Food and Beverage

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Recommendations For Good Food & Beverage Hygiene

As well as creating a pleasant environment in which your customers can enjoy great food and drink, good hygiene for food and beverage businesses is essential to minimise the risk of cross-contamination. Hygiene practices should  ensure food safety for customers whilst meeting ever-increasing regulatory and legislative requirements.

The principles of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) can help businesses introduce procedures to the workplace that ensure the food they produce is safe to eat. Determining critical control points where hazards can be prevented and eliminated is essential.

Here are a few common hazard control points for consideration:

Hand hygiene

Contaminated hands are a leading cause of foodborne diseases. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that up to 40% of cases may be linked to poor hand hygiene. Hands can carry and transmit dangerous pathogens such as norovirus, and they pick up transient organisms such as Salmonella from the gut after using the toilet.

During food preparation hands touch a variety of surfaces, food, and equipment that may themselves be contaminated and this can be a major factor in cross-contamination.

  • Introduce a hand hygiene cleaning regime, with training for all staff on how to wash their hands correctly.
  • Develop a glove policy and provide training on standard operating procedures to educate staff on the safe and hygienic use of gloves.
  • Implement effective monitoring solutions to ensure handwashing compliance.
  • Provide sufficient handwashing facilities - such as soap dispensers and paper towel -  in the right locations to minimise the spread of bacteria and the risk of cross contamination.

Kitchens/food preparation areas

Studies have found bacteria levels as high as 1000 times the acceptable standard in some food courts. Kitchens and food preparation areas provide the optimal environment for bacteria to breed and spread if good hygiene practices are not put in place. Minimising the risk of cross-contamination and spread of bacteria and ensuring proper food hygiene and safety are critical elements in ensuring the well-being of staff and customers.

  • Use separate cutting boards, plates and knives for produce, raw meat, poultry and seafood. Clean them thoroughly with hot soapy water after use.
  • Ensure staff are well educated on the importance of complying with hand washing, gloves and hair net usage practices.
  • Food waste areas should be kept clean, tidy, and regularly cleared to prevent pests.
  • Ensure all food handlers are fit for work. Pathogens such as norovirus are easily spread and have a low infective dose - meaning very few organisms are needed to cause illness.

Entrances

Customers often make a decision on where to eat based on nothing more than a quick look at the appearance of your premises. Ensuring the entrance to your establishment is clean and inviting is important to encourage customers to dine with you.

  • Consider displaying review and hygiene inspection certifications at your entrance to give customers confidence in your establishment
  • Front of house staff, waiters and chefs who come into contact with food should look clean and presentable, paying close attention to details such as the length of fingernails and tidy hair.
  • Choose the right floor mats to absorb dirt and water so this does not get trodden through dining areas and the rest of your premises.

Bathrooms

The state and standard of the bathrooms in a restaurant can directly impact a customer’s perception of the cleanliness of the kitchen; a clean bathroom gives 91% of people confidence in the quality food and drink being served.

Providing the right facilities to ensure that good bathroom hygiene practices are observed can also help minimise the risk of dangerous pathogens being spread from the bathroom to the kitchen and food preparation areas.

  • Implement a rigorous cleaning schedule based on peak traffic times to ensure bathrooms are kept spotlessly clean.
  • Ensure bathrooms are well-stocked and that hygiene essentials such as hand soap and paper towels are always available.
  • Keep the bathroom smelling fresh: bad smells can be a deterrent for people using the bathroom and are often cited as a reason for leaving quickly and not washing their hands properly.

Further information

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