Did you know there are more than 500,000 cases of food poisoning in the UK each year? If you’ve ever had food poisoning, you’ll understand the need for good food hygiene.
Campylobacter, which is an infectious food poisoning disease caused mainly by eating undercooked chicken or other food that has been contaminated with juices dripping from raw chicken, is considered as responsible for more than half of those, in turn leading to more than 100 deaths a year.
A food safety system is vital to ensure the risk of food poisoning being caused by poor food hygiene is minimised. Food Safety applies to households too, not just businesses. Since the pandemic, more and more people are hosting events at home as opposed to eating out, especially during the holidays, having family gatherings and such like, many people find themselves cooking for more people than they are used to and therefore handling larger amounts of food. Many often see themselves as the next Masterchef!
You want those who have enjoyed your hospitality to go home with memories of a good time, not a tummy bug to remember you by. Therefore you MUST ensure that food is stored and cooked safely.
Having a good understanding of food safety practices is essential in protecting the health of both consumers and food handlers. There is so much to consider when providing meals, not only making them nutritious but also including meeting dietary requirements, listing allergens and providing calorie content. Remember to keep raw meat separate from cooked meat and ready-to-eat foods like salads. Cross-contamination is most likely to happen when raw food touches or drips onto ready-to-eat food, utensils or surfaces.
Every year, the number of people with allergies is increasing so having an awareness of potential allergens and why they can be harmful is becoming more important, particularly if you are preparing food. Care should be taken to ensure cross-contamination does not occur at any stage of food preparation, for example, Gluten free bread must be toasted using a clean grill or toaster bags due to the risk of cross-contamination. In a catering environment where bulk multi-portions are used, if the meals from the supplier are coded gluten-free then they must be served with care taken to avoid cross-contamination with gluten-containing ingredients and utensils.
Our biggest tip is to have allergen management procedures in place in all steps of the food service pathway from receipt of ingredients to serving the meals. If major allergens are included in a dish, the name of the dish should reflect this. You can refer to the Food Standards Agency for Guidance.
We offer an Anaphylaxis training course aimed at staff that may be required to administer adrenaline and other medicines to treat an anaphylactic reaction caused by an allergy. This course will give delegates the skills and confidence to recognise and respond appropriately to anaphylaxis.
Poultry, such as turkey, goose and chicken, can cause food poisoning if not cooked properly. To prevent the spread of food poisoning germs like Campylobacter, be careful to wash everything that has touched raw meat (e.g. hands, utensils and work surfaces) with soap and hot water. Don’t wash raw poultry itself as germs can splash around your kitchen.
Give yourself enough time to prepare and cook your meal(s) to avoid hot fat, boiling water and sharp knife accidents that come from rushing, and keep anyone not helping with dinner out of the kitchen. Wipe up any spills quickly.
If you have any leftovers, you should cool them, then cover and ensure that they go in the fridge or freezer within 1-2 hours. If you have a lot of one type of food, splitting it into smaller portions will help it to cool quickly and means you can freeze and defrost only what you need for future dishes. You can freeze various meats and meals cooked from previously cooked and frozen meat. But once defrosted, the pause button is off and you should eat the food within 24 hours. Don’t forget: leftovers should be eaten or frozen within 2 days (one day for rice dishes).
To book our Food Safety courses visit our open courses page on our website or contact us to discuss your specific needs in more detail.
Whatever your training needs, give us a call today 0117 453 7083 or e-mail us