27 Sep 2019 What are the four simple steps to Food Safety?
Thousands of people are reported to have food poisoning in the UK every year; in 2018, there were large numbers of such cases. Every business or individual involved in the production, processing, handling and distribution of food is responsible for ensuring food safety.
There are four basic Food safety principles that when followed, reduce the risk of food contamination. These four steps, clean, separate, cook and chill, help exercise caution in the food industry.
Cleanliness is the first countermeasure against contaminants and infection-causing microbes in the kitchen and food processing plants.
First, you must ensure that your hands are thoroughly cleaned before touching any food material or tools involved in food preparation. Secondly, clean and rinse food products such as vegetables and fruits appropriately. Finally, clean and dry all the surfaces, utensils and appliances before working on the food.
Separate raw from ready-to-eat foods during shopping, preparation, serving and storing. The goal of separating raw meat from fruits, for example, is to prevent cross-contamination. Food products that require cooking contain dangerous micro-organisms such as infectious bacteria, which can be transferred to the ready-to-eat foods through contact.
Most animal-based food products, such as meats, eggs, and milk, have to be cooked before serving. The cooking not only adds flavour and aroma but crucially kills any potentially harmful microbes. Food must be cooked at the recommended temperature and duration, otherwise, the decontamination becomes ineffective.
Refer to the recommended minimum cooking temperatures chart to learn about the different cooking temperatures for various foods. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of the food while cooking regularly.
Storing food at low temperatures slow down the growth of harmful bacteria. Food should not be left out for more than four hours at temperatures above 8°C. The refrigerator should be kept at 5°C or less. The recommended freezer temperature is -18°C or below. Also, remember to check the recommended storage duration for your foods when chilled or frozen.
Get in touch with us here and learn more about food safety and HACCP compliance. Magna Food, Health & Safety is a Food Safety consultant service assisting food businesses achieve acceptable Food Safety levels through training and implementation of safety management systems.