As the sales of plant-based foods continue to take off, there is still some uncertainty about how to store and prepare these products to ensure they are safe to consume. Although these items are often swapped in for animal-based counterparts, their components and processing methods have far different impacts on their safety for consumption than animal proteins do. According to Global Food Safety Resource, many ingredients used in finished plant-based products are allergenic and have the potential to cause serious reactions. Further, the combination of ingredients including proteins, sugars and fats impacts the microbial load of plant-based products, which can lead to an increased likelihood for survival and growth of pathogenic microorganisms. Finally, the processing of the plant-based food – including the environmental conditions present, raw material used and the handling of the finished product – can all impact its safety. In addition to trusting your suppliers of these products, it’s important to ensure your team is well-versed in the proper food safety protocols for these foods so what you’re serving is safe.