7 health practices with food handling
Health regulations surrounding restaurants and food service outlets are stringent, and for a good reason.
The upkeep of hygienic food handling and a hygienic work area are extremely important. Even taking into consideration the health of your produce during transit to your restaurant is a point of concern.
We have put together a list of 7 things (required by regulation) you should do to ensure you maintain a clean restaurant, quality produce, and safe transportation of goods.
1. Clean kitchen
One of the key ways to keep your food fresh and less likely of forming bacteria is to have a clean, sanitised kitchen. Ensure you keep your kitchen free of vermin, grime, dirt, etc. Keep all all cooking utensils well maintained and wash them thoroughly. If any utensils pose health risks that cannot be resolved via washing, replace them immediately with a new set.
2. Wash hands
We all know that if we don’t wash our hands before we increase our risk of making ourselves sick or contaminating the food we touch. That’s because germs and bacteria thrive in unhygienic environments. So be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before handling any food whatsoever.
3. Avoid cross-contamination
If you’ve just cut up raw chicken meat on a cutting board, do not follow it up by cutting up fresh tomatoes that will be put in a salad. Cross-contamination can lead to food poisoning such as salmonella. You should have separate cutting boards for different produce. If you absolutely need to use the same cutting board for cutting up vegetables after cutting up raw meat, then wash the cutting thoroughly to remove harmful bacteria before proceeding.
4. Store food appropriately
Whether it’s in your restaurant or during transit, your produce needs to be stored appropriately. If certain items of food will grow bacteria if not kept at certain temperatures, be sure that you’re keeping those foods in controlled temperature environments. For freight, these temperatures are often 5 degrees or under – some foods may require higher temperatures.
5. Keep your hair tied up
If you have long hair, you either need to cover it up or tie it up so that there is no risk of it falling into meals you’re preparing. Not only is failure to do so a health code violation, but it’s also an unpleasant surprise for your patrons when their meal is served.
6. Have safety equipment
More of a general – but compulsory – requirement, make sure you have sprinklers and fire extinguishers in your restaurant. If anything goes wrong in the kitchen, you need to be able to control it to the best of your abilities. It’s all about managing risk and reducing the damage that something like a kitchen fire could cause. Of course, it’s also a regulatory violation if you do not a fire extinguisher / sprinklers installed.
7. Use a good freight company
Having a freight company deliver your food is one of the easiest ways in which to receive your produce. Just make sure that you engage a freight/logistics that has a strong record both in terms of customer satisfaction and following laws and regulations surrounding proper freight transport.