While takeaway businesses are growing more and more, there are some being fined for not strictly implementing the required sanitary methods. Thus, some takeaway businesses can struggle with pest control and poor food hygiene issues. Practicing such unhealthy methods could not only ruin a business but also lead it to permanent closure.
If you work in food service, consider applying the following food hygiene practices for your business.
Knowledge in Food Safety Laws
First and foremost, a business must be aware of the Food Safety laws in the country, comprised of the Food Safety Act 1991 and the five FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) food safety standards. These are very crucial in handling and keeping food safe.
These standards are:
- Standard 3.1.1 Interpretation and Application
- Standard 3.2.1 Food Safety Programs
- Standard 3.2.2 Food Safety Practices and general requirements
- Standard 3.2.3 Food premises and equipment
- Standard 3.3.1 Food Safety Programs for food service to vulnerable persons
Food businesses need the knowledge, understanding, and execution of these laws in order to operate their business safely.
Safety Management Procedures
Secondly, the food safety management procedures must be strictly followed. The business should be able to store food properly by:
- Refrigerating food that needs to be chilled.
- Using food storage methods that will not attract pests.
- Storing meats, poultry, and fish separately from the ready-to-eat to avoid cross-contamination.
- Checking for food spoilage regularly and strictly following food expiration dates.
Keeping the Premises Spotless
It goes without saying that businesses that store, prepare, and sell food must be kept well-maintained, sanitary, free from infestation and contamination, and well-ventilated.
There should also be a designated place for the staff to wash, clean, and dry their hands, a facility for washing equipment and food with warm and cold water, and toilets that are separate or away from where the food is prepared and stored. Walls and floors should be regularly disinfected. Ceilings need to be free of mould and dirt, which means no unnecessary decorations. Doors and windows should be insect and pest-proof.
Keeping the workplace and everything in it clean and sanitised every day is imperative, so that the food being prepared, stored, and handled will not get contaminated or spoiled.
During the process of food preparation, there are a set of rules that food service businesses must follow meticulously.
Anything that comes in contact with food, including equipment and surfaces must be cleaned before and after use. Staff have to make sure that their hands are sanitised and dry before touching any produce, equipment, utensils, or cutlery, and kitchen tools should be well sterilised before and after usage.
Cross-contamination is the spreading of bacteria, especially in food, and is the number one cause of food poisoning. This is the result of inadequate sanitation in the workplace. All staff members who are assigned to handle food should be trained in food hygiene, the risks of contamination, and all its preventive measures. This will not only keep your food safe when stored or served, but keep your business operating without running into issues with health inspections or receiving food complaints.