Now More Than Ever, Good Hygiene Procedures Are Essential For Foodservice Business
- As consumers return to dining out, many are actively seeking reassurance that you’re maintaining strict hygiene standards
- Hand washing and sanitizing thoroughly before and after handling raw food is a must, as is keeping your premises free of pests
- Ensuring foods are stored at the right temperature and not overstocking fridges and freezers is also imperative
- Food preparation surfaces need to be sanitized, not just cleaned, and there are also important considerations in cleaning tabletop containers, floors and toilets
MAINTAINING GOOD HYGIENE and cleanliness in your foodservice business has never been more important – as consumers return to their old habits of dining out, many are actively seeking reassurance that you’re keeping up the strict hygiene standards of the past 12 months, and exercising vigilance in order to maintain everyone’s safety. It’s therefore a good idea to make sure that all staff are aware of the basics of food hygiene and safety as specified in the checklist below.
* WASHING & SANITIZING HANDS thoroughly before and after handling raw food, or touching anything which may have been exposed to germs, is a must. And with hand sanitizer now regularly available in all premises both front and back of house, there’s no excuse not to.
* PROTECT AGAINST INFESTATION by cockroaches, silverfish and other pests by storing food in sealed containers and keeping windows, walls and doors in good repair and well secured.
* KEEP FOODS STORED AT THE CORRECT TEMPERATURE and regularly conduct preventative maintenance on your fridge and freezer to make sure their thermostats are working accurately – your fridge’s interior temperature should be below 5deg C. This prevents bacteria on food from multiplying. It’s also important not to overstock fridges and freezers, as too little room for air to circulate will cause the ambient temperature to rise.
* SANITIZE AS WELL AS CLEAN ALL SURFACES after use – not only counter tops and food preparation benches but all cutting boards and grills, along with tabletop condiment containers such as sugar bowls and water bottles. Dirty floors not only pose a hygiene risk but also a safety one, so be sure to mop them regularly and supplement that with deep cleaning with soap, water and bleach, especially on tile grouting and to remove debris.
* TOILETS ARE A POTENTIAL SOURCE OF CROSS-CONTAMINATION, so be sure to thoroughly clean and scrub toilet bowls and seats regularly – and don’t forget to also clean and disinfect the floor around the toilets. Sink surfaces need to be regularly disinfected and dried, as do sink taps and door handles. Keep your soap, paper towels and toilet roll dispensers well stocked and the toilet area clean and tidy.
* YOUR REGULAR CLEANING SCHEDULE should differentiate between daily, weekly and monthly cleaning tasks and include two sets of activities - back of house and front of house. A checklist can help you to stay organized and ensure you’re complying with the relevant food safety guidelines. Remember that by keeping everything clean, not only will your food taste better but your premises will be more inviting, helping to encourage repeat business.