How to help prevent Food Poisoning with good food hygiene
Food hygiene in any catering business is a critical and important success factor. A food poisoning outbreak can have a serious impact on any catering business and this all comes down to basic and good food hygiene practices.
Food poisoning is caused by eating food contaminated with bacteria, viruses or toxins, known as “pathogenic micro-organisms” and the most common causes of food poisoning are:
- Not reheating / cooking food to a high enough temperature (+75°C for 30 seconds)
- Storing hot food below 63°C
- Cooling food too slowly (within 90 minutes)
- Using food that is already contaminated
- Not defrosting frozen food properly before it is cooked
- Cross contamination of raw to cooked food
And the most high risk foods which are associated with food poisoning tend to be high in protein and moisture. These include meat and poultry and their related products (burgers, sausages, stocks etc.), dairy products, eggs, seafood and rice.
All of the above can be easily avoided by following good practices. For example, storing cooked foods in Hot Cupboards or Hot Holding Cupboards ensures that meals are kept at the optimum temperate until serving, using colour coded chopping boards will minimise the risk of cross contamination, and having adequate hand wash facilities will ensure personal hygiene is maintained.
It can lead to all sorts of problems such as:
- Damage to reputation and resulting loss in trade
- Temporary or permanent closure
- Prosecution of directors and officers
All of which have the potential to have major detrimental financial impacts
Regulations for Food Safety
The two most important food hygiene regulations in catering are:
- Food Safety Act 1990
- The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013
Food safety legislation is enforced by environmental health officers (EHOs) either at a local district or county council level.
It is essential that all employees whether back or front of house, full time or temporary have full training in all aspects of food safety and hygiene to make sure they know how to carry out their role to ensure all safety standards are met or exceed all the latest regulations.
Whilst there are many Food Hygiene courses available, there are some basics that every caterer should be considering:
- Personal hygiene
- Food handling practices
- Hygienic food preparation and storage
- Controlling hazards
- Site hygiene
Find Out More
To find out more about how our equipment can reduce food contamination, or if you are looking to hire catering equipment, Adams Catering Hire can help. To find out more and to see how we could help, contact us today to speak to a member of our friendly team.