industry has never been as big as it is now which is why there is greater
importance on hygienic food handling whether storing, transporting or disposal.
To get us
started on the subject let’s look at the four principles to remember when
handling food, they are:
Make Sure Hands and Surfaces Are Clean Before Handling Food
Wash hands and surfaces often. Bacteria are easily spread
throughout the kitchen and will get onto hands, cutting boards, counter tops,
utensils and of course food.
The best way to reduce the risk of spreading bacteria is
Wash your hands in warm soapy water before
and after handling food, using the toilet or anything else that could potential
cause germs and bacteria to be spread. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
Make sure you wash your boards, dishes,
utensils, counter tops and anything else you will be using before preparing
When cleaning your kitchen surfaces it may be
worth using paper towels, if you do use cloth towels please make sure that
these are washed regularly and on a hot temperature.
Always rinse fresh fruits and vegetables
under running tap water, yes even those with skins or rinds which aren’t eaten.
Keep Food Separate
Cross-contamination is an easy way for bacteria to be
spread. To ensure that this doesn’t happen make sure:
When you are handling any raw meat, poultry, seafood or
eggs make sure that you keep them and their juices away from ready-to-eat food.
Also make sure that you are starting preparation with a clean working surface.
Make sure that you store and transport raw meat, poultry,
seafood and eggs separately.
When you are using a cutting board make sure that you use
a separate one for each ingredient, this is the most common cause of
Never place cooked meat onto a dish or surface that has previously
held raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs.
Cooking Food Safely
Food is considered safely cooked when it has reached a
high enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria which causes foodborne
Using a food thermometer is the best way to measure the
internal temperature of cooked meat, poultry, and also egg dishes to make sure
that it is cooked to a safe temperature.
Make sure there are no cold spots in food when cooking in
a microwave oven; this is where bacteria can survive. The best way to avoid
this is to cover the food, stir and rotate during cooking.
When cooking meats; roasts and steaks should cook to a
minimum of 145 F, Poultry at 165 F, you can check both with a thermometer.
Eggs should be cooked until both the yolk and white are
firm and not runny.
Fish should be cooked to 145 F until the flesh is opaque
and separates easily with a fork.
comes to refrigerating foods, the quicker you do this the better; this is
because cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. But there are a few
things to remember whilst you do:
raw meat, poultry, eggs, cooked food or freshly cut fruits or vegetables sit at
room temperature for more than 2 hours before putting them in the refrigerator
defrost food at room temperature, it must be kept at a safe temperature, you
can defrost safely the following ways:
that has been defrosted in cold water or the microwave should be cooked
Now we know
the basics, so let’s delve a bit deeper into what we can do to make sure we are
safely handling food.
Transportation Of Food
transporting foods it’s important that they are kept secure and at the right
temperature, otherwise you could end up with spoilt goods before they even
reach their destination.
Distribution Containers: These are a great way of
transporting large quantities of food at a time, particularly useful when in
transit in a lorry or van.
Roll Containers: These are incredibly useful for
quick transportation of packaged goods, if there is a jerk or sudden movement
which may dislodge the goods then the mess will be contained.
food either in kitchens or walk-in freezer rooms, you need to make sure that
meat, vegetables and ready-to-eat foods are kept separately. If you do have limited space then keeping raw
foods at the bottom will prevent juices or blood from dripping onto the other
thing to keep an eye on will be the temperature. As briefly mentioned, raw meat,
poultry and eggs should not be kept at room temperature as this can cause the
bacteria to grow and create foodborne illnesses when eventually eaten.
comes to storing food on shelving your best bet is to use antibacterial shelving. These are ideal for chillers and
freezers and can be used in temperatures ranging from -29 c to 88 c. The
antibacterial finish means that chance of germs or bacteria developing are massively
Bins & Trays
Once the food
has been delivered it is usually stored in chillers and freezers or a range of
food grade bins and containers. These help stop contamination and are usually
used for ingredients in places like industrial bakeries and food processing
Food Grade Tapered Trucks: These are ideal for catering,
commercial and industrial settings. They have been used both to transport food
and also to serve large quantities of food. They increase manoeuvrability and
reduce the amount of manual labour needed.
Food Grade Round Bins: Specially made for the food
industry these bins are made from food-grade polyethylene and offers the
maximum storage capacity possible with its straight sided shape.
A good investment
when you are storing food is PVC curtains especially in chillers and freezer
only help to regulate temperature by keeping the cold in and the heat out, but
also help to stop insects from entering the storage areas which is another big
cause of contamination and the spreading of bacteria.
Preparation of Food
you work on is another main priority when you are preparing food. You need to
make sure there are no scratches of crevices on the surface where bacteria could
get caught and grow.
surface for this is stainless steel benches; it’s used commonly throughout the
food industry as well as labs for its high hygiene rating and the ease of which
you can clean and maintain it.
food has been correctly and safely prepared it needs to be served! A lot of
companies use shelf trolleys; now while you may usually associate these with
mail or documents, you can get catering trolleys which are specifically designed to
transport food. This can be anything from transporting food to another building
or delivering sandwiches around the office.
Waste/Recycling of Food
disposing of any unwanted food waste there are a few options.
Recycling Waste Bins: For smaller businesses that deal
with food on a daily basis, these recycling waste bins are ideal for throwing
away waste food. Keeping your work area clear whilst you are preparing food
will help to keep your hygiene standards high.
Open Top Waste Bins: These bins are ideal for food
processing factories where waste needs to be dealt with quickly; the wide open
top bins give a wide surface area for dropping waste in, minimising spillage.
Other Points On Food Handling
another thing you should consider is that in the event of an injury, blood will
contaminate any food that it lands on. There are a few precautions you can take
as well, to make sure you are prepared for any event.
have the following in the vicinity:
this is just a guideline to food handling safety and you can find out more on
the subject by heading over to the Food Standards Agency website.