TCS food with a use-by date that is less than 7 days from the date of delivery should be clearly marked.

Question 11
Foods should be stored so that those requiring a higher internal cooking temperature are on the lower shelves. This is to prevent cross-contamination if foods on the top shelf drip or leak onto the foods stored below it. From top to bottom, which is a correct storage arrangement?
(1)Seafood (2)Whole cuts of beef or pork (3)Ground meats (4)Whole and ground poultry (5)Ready-to-eat food
(1)Ground meats (2)Whole and ground poultry (3)Ready-to-eat food (4)Seafood (5)Whole cuts of beef or pork
(1)Whole cuts of beef or pork (2)Ground meats (3)Whole and ground poultry (4)Ready-to-eat food (5)Seafood
(1)Ready-to-eat food (2)Seafood (3)Whole cuts of beef or pork (4)Ground meats (5)Whole and ground poultry
Question 11 Explanation: 

This question (or a similar question) appears often on the ServSafe Manager exam.

It appears so often because it's important to store foods in this manner, and also because it requires memorization of the proper cooking temperatures for different foods.

Students should take the time to memorize this storage arrangement.

Ready to eat foods will not receive further cooking so they should be on the top shelf. This way other foods cannot drip or leak onto them.

The bottom shelf should be used to store foods that require the highest temperatures for cooking, such as poultry.

The middle shelves should be arranged in a similar fashion.

As you can see, this is an important question that is worth extra attention.

Question 12
What type of establishment should not serve raw seed sprouts?
A senior living home
A sushi restaurant
A buffet-style restaurant
Any establishment without a designated salad bar
Question 12 Explanation: 

Seed sprouts are grown in warm and humid conditions and these are also the conditions where E. coli and Salmonella thrive.

And since seed sprouts are usually served raw or only lightly cooked, they should not be served to populations who are at a higher risk for foodborne illness.

Young children, the elderly, and people who are already sick with other illnesses are at a higher risk for foodborne illness. Pregnant women could also be considered a higher risk because of the unborn child.

Question 13
When cooking a T-bone steak, where should you insert a penetration probe thermometer to check it's temperature?
In the thickest part of the meat
In the top of the meat
In the side of the meat
Between the meat and the bone
Question 13 Explanation: 

Cooking temperatures need to be taken from the center of the food. This is because the inner parts take longer to heat up than the outer parts.

ServSafe uses the term "internal cooking temperature" instead of simply "cooking temperature" to emphasize the importance of this concept.

The best place to take the internal temperature of any piece of meat is in the thickest parts because its closest to the center. And you should always take the temperature from at least 2 different locations of the meat.

When cooking any kind of food the internal temperature should be taken from the center, not just meats.

But foods that are already cooked and are being hot-held for service are different. Hot-held foods should have their temperatures taken from BOTH the center and near the surface. This is because the surface is exposed to cooler room temperatures.

Question 14
What is the minimum internal temperature that raw roasts (pork, beef, veal, and lamb) should be cooked to for at least 4 minutes before serving?
Question 14 Explanation: 

A roast is a large and thick cut of meat and should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F for at least 4 minutes. Because it's much larger than other cuts, it requires more time to ensure that it is cooked thoroughly.

By comparison, steaks, chops, and filets are much thinner and only require 15 seconds at 145°F.

Question 15
You are reheating a TCS food from the cooler for immediate service to a guest. Assuming that the food was originally cooked and cooled correctly, what is the minimum temperature that the food must be heated to before serving?
At least 135°F
You can safely serve it at any temperature
At least 155°F
At least 165°F
Question 15 Explanation: 

As long as the food was previously cooked and cooled properly, and as long as it will be immediately served, it does not need to be reheated.

But if the food will be hot-held before service, it needs to be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F.

Question 16
If you will be holding a HOT food for service without temperature control, what is the maximum amount of time that the food may remain in the temperature danger zone before it must be served or thrown out?
6 hours
8 hours
4 hours
2 hours
Question 16 Explanation: 

Hot-held and cold-held TCS foods have different allowances for the amount of time that they can remain in the temperature danger zone (41°F to 135°F) before they must be served or thrown out.

Hot-held TCS foods are only allowed to remain in the temperature danger zone for 4 hours.

But cold-held TCS foods are allowed to remain in the temperature danger zone for 6 hours.

This is because microorganisms multiply the most rapidly between the temperatures of 70°F - 125°F. Hot foods are likely to have been exposed to that temperature range longer than cold foods.

Question 17
"Coving" is recommended for foodservice establishments. What is it?
Signage instructing employees to wash hands before returning to work
A backflow prevention device. It is used to prevent cross-connection in plumbing fixtures.
A method used to periodically check the temperature of a commercial oven
A curved and sealed edge between the floor and wall, intended to make cleaning easier and more effective
Question 17 Explanation: 

Dirt can build up in the area where the floor meets the wall. This is because it's difficult for a broom or mop to reach. Coving is an edging that runs along the wall near the floor and creates a curved surface so that it's easier to clean.

Some state and local authorities require coving in food preparation areas. For example, part of the California Retail Food Code states:

"Floor surfaces shall be coved at the juncture of the floor and wall with a 3/8 inch minimum radius coving and shall extend up the wall at least 4 inches, except in areas where food is stored only in unopened bottles, cans, cartons, sacks or other original shipping containers."

Question 18
What is a "backflow prevention device" intended for?
Preventing cross-connection
A plumbing system that creates three separate drains for a three-compartment sink.
Adjusting the water pressure in a dishwasher
To ensure the proper concentration of sanitizing and cleaning agents
Question 18 Explanation: 

"Backflow" causes a "cross-connection". Both of these terms are often misunderstood by students of ServSafe. And there will probably be questions on your exam about these concepts.

Cross-connection is similar to "cross-contamination" but it refers to something specific.

A cross-connection occurs when a faucet, hose, or other plumbing fixture that provides clean water is mistakenly connected to dirty water. An example would be a hose connected to a faucet with clean water that is left submerged in a mop bucket of dirty water. Or a sink faucet that is too low and becomes submerged when the sink is full of dirty dishwater.

Backflow occurs when the dirty water from the mop bucket or sink full of dirty dishwater flows through the hose or faucet and into the clean water supply. This can happen due to natural changes of pressure within the building's plumbing system.

To prevent backflow and cross-connection, there should never be any direct connections between clean water and dirty water.

The two most common ways to prevent backflow is an "air-gap" or a "backflow prevention device".

An air-gap is simply allowing a space of air between the clean water and the dirty water. Such as a high faucet that cannot become submerged when the sink is full. Or never submerging a hose into the bucket of mop water.

A backflow prevention device is a plumbing fixture with valves that keeps water moving in only one direction - and never backward.

Question 19
What is a commonly used chemical sanitizer?
All of these
Question 19 Explanation: 

The most commonly used chemical sanitizers are iodine, chlorine, and quats (quaternary ammonium compounds).

If a surface does not touch food, it only needs to be cleaned and rinsed to prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris.

But any surfaces that have direct contact with food such as counters, dishes, cutting boards, and utensils need to be cleaned, rinsed, and sanitized often.

The chemical sanitizer should be used according to the manufacturer's recommendations. This is the typical process for cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces:

1) Scrape to remove any food or debris from the surface.

2) Use a cloth towel to wash the surface with a cleaning solution.

3) Rinse the surface with clean water.

4) Sanitize the surface with the correct concentration of the sanitizing agent. Allow at least 7 to 30 seconds for the sanitizer to work. (According to the manufacturer's recommendations)

5) Allow the surface too air-dry.

Question 20
How often should a soft-serve yogurt machine be cleaned and sanitized?
Once a day
After every shift
Before refilling ingredients
Question 20 Explanation: 
A soft-serve yogurt or ice cream machine should be cleaned and sanitized daily.
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