This article will be based around The Guide to Food Safety
If you are opening an establishment, or have an establishment and want to serve food then you are going to need to consider Food Safety. Food safety demonstrates that a person or people have the fundamental knowledge or skills to handle food safely. To some it may not seem a very important thing to have, however many companies and businesses have been fined for not carrying out this process correctly.
What is Food Safety?
When starting a business you will want to ensure that your food hygiene is up to standard, and that you are serving food which is safe to eat. Introducing ways of working early on can really help to limit the amount of issues you may have. Some of the most basic practices to follow are as listed:-
Staff Training is going to be the best way to ensure that best practices are implemented and adhered to from the get go, especially if you are dealing with new staff in the industry. More importantly than that however is the legal requirement for all staff to receive appropriate training in food hygiene and handling if they are in direct contact with food.
There are some very easy ways to ensure that all staff are trained. Firstly on the job training. Potentially the easiest of the lot as this can be incorporated continuously, or during their induction. Secondly self study. We will come onto more about certificates later, but giving employees reading material is also a good way to monitor them. And finally is the prior experience. Great if they have been industry, not so good if it is their first time.
The 4Cs of food hygiene
The 4Cs was developed as an easy way to think of the key areas of the environment, and the food you are preparing. When focusing on the 4Cs you can limit and prevent most of the common food safety problems you may encounter. They are as follows
Storing and Transporting Food
Storing and transporting of food is potentially the most important element alongside training when it comes to food safety. If your food is not stored and transported in the correct manor this can cause serious harm to those who are eating and consuming your food.
Storing food needs to be done correctly as it protects it from harmful bacteria and airborne chemicals. Each food will have very specific ways it needs to be stored and as well as how long it can be stored for. Ensure you know how and keep a track of it.
Transporting is also vitally important as most food is brought from one location to another. Transporting food and ensuring it is done in the correct manor is your responsibility, so do not neglect it. Making sure you also do this element correctly will also help to reduce the chance of contamination.
Food Hygiene Certificates
Food hygiene certificates are a great way to demonstrate your excellence in your industry as well as your commitment to providing the best service and environment possible. There are different levels of certificates, which all correlate to the level you have achieved as well as what they are going to be used for. They are as follows:-
Level 1- Anyone who works in the food and drink industry
Level 2- Anyone who handles or works in the food industry
Level 3- For anyone who supervises people in the food industry
For more information on the food safety certificates available take a look at the city and guilds website. Food Hygiene Certificate
As you can see food safety in itself is a very important thing when looking to open or operate in the catering sector. Ensuring all staff are trained and adhering to procedures is a must. It does not only keep your business running, but it also builds up a solid reputation locally or even nationally for your standards.
If you are a business looking for more information on other safety areas such as fire safety, then take a look at our latest blog post.