10 basic food safety rules to follow
Food safety is a vital part of owning a business in the restaurant industry. Not only can improper food safety habits potentially harm your customers, it could be the end of your business. There are extensive rules that must be adhered to in order to comply with food safety regulations in the U.K., and to pass inspections – but, for now, here are some basics.
Store your food at the right temperature
Storing food at the right temperature will prevent the growth of bacteria. Keep your fridges and freezers and the appropriate temperatures by purchasing a fridge/freezer thermometer and using it regularly.
Never defrost at room temperature
When defrosting food, ensure that you use the fridge, microwave or cold water. Defrosting at room temperature can mean that the inside of your food thaws too fast, creating an environment that bacteria can multiply in.
Bacteria from uncooked foods can easily spread to fresh produce, especially if you use the same chopping board for both. Maintain your food safety by having separate chopping boards for different types of food.
Cook meat to the right temperature
Meat is one of the easiest foods to get wrong, as some meats can not be eaten raw. Testing the temperature is a good way to ensure they’re ready to eat – check online for the safe minimum temperatures for each type.
Avoid ‘young’unpasteurized products
What we mean by young is aged less than 60 days. If products are unpasteurised, they haven’t been heated to kill bacteria – after 60 days, acidity and salt levels should be high enough to kill of unwanted pathogens.
Don’t serve raw eggs
Raw eggs carry the risk of salmonella – so serving them or eating them yourself could cause potential harm. Make sure eggs are cooked all the way through to maintain food safety.
Wash your hands
The most obvious of food safety rules – always wash your hands with warm soapy water before and after handling any kind of food.
When heating leftovers, there is a specific temperature they have to be heated to in order to kill off any bacteria that could have accumulated – this is around 75 degrees Celsius.
Don’t leave food out of the fridge
Leaving perishable food out of the fridge for too long gives bacteria an opportunity to multiply and thrive as the food warms up at room temperature. Don’t eat or serve anything that has been out of the fridge for longer than 2 hours.
If you come across a food recall, check your food at home. Contamination is a serious issue that can be avoided with a quick check.