Commercial Food Safety, Your Main Priority
Ensuring that your kitchen is putting out delicious and consistent food dishes is a priority. Commercial Food Safety and temperature control is one of the key ingredients to ensuring your business’s longevity and customer satisfaction.
Within Australia there is an estimated 2,000,000 per annum occurrences of food poisoning. How can your business avoid being apart of this statistic you might be asking? It’s certainly not difficult for you to have exceptional food safety standards, and we have a few tips to help.
HACCP(Hazard Analysis and Critical Control and Critical Control Points) is a leading Food Safety organization that encourages a four step process for minimising food contamination risks.
- Analyse your Risks
Every restaurant/café/bar is different, and depending on the extent and products used in your menu, different approaches need to be taken to correctly determine what the risks are and how you can avoid them.
- Develop a Site-Specific Plan
Once you have determined your business’s specific risks, you can formulate a plan that will minimise them. Keep in mind, that fresh, frozen and stored foods require different methods.
- Implement the plan & monitor accordingly
Educating employee’s is the key to your food safety plan working. Demonstrating the correct storage, tracking and rotation of food with each person in the kitchen/on the floor will ensure your plan actually works. Creating a plan is all well-and-good, monitoring it, will cement its success. Daily/Weekly recordings of open/use-by dates and storage temperatures will help you determine if the plan is working and how/if it needs to be modified.
- On-going maintenance
Making sure that all your equipment including; commercial refrigeration, bain marie’s, display cabinets and all other commercial cooking equipment is frequently serviced will ensure optimal performance.
The biggest reason for a food safety plan failing is incorrect temperature settings. Ensuring correct storage and presentation temperatures for each food product has many variables and may need to be adjusted daily to account for outside influences.
For cold food storage; your commercial refrigerators and freezers need to be packed accordingly to their capacity ability. Always remember that an overloaded fridge/freezer will not work at optimal level thus, leaving your food open to risks. Ideally, a refrigerator should be set at 4° C and a freezer at -18° C.
The hot food displays require a different Risk Assessment Plan, when displaying food in Bain-Marie’s or Hot Display Cabinets there is not only a temperature requirement, but a ‘shelf-life’ on the time the product can be displayed for. Monitoring the time, a product was put on display, and clearly labelling when it needs to be removed is essential. Simple labels will take the onus off a single staff member and allows all employee’s to quickly determine if the food can be served.
Starting a regular maintenance check of all commercial kitchen equipment will also aid your Food Safety plan. Each piece of equipment is an investment that generates profit for your business, not only will servicing ensure the longevity and optimal performance of the product it also minimises any costly breakdowns.
There are things you can implement daily/weekly to maintain your equipment.
- Check door seals daily and wipe down,
- Rotate stock to ensure newest products are at the back (make sure you date all food products!),
- When stocking make sure you allow for air flow circulation,
- Clean out any excess items that may be causing an overload. (i.e drinks do not require the same level of food safety precaution as meats.)
- Remember to always close the door straight after use.
- Always clean & sanitise the unit after use,
- Monitor temperatures,
- Avoid overloading the cabinet,
- Always close doors to ensure minimal temperature changes
With these steps, you can now successfully analyse, create, implement and continually maintain your site-specific food safety plan. Remember, minimizing risks is essential for both your customers safety and your businesses bottom line!
Ace Catering Equipment has been assisting the Hospitality Industry since 1982 and is your leading choice for all commercial cooking equipment. Contact us today for more information. Assuring you of our prompt and reliable service at all times!
P: 07 3279 5204 | M: 0414 887 298
Want more information about HACCP? Visit their website.