12 Aug 2019 Why is it important to inspect food stocks on arrival?
Any food preparation business must take great care to ensure the safety and hygiene of both the food items and the premises in which prep takes place. There are various points when – if something goes wrong – there are higher than usual dangers of systems breaking down or processes not flowing smoothly. These are called ‘Critical Control Points’ and there should be a list of these easily at hand in any commercial kitchen. One of the first major CCPs is the point when food is delivered to the kitchen: here is why it is important to inspect the delivery before signing off on it.
The Right Thing
You can take the opportunity to check that you have received the right foods. You may have ordered southern-fried pieces, but received barbecue, or you may have received the wrong quantity of an item.
In Good Condition
As you unpack the food and check it off against the purchase order, you can check that packaging is in good condition and not damaged or ripped, and you can quickly check that frozen food is still frozen, and that nothing is leaking – a leak means that food is coming out, but also that contaminants, vermin and bacteria can get in.
Just Right, Temperature-wise
Legally, frozen food must be maintained at -18°C, and chilled goods below 8°C. It is good practise to check the temperature of the refrigerated van when it makes the delivery, and also to check the temperature of the delivery itself to ensure that your new food is within safe limits.
Should frozen food have begun to defrost, it does not have to be rejected or thrown away: complete the defrosting process and cook the food, following safe practises as regarding food handling and cooking temperatures, and then freeze it, ready to defrost and serve when needed
No Dirt or Vermin
All food deliveries should be unpacked in a deboxing zone just outside of the kitchen proper. This ensures that any dirt on the external packaging and any unwanted hitchhikers are kept out of the kitchen and disposed of before they can become a problem. This should be part of the inspection process upon delivery: after all, the food cannot be properly checked, without being taken out of the packaging!
For this reason, make sure that orders arrive in a window when a properly trained – with a minimum Level 2, preferably Level 3, Food Safety – employee is on hand to take receipt and pack away the goods in an appropriate time frame: twenty minutes from the minute the food leaves the refrigerated van to being safely in the kitchen freezers.