Contamination of food can be controlled by maintaining good food hygiene and house keeping practices. High standards of food hygiene minimise food spoilage and contamination and help to ensure that when food is eaten it is as wholesome and free of pathogens as possible.
Good housekeeping practices are essential to ensuring the premise are safe to prepare food in, both for the food and the food handlers. It is the maintenance of a clean and tidy workplace.
- Is maintenance of a clean and tidy workplace
- Promotes wholesome and safe food
- Encourages economy
- Implies safe working practices
These aspects of house keeping are all reliant on efficient and effective cleaning practices which consider;
- Biological aspects of Premises, storage, ingredients, handling, display, preparation, cooking, serving and disposal of food.
This is done by:
- Prevention of unhygienic situations - pest control & refuse storage
- Cleaning practices - cleansing, sanitising, prevention of cross contamination, and re-contamination
- Personal hygiene - ensuring the food handler doesn't provide the risk
The Premises Itself
A major part of food safety and good housekeeping practices is the premise itself. According to the Food hygiene Regulations and the Building Code, this is required to be designed in such a way as to facilitate safe food preparation and a safe working environment. Any food preparation, storage or display area must come up to the required standard before it can be licensed to sell or supply food.
Essentially all surfaces should be continuously smooth, impervious to water, clean, readily cleanable, resistant to wear and of a light colour.
- Floors - Floors are also required to be resistant to wear and covered to the walls and permanent fixtures.
- Ventilation - There must be adequate ventilation to remove odours, smokes, moisture and to provide a comfortable environment that doesn't attract pests.
- Lighting - Lighting must be adequate to allow safe work and so that labels can be clearly read and dirt can be seen and cleaned up.
- Staff Changing Room - There must be a staff changing room so that fresh clothes can be put on in which to prepare food and outside clothes are not left in the food preparation or storage areas.
- Wash Hand Basins - There must be wash hand basins provided convenient to the food preparation areas and the toilets, and these must be provided with hot and cold running water, soap, a nail brush and some sort of hand drying device. Disposable paper towels are often thought to be the best option for this as they prevent recontamination of hands.
- Toilet - Toilet and hand washing areas must also be maintained in a clean state and kept stocked up with their required supplies.
- Grease Trap - If you have a grease trap it must be regularly cleaned out to prevent odours and attraction to pests.
- Smoking - Smoking must not be allowed in any part of a food preparation, storage or display area.
- Dogs - Only registered companion dogs are allowed in any food premises. (Believe it or not, cats are allowed for rodent control purposes as long as they are not providing any source of contamination - this obviously means keep them outside!).
- Refuse - Refuse must be collected in a lidded container which is cleaned out after each emptying. It must not be allowed to smell or attract pests. Putrescible (rotting) refuse must be removed from the premises each day or stored in a chiller (clearly marked!) until collected.