According to the Food Standards Agency, there have now been over one million cases of food poisoning reported throughout the nation. This can cause huge problems for businesses, with failed inspections resulting in hefty fines of up to £20,000 per incident as well as jail terms of up to two years for serious food offences. Not to mention an extremely damaged public reputation as well as the loss of customer trust and business. Anyone distributing food to a third party has a responsibility to ensure that their produce is safe and healthy. To help you avoid any food poisoning incidents and maintain your reputation as a responsible and trustworthy food supplier, we’ve come up with this list of useful guidelines!
Always wash your hands
It may sound obvious but regularly washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent food poisoning. However, this doesn’t just mean a quick rinse under the tap. Always use hot water and antibacterial soap to ensure that any bacteria are destroyed. This should be done after touching the bin, going to the bathroom, blowing your nose etc.
Wash down worktops on a daily basis
Worktops are a mecca for bacteria and to ensure your business stays compliant, it’s important to regularly wash them down with hot, soapy water or antibacterial spray. You should do this at least once a day however benches that have been used to prepare raw meat, poultry, eggs or fish should be attended to immediately.
Use separate chopping boards for different foodstuffs
When operating a commercial kitchen, it is essential that you use different chopping boards for raw and fresh, ready-to-eat foods. Raw foods such as chicken can contain harmful bacteria that can easily spread to any fresh food that it may come into contact with.
Store raw meat separately
When organising your fridge, make sure that any raw meat is kept separate and sealed. While the bacteria in raw chicken is killed when it is cooked, should any spread to items such as salad, fruit and bread, the bacteria will be directly consumed which can lead to cases of food poisoning. Furthermore, it is advisable to store meat on the bottom shelf in order to prevent any drips.
Ensure meat is properly cooked
When it comes to cooking poultry, pork, burgers, sausages and kebabs, it is important to make sure that they are thoroughly cooked and safe for consumption.
Adhere to all ‘use-by’ dates
IF you operate a commercial kitchen, never use food that is past its use by date. The labels are there for a reason and indicate when harmful bugs and bacteria may start to develop in the food, even if it has not been opened.
Keep your fridge below 5°C
A fridge that is not cold enough is one of the key culprits behind cases of food poisoning. Always keep your fridge below 5°C in order to keep food cold and prevent the growth of any bacteria. Try not to leave doors open for extended periods of time.
Regularly wash dishcloths
It can be easy to forget to wash dishcloths and tea towels which can be one of the main causes of food poisoning in domestic homes and commercial kitchens alike. To ensure yours aren’t a breeding ground for bacteria, make sure you machine wash all your towels and cloths on a regular basis.
By conforming to these simple tips, you can ensure that your kitchen is safe, healthy and complaint!