Food Safety

In Europe, the new legislation which came into effect on 1st January 2006 affects all food businesses including caterers, primary producers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers.  Catering businesses will now need to have a food safety management system based on the principles of HACCP. The key points in the new requirements are those of ensuring segregation and the maintenance of the chill-chain throughout the operation, together with the monitoring of temperatures when necessary.

Below is some general tips on complying with the new rules recommended by Foster, a UK based blast chiller manufacturer:

  • Reduce the clutter and remove any old equipment in your kitchen in order to improve basic cleanliness. Inspectors hate cluttered kitchens and tend to look deeper.
  • Check all “Use By” and “Best Before” dates of food in your refrigerator daily.
  • Identify areas where you can segregate raw and cooked processes, and make a “Raw prep only” sign to demonstrate you have got the message.
  • Improve “disinfection” with easy availability of sanitizer and disposable paper cloths.
  • Ensure hand-washing availability with bactericidal soap and paper towels.
  • Improve personal hygiene appearance with clean, ironed whites and crisp hats – first impressions count.
  • Make a simple records system which identifies key critical areas such as delivery, storage, preparation, chilling, thawing, cooking and service. Monitor these in terms of temperature, date codes, times, weights, etc – that’s HACCP – and you have to find simple ways of showing that you know what you are doing.
  • Keep bulk chemicals out of food rooms. ·
  • Review your training status so you are up-to-date and can talk the environmental health practitioner’s language.
  • Sort out your waste arrangements to reduce risk of pests and set up recycling where possible.

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Reference: Foster blue paper “an update for catering business”