hygiene in food and beverage

Food and Beverage

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Improving food & beverage hygiene

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

The principles of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) can help businesses introduce procedures to ensure the food they produce is safe to eat. Determining critical control points where hazards can be prevented and eliminated is essential; below we explore a few areas for consideration.

Hand hygiene

Contaminated hands are a major factor in foodborne diseases. The 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, they also pick up transient organisms such 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.

hand hygiene
  • Introduce a hand hygiene cleaning regime with training for all staff on how to wash their hands correctly
  • Construct a glove policy and provide training on standard operating procedures to educate staff on their use
  • Implement effective monitoring solutions to ensure handwash compliance
  • Provide sufficient handwashing facilities in the right locations. No touch solutions minimise the risk of cross contamination
  • Thorough hand drying is important, provide the right hand drying facilities such as paper towels or linen towels to help minimise the spread of bacteria

Kitchens

Kitchens and food preparation areas provide the optimal environments 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 and 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, glove 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 decide where to eat from a glimpse of the menu or the premises before they decide to enter. Ensuring the entrance to your establishment is clean and inviting is important to encourage customers to dine with you.

  • Consider displaying review and sanitary 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 finger nails and tidy hair
  • Choose the right floor mats to absorb dirt and water so these do not get trodden through eating areas and your premises
  • Create the right ambience by introducing custom scents giving your customers a memorable dining experience

Washrooms

The standard of washrooms in a food establishment can directly impact a customer’s perception of the cleanliness of the kitchen; in fact a clean washroom gives 91% of people confidence in the quality the food and drink being served. Providing the right facilities to ensure good washroom behaviours can also help minimise the risk of dangerous pathogens being spread and making their way into the kitchen and food preparation areas.

washrooms hygiene
  • Implement a rigorous cleaning schedule based on peak timings and traffic to ensure washrooms are kept clean
  • Ensure washrooms are well-stocked and that hygiene essentials such as hand soap and paper towels for good hand hygiene are always available
  • Keep it smelling fresh - bad smells can be a deterrent for people using the washroom and is often a reason for not washing their hands properly