Food and Hygiene for Businesses
If you’re in the food, catering or hospitality industry, then you probably know how important it is to maintain good food hygiene standards in order to keep your customers safe and your business afloat. After all, there is nothing more damaging to a food brand or a restaurant than a bad review, and it only takes one complaint to do irreparable damage to your reputation.
To avoid all this, check out our tips below on how to maintain good food hygiene:
The 4 Cs of Good Food Hygiene
So, the 4 Cs of food hygiene stand for Cleaning, Cooking, Cross-Contamination, and Chilling.
Here’s how you break them down:
- Cleaning – This involves religiously cleaning the hands and work surfaces prior to preparing every dish, in order to avoid the spread of harmful germs and bacteria onto food.
- Cooking – When cooking food, make sure that it is thoroughly heated to help kill unwanted bacteria. This goes for reheating already prepared food as well. Dishes like pork, poultry, rolled meats, burgers and so on, must be cooked until piping hot to ensure that all the bacteria inside is eliminated. While it’s fine to serve red meat cuts like steaks or cutlets rare or semi-raw, the same principle doesn’t apply to white meat.
- Cross-Contamination – This refers to the spread of harmful bacteria between food, cooking equipment and surfaces, and it often results in food poisoning. To avoid cross-contamination, make sure to wash hands with soap after each time you touch raw food, especially meat. Also use disinfectant to thoroughly clean the surfaces, equipment and chopping boards that you use in between dishes.
You should wash your hands before preparing food, keep raw food in the fridge, don’t use the same implements to cook raw and prepared food, and keep these two foods separate at all times in your kitchen.
- Chilling – Make sure that your fridge is cold enough to keep your salads and other cold foods chilled at all times. This will help prevent the spread of harmful bacteria into your food. Keep in mind to place already prepared desserts, salads and cooked foods in the fridge so that they stay fresh.
Teach your staff about the importance of reporting certain illnesses and stay up to date on the latest protocols on how to deal with particular symptoms. You also should be knowledgeable on the appropriate water supply required in a food preparation area, how to manage and mitigate food wastage during and after the cooking process, as well as ensuring that everyone adheres to the rules regarding the storage of food, shelf life and how to protect your customers against E-Coli cross-contamination.
Advice for Different Business Types
You should always be prepared to broaden your knowledge about your particular area of catering expertise, whether you are a butcher, a pastry chef, restaurant chef or soup kitchen cook. There are different rules and protocols to be followed that are unique to each scenario and you have to adhere to them in order to maintain a hygienic workplace while providing safe food to your clients.