Basic practical food safety tips

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Caterers should follow these simple tips to prevent problems in the kitchen:

  • Identify all steps in your activities which are critical to food safety
  • Put adequate safety controls in place
  • Adequately train all staff in food hygiene
  • Wash hands thoroughly before handling food, and again between handling raw and cooked foods, and after visiting the toilet
  • Clean and disinfect all equipment, utensils and preparation surfaces thoroughly
  • Keep cooked and raw foods separate during preparation and storage
  • Wash salads thoroughly
  • Use food within its use-by-date and promptly use foods you have already prepared
  • Keep food covered
  • Never use raw eggs in food which is not going to be cooked, for example mayonnaise or tiramisu. The Food Standards Agency has provided advice to caterers on handling eggs safely.
  • Keep animals out of food preparation areas
  • Use a thermometer to monitor temperatures and disinfect the temperature probe each time that it is used
  • Cook food thoroughly (centre temperature more than 75°C) and serve. If hot-holding keep above 63°C
  • Re-heat food to at least 75°C
  • Ensure any food requiring refrigeration is kept below 8ºC and not left out for long periods
  • When preparing food in advance, ensure it is cooked thoroughly, cooled rapidly and stored in the fridge
  • Avoid using left-overs in commercial premises