You should only purchase food and other supplies from reputable and approved suppliers.

When placing a order for food you should specify the:

  • Quality standard you expect at delivery.
  • Temperature at delivery.
  • Amount you want.
  • The price.

Checking a delivery of foodstuff:
Upon receipt of food and before acceptance always check that the delivery vehicle is suitable for carrying food. Other things to check are;

  • Is it refrigerated? (if necessary)
  • Is it clean?
  • Is the driver properly dressed, professional and clean?
  • What is the condition of the packaging and containers?

Whenever you receive a delivery you should always check the foodstuffs:

  • Look
  • Smell
  • Temperature
  • Label for the correct date code
  • Condition for any signs of pest  infestation

How to check out prospective suppliers of food

  • Get a written warranty from the supplier about the quality of their goods.
  • Test samples of food received.
  • Check out ‘word of mouth’ recommendations and local reputation.

Buying cold or refrigerated food

  • Make sure refrigerated food is cold to the touch.
  • Frozen food should be rock-solid.

Do not

  • Buy anything you won’t use before the use-by-date.
  • Buy food past its ‘Sell-By’, ‘Use-By’ or other expiration dates.

Tell tale signs that food has been tampered with
Avoid food that has;

  • Packaging that has been opened and resealed.
  • Damaged or missing safety seals.
  • Packaging that is cut, torn, punctured or discoloured.
  • A strange odour or look.
  • Had its labels or codes, and other identifying information tampered with or removed.
  • The presence of a foreign object or non-food item in the product.


  • Cans or jars with signs of leakage, rust, spillage or corrosion.
  • Vacuum-packed products with no vacuum seal.

Tips when buying food personally;

  • Always shop for cold food last.
  • Drive home immediately after finishing your shopping so you can store all foods promptly.

Buying eggs
When you are buying eggs, choose only refrigerated eggs with clean and un-cracked shells. Do not buy ones that are leaking through the shell or if the eggs are stuck to the carton. You should also check the “best before” date on the package.


Related courses
Food hygiene course online