Good Food Hygiene – Food Safety Training

Good food hygiene is essential to make sure that the food you serve is safe to eat. Good food hygiene helps prevent food poisoning and protects your reputation with customers.

The 4 main things to remember for good hygiene are the 4Cs:

• Cleaning
• Cooking
• Chilling
• Cross-contamination

Cleaning

Effective cleaning gets rid of bacteria on hands, equipment and surfaces. So it helps to stop bacteria from spreading onto food. You should do the following things:

• Make sure your staff wash and dry their hands thoroughly before handling food.
• Clean food areas and equipment between different tasks, especially after handling raw food.
• Clean as you go.
• Use cleaning products suitable for the job.
• Don’t let food waste build up.

Lack of basic cleanliness is one of the most common reasons for food business being prosecuted.

Cooking

Thorough cooking kills harmful bacteria in food. Undercooked food could cause food poisoning.

When cooking or reheating food, always check that it is piping hot all the way through.

It’s especially important to make sure that you thoroughly cook poultry, pork, rolled joints and products made from minced meat, such as burgers and sausages. This is because there could be bacteria in the middle of these types of meat. Proper cooking is essential to kill any bacteria, so these types of meat should not be served pink or rare and should be piping hot all the way through.

When you are keeping cooked food hot, you must keep it at 63 or above. This is a legal requirement.

Chilling

Chilling food properly helps to stop harmful bacteria from growing. Some foods need to be kept chilled to keep them safe, e.g. food with a “use-by” date, cooked dishes and other ready to eat food such as prepared salads and desserts.

It is very important not to leave these types of food standing around at room temperatures. So make sure you do the following:

• Check chilled food on delivery to make sure it is cold enough.
• Put food that needs to be chilled in the fridge straight away.
• Keep chilled food out of the fridge for the shortest time possible during preparation.
• Check regularly that your fridge and display units are cold enough.

Cold food must be kept at 8 or below. This is a legal requirement in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Cross-contamination

This is where bacteria are spread between food, surfaces or equipment. It is most likely to happen when raw foods comes in contact with ready-to-eat food, equipment or surfaces. So if raw meat drips onto a cake in the fridge, bacteria will spread.

Not washing your hands thoroughly can spread bacteria to the other things you touch.

Cross-contamination is one of the most common causes of food poisoning. Do the following things to help avoid it:

• Keep raw meat/poultry and read-to-eat foods separate at all times.
• Wash your hands thoroughly after touching raw meat/poultry.
• Clean work surfaces, chopping boards and equipment thoroughly before your start preparing food.
• Ideally use different chopping boards and knives for raw meat/poultry and ready-to-eat food.

Want more information and help on Food Safety Training and Food Hygiene courses then visit the following page - Food Courses

Posted by Steve on April 10th 2012

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