The catering cycle: Purchasing & Receiving food

Food Safety SupervisorEvery Food Safety Supervisor must be aware of the catering cycle to assist in the storing of food.  Even consumable goods that can be stored in a refrigerator, freezer or controlled-air store rooms will expire.

The catering cycle is divided into six stages:

  1. Purchasing

  2. Receiving

  3. Storage

  4. Issuing

  5. Production

  6. Service

When purchasing and receiving goods, you should only buy from reliable suppliers.  Here are some points for ensuring a smooth transaction and gain high quality produce:

  • Make sure you communicate to the seller about how you wish the products to be delivered, and what condition you expect to receive them in.

  • Maintain a list of your approved food suppliers.

  • Inspect all food deliveries and keep goods delivery records.

  • Reject suppliers and deliveries that present goods in a damaged or unhygienic condition.  Make sure that you inspect the delivery vehicle for traces of animal presence or chemical spillages.

  • Ensure food is protected by proper packaging and/or containers, and be transferred into a suitable storage area as soon as possible.

  • Make sure that products are properly labelled. This includes the product name, address of the manufacturer, batch code or date code, ingredients list and allergen information.

  • Check that ‘best before’ or ‘use-by’ dates are listed. Look for any visible signs of insects, insect eggs or other items that should not be with food, such as dirt, glass and rubbish.

 To find out how Food Safety Supervisor training can protect and improve your venue, click here.

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