Adherence to a food safety policy is vital for anyone running a restaurant or commercial kitchen. This infographic outlines some of the factors to keep in mind. If you’re unsure how long specific foodstuffs last in the fridge, we’ve compiled a guide to ensuring food safety.
Make sure that you adhere to the stringent requirements that are applied to commercial kitchens today. Be aware of the importance of having a food safety policy and what the ramifications are if you don’t have one. We’ve outlined the best way to go about your food safety policy below. Extra considerations regarding staff in the kitchen and cleaning policy are also key.
Why have a food policy?
In the restaurant business, having a strict food safety policy can only help with revenue generation in the long term. Food that is produced in safe and ethical conditions will be of a higher standard and will benefit all concerned. It is the duty of the restaurant manager to ensure the health and wellbeing of the customer.
The ramifications of not having a food safety policy
Without a proper food safety policy in place, a restaurant runs the risk of failing health and safety inspections and contravening compliance laws. Unhygienic, unhealthy and unsafe food will result in a decrease in demand for the product. Failure to meet the standards demanded during inspections can result in hefty fines.
What does a food safety policy entail?
A policy of this nature requires that all elements of a restaurant or commercial kitchen are on the same page regarding food safety and hygiene standards. This means that a comprehensive list of important health considerations is drawn up and all staff members are aware of the importance of adhering to it.
High risk foods
It is crucial that the purchase and storage of eggs and poultry products (and to a lesser extent beef) in restaurants be strictly monitored as they can cause Salmonella poisoning if they are mishandled. Eggs usually have a high turnover rate in restaurants but always be aware that they should not be kept refrigerated for longer than three weeks after purchase. Shellfish should be paid special attention, as this foodstuff is notorious for causing illness if not stored and prepared correctly.
Be aware of what is in your fridge.
You cannot apply a blanket food safety policy to all of the perishables in your fridge, as all of them have different ‘best before’ dates. To this end, always be vigilant of what ingredients you have in your commercial fridge and how long those foodstuffs have been there.
Kitchen staff and cleaning
Good hygiene is a vital element of any professional kitchen. The hygiene standards of the establishment should be reflected by the staff members working there. Those with long hair should cover it in a hairnet so as to avoid stray hairs landing in food being prepared. At the very least, hair should be tied up into a bun or ponytail. Fingernails should be kept short so that they cannot accumulate dirt during the food-making process. Hands are to be kept clean at all times.
Commercial kitchens should be thoroughly and professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Fat-traps and extractors in similar kitchens should also be inspected and cleaned by professionals at regular intervals. It is vital that food be produced in clean, hygienic and healthy conditions.
Adopting a regimented food safety policy is a prerequisite for all involved in the hospitality or restaurant industry. The importance of food safety cannot be stressed enough because failure to address it can result in illness, loss of revenue and substantial fines. Compliance with food laws and policies is a mutually beneficial approach.
Infographic Credit: Huffpost
Image Credit: Food Safety News