Food Safety issues in eating establishments can result from a number of factors. A breakout of any foodborne illness can harm the reputation of the food establishment and cause a loss in business.
Employee training in food safety
One of the key factors that ensure food safety is proper training of all food handlers. Any untrained employee can unknowingly cause contaminants to enter foods if there is improper hand washing. Employees must be well-trained in handling and processing foods keeping in mind good hygiene practices and personal hygiene so there is no entry of contaminants into foods. Employees must also be well –trained to ensure they are using ingredients within the best before and expiry dates and frozen foods on a first-in-first-out basis. Training is also required to understand temperature controls so there is no food safety risk due to spoilage of because of storing in wrong temperature. Food safety training should be on-going and reminders to practice good hygiene must be continuous.
Improper hand-washing is a food safety risk
One of the biggest food safety risks comes from unwashed or improperly washed hands. For proper hand-washing soap must be provided and the temperature of the water must be at least 380C so employees can thoroughly clean their hands before handling foods. They must wash their hands frequently especially after coming to work from outside, touching their body, using bathroom or using their mobile phones. Before touching any foods, whether packaged or fresh they must wash their hands if food safety is to be maintained in the food establishment. The serving staff must wash their hands before putting on their gloves so food can be served safely to customers.
Vendors can cause food safety risk
Food safety in food establishments can also be at risk from fresh produce like vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products. Eating establishments must ensure that fresh produce is free of pesticide and heavy metal residues by buying from vendors who are licensed and who have proved that their produce is safe after food testing. Vendors and suppliers must be scrutinised to ensure that raw materials and produce they supply has been tested for biological, chemical and physical hazards. These hazards must be ruled out in the entire food chain from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product. It is important that the food procuring team pay a visit to the vendor establishment to ensure they are keeping in mind food safety requirements including in their storage facilities and transportation.
Day to day food safety concerns
The food establishment mangers must be alert to any concerns of food safety on a day-to day bases like employees coming to work when they are sick or not being sent home when they are sick. The manager must ensure that each food handler is exercising good hygiene and sanitation practices, like wearing clean uniforms, apron, headgear and gloves and not take these into the bathrooms.