Tips For Food Safety For The Hospitality Industry
Food safety is a vital component of food production. Food should be hygienic, free from external material and not contaminated by microorganisms. HACCP certification course online equips food handlers with essential knowledge in testing and ensuring safety for consumption.
Food borne diseases have become a concern due to a rise in disease outbreaks associated with foods. Restaurant owners should often establish and review food protocols. Disease outbreaks cost hotel owners lost revenue, court costs due to lawsuits, inspection costs etc.
The following are some tips that can help a restaurant owner develop food safety protocols.
- Developing a HACCP plan
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (haccp) is a system accepted for food safety management globally. It works by a preventive approach to food safety instead of the current method of testing finished food products. Developing a haccp plan is essential for any food production process.
Developing a haccp plan may seem an uphill task, but it is possible and easy to design and implement. There are 12 tasks involved in developing a haccp plan to ensure that the 7 principles are applied correctly for restaurants.
The requirement is that the various biological, chemical and physical food hazards be identified and then controlled at different production levels.
- Establishing a food safety culture in the restaurant.
Commitment by the management to creating a food safety culture is the most vital and significant step. The hotel management leads from the frontline and by example. When the employees see the commitment of the owners and management, they follow.
- Some of the tasks include hand washing, wearing the correct and clean uniform at work, frequent cleaning of surfaces etc.
- Food safety responsibilities should be created as part of the employee job description so that each employee knows what their role is.
- Posters can then be placed in strategic locations on the wall to remind the employees of the commitment to a positive food safety culture.
- Communication throughout the establishment of food safety protocols is vital in establishing a food safety culture.
Food safety training should be carried out on all the staff to have sufficient knowledge and understanding. The enterprise should ensure detailed training on the haccp system.
Resource allocation towards comprehensive training and implementation of the food safety culture program is a sign of commitment by the management. Resource allocation also goes towards acquiring necessary temperature control and monitoring equipment, clothing etc.
Finally, for the success of the food safety culture, you need a monitoring and review process. It entails diligent documentation on whether the critical points have been met according to the established haccp plan. It also ensures that individuals achieve their responsibilities as far as their food safety responsibilities are concerned.
It is crucial to celebrate the employees who have achieved their targets and responsibilities. This will motivate others to do their best to achieve their goals.
Continuous improvement and reviewing of the haccp is vital since many parameters keep on changing.
- Employee Training
Employers should train all employees on food production, safety hazards and safety issues. They should be able to identify and eliminate the opportunities for food safety hazards. Food safety hazards have been classified as:
- Biological– Include bacteria, viruses, algae, parasites and fungi
- Chemical-These are chemical toxins naturally occurring in foods or produced by microorganisms; an added commodity to control an identified problem.
- Physical- these are contaminants like metal fragments, glass particles, insects, stones etc.
The most common sources of contamination of foods are food from unsafe sources, inadequate cooking, improper holding temperatures, contaminated equipment and poor personal hygiene.
- Separation of sinks based on their use
Sinks used for hand washing should be located far away from sinks for sanitization and food preparation. This is done to prevent contamination of the foods that are being prepared.
- Use of temperature control and monitoring equipment
One of the most effective ways of ensuring food safety is by temperature control. Chilling hinders the growth of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microorganisms. Meat and other highly perishable foods are kept and transported in cold storage to prevent spoilage ensuring safe food.
- Ensure proper ventilation.
Proper ventilation is crucial in food processing areas and restaurants. Fumes and vapor should be pumped. Good ventilation is necessary for adequate air circulation and extraction of moist air, keeping the restaurant air of good quality.
- Maintenance of buildings
Poorly maintained buildings allow for the entry of rodents and other animals that could transmit diseases, putting people’s people at risk. Rodents eat foods in stores and also transmit diseases. Renovations need to be done often to maintain the integrity of buildings.
- Best housekeeping practices
Cleanliness is vital in preventing dust, dirt, hair and other foreign materials from contaminating the food. Floors, walls and surfaces should be cleaned after every shift. Some surfaces need to be cleaned and sanitized more frequently to avoid contamination.
Garbage bins should be emptied more frequently and kept clean. Additionally, customers’ and kitchen tables should be wiped after every use.
- Enforce proper hygiene requirements
Employees should be required to wear clean uniforms each shift, keep their hair covered, and wash their hands often. Train employees on hand-washing techniques and post signs to reinforce proper hygiene.
- Implement good housekeeping procedures
Cleanliness is crucial for preventing foreign objects like hair and insects from contaminating food. Floors should be swept and mopped after each shift, garbage containers should be emptied often and sanitized, kitchen counters and walls should be cleaned frequently and tables wiped down after each use. Kitchen and customer’s linens should be replaced and always kept clean.
- Maintain the exterior of the building
Building exteriors must be properly maintained to prevent rodents from entering the premises. Schedule a monthly pest control service and take precautions to prevent food and dishes from coming into contact with pesticides and other chemicals.
Food handlers should enroll for online training on best practices for food handling. The knowledge helps to enhance food safety for consumers and prevent food borne disease.