Are you looking to gain a food hygiene certificate by completing an online course? If so then you have come to the right place, as we offer access to Internet courses that once successfully completed will give students the option to either immediately print out their certificates, or receive them in the post.
Our company is a fast growing online training provider, with an expanding bank of food hygiene courses that are an ideal low cost solutions which can go towards helping you meet the requirements of working in the food industry. The modules are self-study, and are aimed at anyone working in the catering or hospitality sectors, and in diverse areas such as restaurants, hotels, fast food outlets, takeaways, cafes, bars, kitchens, catering in hospitals, schools and colleges. Each training programme is an effective and simple to use online course, that has been written & developed professionally. All of them are preparatory programmes, making them equally suitable for experienced candidates who may just want to refresh their skills and also for complete novices who have no prior knowledge of the subject.
GET A FOOD HYGIENE CERTIFICATE – FREE
Food Hygiene Certificate
Candidates achieving a pass will be able to immediately print their certificate confirming successful completion of the course, alternatively students can request that their certificate be posted to them, in which case they will receive it the next working day.
Our certificates are an excellent qualification to posses for anyone who wishes to demonstrate to potential employers their competency for food handling in a sanitary manner. They are suitable for anyone working in the following industries;
- Food preparation companies
- Drink manufacturers
- Care homes
The advantages of having a food hygiene certificate
It is a legal requirement for anyone working with food to be ‘appropriately trained’. A person who works with food has a responsibility to ensure that the food they prepare or handle is fit for human consumption.
Changes in the law that were introduced in January 2006 placed much more accountability on anyone in the food business with supervisory responsibility. Owners or senior managers of food processing businesses are now required to identify the training needs of their food handlers and the onus is on them to determine how these are met. Proprietors must identify food safety hazards and risks relevant to their operations and put in place control measures to prevent problems from occurring.
The benefits of certificated courses like ours is that they can demonstrate your ability to potential employers by providing them with evidence that you have received a recognised standard of training. Holding a food hygiene certificate will show recruiters that you:
- Can prepare food safely and hygienically.
- Understand the importance of food safety.
- Fully understand the safety procedures required for cooking and handling food.
- Know how to keep work areas like kitchen clean and safe.
- The procedures required for reducing food contamination.
- Are able to clean food and cooking utensils properly.
The importance of good food hygiene
Its vital to help stop the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause food poisoning in humans which can result in symptoms like stomach pains, diarrhoea and vomiting.
GUIDE TO BASIC FOOD HYGIENE
To avoid food-borne infection and bacteria in food there are some simple but important steps you can take to make sure you handle is safe to eat. The following points and food handling processes are essential in preventing bacterial food-borne illnesses;
Protective disposable clothing
Wearing clean, practicable clothes is essential for any food handler who wants to maintain and upkeep their personal levels of hygiene. The single use, non reusable items listed below are ideal for this purpose, and can be used by company workers and also any visitors to a food preparation zone.
These are generally two types of aprons a food handler can wear to promote a hygienic kitchen environment, cotton ones or disposable ones. They come in different colours (usually white or blue) and are ideal for saving an employees clothes from splashes and stains. They are available in a variety of models and styles ranging from full length versions to regular apron that is tied around the waste. Many come with pouches and pockets so that you can keep kitchenware or items which you want to keep within your reach. There are various styles to choose from including waist aprons, bib aprons, bistro aprons or tea aprons.
- Food handlers should not dry their hands on their aprons.
These cover the beard area and loops around the ears, preventing any loose hairs from contaminating food products. Hair falling into to food can not only contaminate it but also lead to complaints from customers, and a serious dent to a company’s reputation. Beard nets can do much to stop any accidental contamination by loose beard hair.
These tend to be one size semi-transparent polythene protective coats, that have elastics at the wrists, various snap buttons, one chest pocket, one front bottom right pocket and collars.
These filtering face masks are widely used for human contamination control (sneezing etc), promoting good hygiene and respiratory protection in food preparation environments. They must not be used in environments where there is oxygen deficiency i.e. where oxygen is too low to sustain life.
In food preparation environment where everything must be as sterile as possible, these can help prevent shoes from carrying anything they shouldn’t.
Hair nets, hats and head covering
These disposable caps are simple but effective hair covering, suitable for a multitude of environments. Typically they are made from soft, comfortable thermally bonded polypropylene, with an encapsulated double-elastic edge.
These again tend to come in one size and are typically made from polythene, vinyl, nitrile and latex.
Poly or over sleeves
These provide additional protection when preparing food, and should be used in conjunction with gloves during food preparation. They main aim is to protect the wrists, arms, and clothing.
Advantages of disposable protective clothing
- They can be thrown away upon completion of a task or when they become soiled.
- Can keep a employees own clothing clean and uncontaminated.
- They are made out of plastic and therefore very light weight.
- They can be cost effective and come in boxes of roughly 100 per box.
- They can help to extend the useful life of the clothing beneath it by making sure they’re not ruined by grease, oils or food stains etc.
- They can save on laundry bills.
- They can be worn by both males and females.
Get the right size
Make sure that you order the right sized protective clothing, its important that they fit you well and that feel comfortable wearing them.
Best Before date
Recommended date where the product quality will remain high, but consuming beyond this date may not be unsafe.
Food must be thoroughly cooked throughout to a time and temperature combination effective in destroying pathogens. It is important to make sure any meat or poultry is cooked all the way through. Cooking meat and sea foods to a temperature of 180°F (82°C) will usually kill disease-causing organisms.
- Reheated food should be piping hot all the way through and should not be reheated more than once.
Employee colds or infections
If you have a fever, viral infection, sore throat or have sores on your arms or face then you should not be cooking or preparing any food.
Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, vegetables, eggs or cooked foods. Keep them clean by washing them with soap and water and allowing them to dry thoroughly. Both wooden and plastic chopping boards have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Cuts, wounds or sores
These should be covered up.
When you freeze food, the bacteria inside it is rendered dormant by the cold temperature. However most frozen food cannot be cooked directly, it should be thoroughly defrosted before cooking (unless the manufacturer’s instructions tell you to cook from frozen). There are two main reasons for this, firstly if food is still frozen or partially frozen, it will take longer to cook. Secondly the outside of the food could be cooked, but the centre might not be, which means it could still contain harmful bacteria (not defrosting safely is one of the main causes of food poisoning in the UK). The main ways to thaw food are;
Defrost at temperatures of less than 40 degrees F.
Cold Water Thawing
Place you food in a leak proof container and completely submerge it in cold tap water, replacing the water every 30 minutes until defrosted.
Choose the microwave defrost setting on your microwave. If you defrost in this manner, plan to cook it immediately because some of the areas might be warm and bacteria may begin to grow.
- Defrost food thoroughly before cooking or reheating.
- Meat and fish should always be defrosted thoroughly before being cooked. As a certain amount of liquid and juices is likely to come out of the meat thaws, its best to place them in a bowl for the thawing to take place.
- Do not try to thaw raw meat, poultry or egg products using hot water.
- Remember that as meat or poultry begins to thaw and becomes warmer than 40 °F, any bacteria that is present can begin to multiply.
- Allow plenty of time to defrost thoroughly, especially for large objects that take longer to defrost all of the way to the centre, such as large chickens or other pieces of meat.
These should preferably be of the disposable type, but washable cloths are satisfactory as long as they are laundered regularly. Change these every day and wash dirty ones thoroughly in water that is at least 60 degrees. As a damp one is a ideal bacteria breeding ground you should dry them quickly.
If possible it is best to use disposable gloves and special utensils or tongs, all of these can help to prevent contamination.
It is a legal defence to prove you have done all you reasonably can to keep food safe.
This can happen when food has not been properly packaged (air tight), leading to the food being damaged by dehydration and oxidation, whilst in the fridge. It occurs when air is able to reach the food and dry it out. Although food can appear, dry, wrinkled or have greyish brown leathery spots on it, in most cases the food will still edible. However you may find that the texture and taste has changed. Other reasons for freezer burn are;
- When items have been stored in the freezer for too long, remember that there is a limit to how long items should be stored in the freezer.
- The temperature of your freezer may have been above 0 degrees F.
How to prevent freezers burn;
- Keep the freezer temperature as constant as possible.
- Fill plastic containers with water and then leave them uncovered in the freezer, this will increase humidity and moisture.
- Try to make sure as little of the surface is exposed as possible.
- Keep food in thick sealable plastic bags or heavy plastic containers. If you do use these then leave a small amount of room for expansion, as food can expand when it freezes.
Hair should be tidy and covered where necessary to prevent the risk of it falling into food.
Before you start cooking your hands should be thoroughly washed for at least 20 seconds with water and soap (preferably antibacterial). This will help to remove oils and break up dirt particles so they may be washed away. Wash them in a basin or sink that is separate from one where food is prepared. Your hands should also be washed after;
- You have eaten anything.
- Gone to the toilet.
- Combed your hair.
- Switching from preparing one type of food to another.
- Handling any raw meat, eggs or poultry.
- Handling any leftovers.
- Blown your nose.
- Touching pets or farm animals.
- Handling money.
- Touching any rubbish, bins or waste material.
- Touching door handles, hand rails or light switches etc.
- Touching your mouth, nose or face.
- Changing diapers (nappies).
Instruction on labels
Read and follow any label instructions such as “Keep Refrigerated” or “Use By”.
The period of time between infection and symptoms.
Jewellery and rings
You should ideally not wear these or at least have them covered up, as bacteria or dirt can get under them and subsequently contaminate any food.
Keep all food covered
This will help to keep flies of them and lessen the risk of contamination.
Kitchen’s have more germs than anywhere else in the home
Studies have regularly shown that a kitchen contains more germs than anywhere else in a home (including the bathroom). Our hands are the most common way that germs will get into the kitchen, however they are also transported via raw food, rodents and pets. Once in the kitchen area, germs can spread very quickly. Research has consistently shown that the kitchen sponge has the highest number of germs than anything else in the home.
There should ideally be no nail varnish on your fingers or at least it should be covered up.
Partially cooking food
Avoid interrupted cooking, meaning you should never partially cook products then refrigerate them with a view to finishing them off later.
Do not keep handbags or personal belongings in the kitchen.
Pets in the kitchen
Cats, dogs and other household pets should not be allowed to roam around the worktops where food is prepared.
Use this to wash hands and clean food preparation areas.
Keep any raw food or poultry away from cooked food. To avoid cross contamination use separate plates, containers and utensils for them.
Avoid eating raw eggs or any food or drinks that contain them. To avoid cross contamination never crack a raw egg on a bowl containing other foods, instead use a knife to crack the shell. In some eggs, the salmonella bacteria will exist only on the shell. To help kill it off eggs can be scalded in boiling water for five to ten seconds before use.
Refrigerate promptly any meat or poultry that you purchase, this will delay spoilage by slowing down the reproduction of bacteria. Keeping food refrigerated at or below 4°C/40°F slows down bacterial growth. Store cooked food above uncooked, so juices from raw meat or fish cannot drip on to cooked food causing contamination. Meat, poultry and fish must not be left out of the fridge and in warm surroundings for long periods.
- Refrigerators should not be overloaded.
- It is good practise to keep raw meat in sealable containers at the bottom of the fridge.
Defrosting a refrigerator
You should periodically defrost your fridge freezer, as this can help to maintain their operating efficiency. Over time ice can build up in the fridge which can take up space and affect the internal temperature of the fridge. To prevent this from happening you should thaw it out by;
- Removing all the food content.
- Turning off power to the unit.
- Then leave the fridge doors open.
- Leave it standing like that for the ice to melt and drain away. To speed up the melting process you can place a pan of hot water in the fridge, with the doors closed.
Humidity in a fridge
To help maintain humidity and moisture, you should fill a plastic container with water, and then leave it open in the freezer (this can also help to slow down freezer burn).
Always serve cooked products on clean plates along with clean utensils and clean hands. Once served never let cooked food sit at room temperature too long.
You should not smoke in any kitchen area.
To avoid bacteria growth try to keep all soap bars as dry as possible. Or consider using liquid soap in a dispenser.
Storing meat or poultry
Keep packages of raw meat and poultry separate from other foods. To prevent raw juices from dripping on other foods or refrigerator surfaces you should consider wrapping them up in packaging like plastic bags.
Touching your mouth or nose
Avoid putting your hands by your mouth, nose as tiny drops of saliva or moisture can get on your fingers and into any food.
Tasting or eating
Avoid having a nibble at any food you happen to be cooking.
Always try to transport food in packaging or containers and make sure that chilled or hot foods are maintained at their correct temperature.
Any vehicles that are used to transport food stuff should be clean, in good repair and have separate storage places for food and non-food products.
Unpleasant smell or taste
Never cook or eat food that had a bad odour or tastes rotten, however you should remember that you cannot always see of smell harmful bacteria. If in doubt throw it out.
Legal date up to and including which the food may be used safely and must not be exceeded. Any food with a ‘use by’ date can go off quite quickly, and can be harmful to eat after this date. However food with a ‘best before’ date is longer-lasting, and should be safe to eat but may not be at its best quality after this date. Remember that some foods can look and smell fine even after their use-by date, but they still be contaminated.
Try to keep kitchens and cooking areas well ventilated with fresh air coming in, as this can not only get rid of odours but also guard against infections from coughs and sneezes.
Washing fruits and vegetables
Always wash them before cooking or eating. You should also peel and discard their outer leaves or rinds, however if you want to eat them with the skin then ensure that they are scrubbed clean.
Make sure you remove all visible traces of food. Consider using rubber gloves when washing up as that way you can wash any plates with a higher temperature of water. Allow the dishes to dry naturally.
Promptly dispose of any waste food. Apart from attracting mice and rats, piles of build up rubbish can also cause hazardous obstructions, leading to people slipping or tripping over them.
FOOD HYGIENE TERMINOLOGY
These are single cell micro-organisms which are capable of multiplying quickly in food, water and warm condition. They are so small that you need a microscope to see them and exist everywhere, in the air, water, soil and on our bodies. Individually they are no more than one single cell, however there are normally millions of them together, partly because they can divide and multiply very fast.
Bacteria and viruses can be spread in humans by eating contaminated food, sneezing, coughing, shaking hands and touching unclean places. Although most forms of bacteria are harmless to humans, some of them can form toxins which can be harmful. These ones can also spoil food by making it go rotten and become unfit to be eaten. In the event that this type of food is consumed then it can cause food poisoning and make a person quiet ill (although few bacteria are strong enough to cause death).
On the other hand some bacteria are helpful, like those in our stomachs, where they help to digest the nutrients from the food. This ‘good’ bacteria is also in the fermentation of milk to produce yogurt and in medicine to treat dietary deficiencies.
These are actions or activities that are used to control, manage and prevent food safety hazards. By using a combination of control measures you can help to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level.
This is a leading cause of food borne illness, In the world of food hygiene the term is used to describe the transfer (both directly or indirectly) of bacteria to high risk food such as cooked meat products, dairy products and egg dishes. Germs are hitchhikers which need help to get from one place to another. People who are carless and do not follow proper procedures can help these viruses to get from one source to another. In a kitchen environment the most common direct ways that bacteria is transferred is through chopping boards, knives and people’s hands.
Indirect contamination is also a common reason for cross contamination and generally happens because of the incorrect storing of food in a fridge which allows food juices to drip and general ignorance of good hygiene procedures.
How to prevent cross contamination;
- Keep raw and cooked foods separate at all times, both in the fridge and in containers.
- Cover food at all times.
- Use separate utensils, equipment and cooking boards etc to cut and prepare raw, ‘ready to eat’ and cooked foods.
- keep all pets and rodents out of the kitchen and they can spread bacteria directly onto food.
- Ensure that the kitchen and food preparation area is kept thoroughly clean by using sanitizers / detergents to clean spills and kitchen counter tops etc.
- Try to use paper towels as wipes instead of sponges or cloths.
- Make sure you wash your hands with soap and water, especially after visiting the toilet, touching raw food and handling waste food etc.
- Always use clean plates, knives and forks to serve meals in.
- Never serve or place cooked food on the same plate that previously held raw food.
- Use colour coded cutting boards dedicated to particular food items. For instance white for beef, red for poultry and green for pork etc.
- Root vegetables such as potatoes, leeks and carrots often have traces of soil on them which can contain harmful bacteria, so wash them thoroughly before use.
- Thoroughly wash all kitchen utensils like forks, spoons and plates, soon after using them.
These are chemicals and substances that are used in kitchens and bathrooms to kill harmful and infectious organisms. Disinfectants are used in the removal of dirt, food, faeces, saliva and other body secretions and if applied properly they can help reduce the amount of organic matter that contributes to the proliferation of bacteria and diseases. They kill or irreversibly inactivate all bacteria, fungi, and viruses (called microbials, microbiologicals, or microorganisms) but do not necessarily destroy their spores or reproductive bodies.
Although disinfectants on their own cannot completely sterilise a worktop surface, they are still much more effective than simple soap and water.
Certain disinfectants are designed to be diluted before use, this can result in their strength being increased or decreased with the use of a diluting agent such as water.
It should be noted that many disinfectants are toxic to humans and pets, so they must be used carefully and according to their instructions. They should leave no toxic or tainting residue and the methods of use should ensure that food and equipment are not contaminated.
Storing disinfectants and chemicals
Where possible they should be stored separate from food where possible, and in their original, labelled containers. If they are stored in the same room as food then they should all be at a low level, with the food stored above.
Effective hand washing
Keeping your hands clean is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of infection and illness. Although most people clean their hands with water, very few use soap to wash their hands and this is where they are going wrong. The correct way to wash your hands is to;
- Wet your hands with clean running water.
- Apply soap to your hands.
- Start rubbing your hands together to make a lather.
- Make sure to scrub the backs of your hands, including between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Keep doing this for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse your hands well under running water.
- Finally dry your hands by using a clean towel or air dry.
Food borne illness
This is essentially food poisoning caused by consuming contaminated foods, drinks and beverages. The microbes or toxins responsible for causing these problems enter the body through the gastrointestinal tract, and this is why the most common symptoms of any food borne illness is nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhoea.
Food hygiene rating schemes
In the United Kingdom this is a scheme run in partnership by The Foods Standards Agency and local authorities. Its aim is to give consumers information about food hygiene standards in places such as restaurants, cafés, takeaways, hotels and food shops.
Food poisoning investigation
Poisoning usually happens when food or drinks contaminated with bacteria (germs) or their toxins (poisons) is consumed. Suspected and confirmed cases of food poisoning should be investigated firstly to identify what sort of food poisoning a person is suffering from, so as to then be able to administer the correct treatment. Secondly to discover if any particular food item, restaurant or company was responsible for the food poisoning. Thirdly to collect all the relevant information, come to a conclusion and then take steps to prevent any infections spreading and to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The basics of any food poisoning investigation;
- Food poisoning or illness may not have been caused by a persons last meal. This is because bacteria and viruses can sometimes take quite a long time (in some cases several days) to cause the first symptom of illness.
- In cases where food poisoning symptoms do appear quickly, its usually because the toxin was already present in the food when it was eaten.
- Any suspected food poisoning should be reported to the relevant authorities.
An investigator will want to know;
- The full range of symptoms i.e. diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting, fever, nausea, headaches, dizziness.
- Information about the food or drinks consumed within the last 3 days prior to any poisoning.
- Checking to see whether anyone else has recently had a similar illness.
Investigators may also;
- Ask the patient to provide a faecal specimen for testing.
- Interview everyone involved.
- Inspect suspected premises.
- Take samples of suspected food or drinks.
Allergic reactions happen when a person’s immune system mistakenly believes that something the person has eaten is harmful to the body. It is an adverse immune response to a food protein. In an attempt to ‘protect’ itself the body then produces IgE antibodies to the food that it thinks is a threat. These antibodies along with other chemicals such as histamine are then released into the bloodstream. It is this release that causes the symptoms of a allergic reaction in a person’s eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin, or gastrointestinal tract. The problem does not end there because once a certain food has been identified and marked as a ‘foreign body’ the antibodies that were produced previously to fight it are automatically released into the body again, causing a repeat of the symptoms.
People can be allergic to any kind of food, with the most common allergic reactions being caused by milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts (i.e. walnuts and cashews), fish, shellfish (i.e. shrimp).
Key points about food allergies;
- Some children can outgrow their allergies.
- Skin reactions are the most common type of food allergy symptom.
- Most reactions happen very quickly after a particular food has been eaten.
- Most food allergy reactions affect the following four main body areas; Skin, Gastrointestinal system, Respiratory system, Cardiovascular system.
Classic signs and symptoms of a food allergy are;
- Experiencing abdominal pain or stomach cramps.
- Hives developing on a persons back.
- Swelling of lips, tongue, eyelids, or the whole face.
- Having difficulty swallowing.
- Developing a runny or congested nose.
- Hoarse voice.
- Itching of mouth, lips, tongue, throat, eyes and skin.
- Wheezing or shortness of breath.
- Feeling lightheaded.
This is the science of extending the shelf life of food whilst at the same time trying as much as possible to maintain its nutritional quality. There are certain methods and processes that can slow down or even stop the spoilage of food, thereby allowing it to be stored for longer. These processes of treating and handling food work by slowing down or killing the activity of disease-causing bacteria. The most commonly used food preservation techniques are;
This produces a concentrated form of food which retains most of its nutrients.
Refrigeration and freezing
It can slow microbial multiplication through low temperature & the unavailability of water.
Smoking food is one of the oldest methods of preservation. The process will dry food sufficiently to be packaged carefully and store for later use.
By exposing food to ionizing radiation you can destroy microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, or insects that might be present in the food. This process can prolong the shelf-life of certain foods where microbial spoilage is a limiting factor.
These can inhibit the activity of bacteria or kill it. They work by reducing the pH to a level of acidity that prevents the growth of microorganisms.
Pasteurising (high heat processing)
This is a method where food (usually liquid) is heated to a particular temperature and for a specific length of time and then immediately cooled. The process is not intended to kill all micro-organisms in the food, but instead to slow down the process of microbial growth.
Canning and bottling
If done properly canning can be a important and safe way of preserving food stuff. The process involves placing foods in jars or similar containers and then heating them to a temperature that effectively destroys any bacteria or micro-organisms that can cause the food to spoil. During this heating process air is driven out of the jar and as it cools a vacuum seal is formed. This vacuum seal also prevents air from getting back into the product bringing with it contaminating micro-organisms.
This is one of the oldest food preservation methods known to man. It works by drawing out moisture and creating an environment that is inhospitable to bacteria. It is effective because most bacteria, fungi and other potentially pathogenic organisms cannot survive in a highly salty environment, due to the hypertonic nature of salt.
In the past this was widely used to preserve meats, vegetables and fruits, these days it is almost only used to make pickles (picked cucumbers). Pickling uses the preservative qualities of salt and combines it with the preservative qualities of acid. It works because an acid environment inhibits the growth of bacteria.
A food handler is any person who handles or prepares food, whether it is open or packaged, including drinks and ice.
This stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point and is an internationally recognised and recommended methodology and food management system. At its core it focuses on finding the critical points in food processing where safety hazards can occur and then developing and putting in place strategies and procedures to prevent things from going wrong. It has significant benefits to organisations operating within the food supply chain as it enables them to concentrate their resources on activities that are vital to ensuring safe food.
HACCP provides businesses with a cost effective system for controlling food safety, from ingredients right through to production, storage and distribution to sale and service of the final consumer. The benefits of HACCP to a company are;
- Compliance with regulations and food law.
- The adoption of HACCP practises can offer a company legal defence in the unfortunate event of an outbreak of food borne diseases.
- Less likely hood of complaints about food.
- Improved food safety.
- Less cases of food poisoning.
- Increase in food safety standards.
- Food safety management systems have a clearly defined structure. They can show you stems
- Learn how to develop a food safety culture and put into place procedures and programmes to supervise food safety, control contamination and thereby safeguard the health of consumer.
FOOD HYGIENE TIPS
How to save nutrients in food
- Store vegetables in a dark, cool place.
- When slicing or chopping food, try to keep the pieces as long and large as possible.
- If you want to boil raw food then make sure the water is boiling before putting it in there.
- Try to cook food for the shortest amount of time possible.
- Do not use copper utensils or pots.
- Microwaving can sometimes be better at saving nutrients that say using cooking water.
2006 Food hygiene legislation
On January 1st 2006 new European Union food hygiene legislation (European Community Food Hygiene Regulations) was introduced throughout the United Kingdom, it replaced the Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995. The general hygiene requirements for all food business operators are laid down in the legislation. It requires all food businesses need to be registered with the competent authority and sets certain standards that must be met in relation to:
- Food preparation
- Sanitary & hand washing facilities
- Hot and cold water supply
Click here Food Hygiene Regulations 2006 for more information
All foods that are stored must clearly display their ‘Use by’ or ‘Best Before’ dates.
Keep raw foods away from ‘read to eat’ meals.
Certain foods need to be kept in the fridge to help stop bacteria growing. These include foods with a “use by” date, cooked foods and ready-to-eat foods such as desserts and cooked meats. Below are some key tips of storing food in refrigerators;
- The fridge temperature should be maintained at below 5C.
- Keep any food in the fridge for as long as possible, only take it out when you are ready to serve it.
- Try to keep perishable foods in covered bowls or containers.
- Do not put piping hot food directly into a cold fridge, as it can raise the temperature of the fridge which in turn can lead to the spread of bacteria.
- Clean your fridge out regularly, removing any crumbs and food debris and wiping away any stains etc.
Meat and poultry in a fridge
You should always store raw meat and poultry in clean, sealed containers at the bottom shelf of the fridge, so that they can’t touch or drip onto other food.
There’s always one bad apple that spoils the barrel, so keep an eye on your fruit and vegetables, seperate those which appear to be ripening up more quickly than the others.
Sealable plastic boxes
In refrigerators these can not only be used to keep separate raw and cooked meats, but can also help to keep your salads fresher for longer.
Storing washed fruit or vegetables
If you have rinsed or washed any of these in water, then be sure to shake off as much water as you can from them. Only when you have done this should they be stored in a fridge.
Washing raw chicken
There is no real need to wash raw chicken prior to cooking, this is because if it is cooked properly then any germs on it will be killed. Conversely if you do wash any raw chicken in a sink then you could splash germs from it onto other dishes, food or worktops.
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