Understand and comply with food safety and food hygiene standards, to ensure the food you are selling is safe for your customers.
Customer Safety Issues
All cooked food that has not been chilled, such as food in hot food cabinets (bain-marie), takeaway and home-delivered food, should be kept steaming hot. Chilled food should be displayed in refrigerated cabinets or on ice.
Certain foods, such as minced meat, sausages, hamburger patties, rolled or stuffed roasts, and poultry must be cooked right through. There should be no pink meat and juices should run clear. If you have to send the undercooked product back, always ask for fresh accompaniments such as vegetables, as juices from the undercooked products could have contaminated these. Steaks, chops and whole roasts can be cooked to your preference. Steak tartare, rare hamburgers and carpaccio may be fashionable, but they are also very high risk!
Self-service and salad bars
Self-service salad/dessert bars in supermarkets and restaurants are popular. Nevertheless, there are some food safety issues to keep in mind…
- Hot food should ideally be served steaming hot, in hot food displays, or over burners. However, in a buffet situation, short periods of time at room temperature are acceptable.
- Chilled food should be kept chilled, either in refrigerated cabinets or on ice. Once again short periods at room temperature are acceptable.
- Fresh food should be brought out regularly, and it should not be combined with the leftovers from the food being replaced.
- Each salad or dessert should have its own utensil. Use the one that is allocated to the item and don’t mix the serving utensils. Hold the utensils by the handle and, when replacing, ensure that the handle does not come into contact with the food.
- Never touch or taste the food on display. If you see anyone doing this, report it to a staff member.
- Food should be protected from coughs and sneezes by a guard – usually a clear plastic cover extending over the food.
- Pre-made sandwiches and rolls containing perishable ingredients, such as soft cheeses and meats, should preferably be stored under refrigeration, or otherwise at cooler room temperatures for no more than about four hours. Do not buy ‘tired-looking’ products, as they may have been at room temperature for too long.
- Food in hot display cabinets should be steaming hot. Avoid purchasing food that is stacked too high in hot display cabinets. Return lukewarm pies and other filled products to the shop.
- Minced meats, such as hamburgers and sausages, and chickens should be cooked right through.
- Food from takeaway outlets should be eaten within a few hours.
In order to keep your food outlet clean and the food you serve safe, it is necessary to put food safety and food hygiene management procedures in place.
As the owner of the food business do complete a formal course in Food Safety and Food Hygiene even if it is just a basic course, to begin with. It is so important to have this knowledge so that you can pass it onto your staff.
Food Safety and Food Hygiene
Want to know more about food safety and food hygiene?
For a very low investment why not purchase a copy of
‘How to Be Food Safe’ eBook
and ensure the food you are selling is safe for your customers.