Food hygiene is a critical success factor for any catering business. Food hygiene related incidents such as a food poisoning outbreak, can have serious impact for a business, 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 detrimental financial impacts
The two most important food hygiene regulations for your business are:
- Food Safety Act 1990
- The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013
Food safety legislation is enforced by environmental health officers (EHOs) at a local district or county council level.
To ensure that no incidents occur, it is essential that all employees, whether permanent or temporary, back-of-house or front-of-house, have the adequate training to ensure they can carry out their role in a manner that meets or exceeds the 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
In addition, the layout, design, construction, site and size of kitchens must allow for easy maintenance and cleaning to take place. If designing an Event Kitchen, you can always use the experienced Jongor CAD Team to assist with the sensible design of an Event Kitchen.
Food poisoning is an illness caused by eating food contaminated with bacteria, viruses or toxins, known as “pathogenic micro-organisms”. 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
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 Banquet Carts 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.
To find out more about how our equipment can reduce food contamination, or if you are looking to hire catering equipment, Jongor have over 40 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. To find out more and to see how we could help, contact us today to speak to a member of our friendly team.