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