Any business that handles food in any way, must ensure food safety. This means making sure it is made in a safe and hygienic was. So how can we ensure safety of food?
When handling food, there are two phrases you need to be aware of; food safety and food hygiene. The term food safety covers everything involved in making sure food is safe to eat. This is regulated by the Food Standards Agency (FSC) and enforced by local authorities.
Food hygiene is about making sure food does not cause harm to people through the spread of bacteria or allergens. So, food hygiene is more concerned with illnesses caused by eating food contaminated with bacteria or even chemicals.
Why is food safety so important?
For all businesses in the food industry, it’s essential to make sure produce is made in a safe and hygienic environment. Failure to follow the necessary food safety regulations can lead to outbreaks of bacteria which cause foodborne illnesses, such as salmonella, E.coli and campylobacter.
Therefore, it is essential to follow appropriate food hygiene and safety:
If you have yet to decide where your premises will be, consider your location carefully. Find out as much as you can about pest hotspots and areas which experience increased pollution.
Your premise layout should take into account food safety best practice and include hand washing stations in every area.
Machinery and production lines
All food handling and processing should comply with food safety regulations. So, consider how your machinery will be cleaned, monitored and maintained.
Be proactive with maintenance
By keeping on top of issues before they occur you will avoid potentially contaminating produce. By carrying out regular maintenance you will spots signs or wear and tear, and damage before they become a problem.
If you experience an infestation of pests, such as insects, rodents, birds etc, it can very quickly cause huge problems for your business. Pests spread disease and contaminate food. you can avoid this by making sure your premises are completely sealed to avoid them gaining access in the first place. By carrying out regular inspections and by keeping the premises clear of clutter, you can avoid making the perfect home for unwanted guest.
It is so easy for waste to build up and create problems. Your business should have a clear procedure for waste storage and removal. It should include clear instructions for staff, with clearly designated area and processes. The procedure should then be regularly assessed to make sure it is working well.
It almost goes without saying, but regular cleaning and disinfecting food preparation areas, machinery and equipment will reduce the risk of contamination. Always use appropriate products and follow the instructions correctly. Whilst cleaning is essential, it also involves using chemicals which could be harmful if they contaminate the produce. There should be measures in place to avoid this.
Bacteria can be easily spread through poor personal hygiene. You should provide adequate hand washing stations and educate staff in the importance of hand washing, clean clothing, hair covered or tied back, jewellery removal.
Storage and transport
When food is transported from one area to another, care must be taken to ensure it is not contaminated. The temperature must be regulated so cold food remains cold, and hot food, hot.
Engage in Learning Training
Engage in Learning provide interactive Health and Safety courses, with engaging scenarios and memorable graphics. They include a wide variety of interaction types combined with high quality information design keeps learners engaged.
Our Level 2 Food Safety online training course provides learners with the knowledge and understanding to identify and control food safety hazards and emphasises the responsibility of everyone in a catering environment.