RECEIVING

 

The following are important elements to consider when receiving products in general.

  • Never assume that all the food you receive is good enough to eat.
  • The receiving dock and related areas should be well lit and kept very tidy. Incorporate this area into a daily cleaning schedule to ensure proper cleanliness.
  • Schedule your deliveries to allow adequate time for the proper inspection and receiving of all food products.
  • Have all appropriate equipment and containers on hand. Scales, plastic gloves, containers, and thermometers are important pieces to have in easy reach.
  • Record the temperatures of the delivery trucks refrigerated and freezer storage. If the temperature is not within an acceptable range, do not accept the shipment (because you are unable to ascertain the length of time that the temperature has been unacceptable).

Receiving Of Dry Foods

  • Check cartons, bags containers etc.
  • Note any damage.
  • Check seals on individual packs.
  • Check dents and bulging in cans, that denotes spoilage of canned food.
  • Check leakage.
  • Check date of manufacturing, date of expiry.

Produce

  • Check for freshness, ripeness and other signs of quality.

Meat, Poultry and Sea Food

  • Check the grades of meat cuts as on invoice.
  • Check for quality and freshness of the product.
  • Check for leaking vacuum-packed (Cryovac) packages.
  • For frozen products check for signs of freezer burn, torn wrappings, partial thawing, or other problems.

Food Storage

The proper storage of food is a critical to maintain high standards and reducing the risk of food poisoning. Some foods must be stored in the fridge and eaten within a short span of time. Other foods, such as flour, pulses, canned foods and many others, last much longer and can be stored at room temperature. However, all foods have limits on their storage time.Always follow storage instructions and be aware of manufacturing and expiry dates. Make sure that they always store foods:

  • In the right place
  • At the right temperature
  • For the right time

 

The following storage guidelines should be followed,

 

  • Avoid cross-contamination,
  • store raw foods away from other foods in the fridge,
  • Raw meat/poultry should be stored in clean sealed containers on the bottom shelf of the fridge, so it cannot touch or drip onto other food.
  • Store foods in separate covered containers.
  • Cover dishes and other open containers with foil or film.
  • Do not reuse foil or film to wrap other foods.
  • Keep food storage areas dry and cool.
  • Store root vegetables away from other fruit and vegetables and in a dark place.
  • Ensure that all storage cupboards and pantries are pest-free.
  • Do not store food on the floor because this can encourage mice, ants and other pests.
  • After opening packets of dried foods reseal them tightly or transfer contents to storage jars.
  • Ensure that storage containers have tightly fitting lids — always wash and allow them to dry thoroughly after use.
  • Do not store food or drinks near cleaning products or other chemicals.
  • All food that looks, tastes or smells off or is past its date should be thrown away.
  • Cling film is useful for protecting food but it needs to be used correctly.
  • Do not use cling film if it could melt into food, such as in the oven or on pots and pans on the hob.
  • Cling film can be used in the microwave but should not touch the food.

 

FOOD PREPARATION

  • As well as being stored correctly, food must be prepared in such as way as to prevent the risk of contamination or the cross-contamination of food or ingredients.
  • The following should be followed
  • Kitchen staff must ensure good personal hygiene
  • All tools, equipment and surfaces that come into contact with food being prepared or served must be kept clean
  • Meat should be thoroughly cooked or reheated
  • Deep frozen food should be thawed before cooking
  • Never reuse utensils with which have been used to prepare raw eggs or meat without first washing them with hot water and detergent
  • Never allow juices from raw meat to come into contact with other foods during food preparation
  • Use different chopping boards/knives/utensils/equipment/work surfaces wherever possible for raw and cooked and ready to eat foods
  • Do not use the same equipment, such as slicers and mincers, for both raw and ready-to-eat food
  • Cooked meat should never be placed back on a plate that was used for raw meat and has not been washed
  • Fruit, salads and vegetables must be washed thoroughly in clean water
  • Those involved in food preparation, cooking and serving must receive adequate supervision, instruction and training in food hygiene.

COOKING

The following points should be considered

  • Never touch prepared foods with bare hands
  • Always use sanitary cooking/serving utensils
  • Check thickest part of the food
  • Regulate thickness of foods
  • Stir foods in deep pots frequently
  • Internal temp higher than 75 ºC
  • Cook foods to proper internal temperature

IMPORTANT: Normal Cooking Procedures Destroy most pathogens, but not necessarily their spores or toxins.  

  • While cooking any stuffed preparation, Like stuffed chicken or turkey, it as advisable to cook the stuffing and then stuff the bird.
  • Food poisoning is more likely to occur from stuffed food, because:
  1. More manipulation by hands.
  2. Heat transfer is slow, letting bacteria in temperature danger zone for longer time.
  3. Temperature at the centre of food may not be adequate, so the staffing may not be cooked to the desirable stage
  • Always remember when handling left-Over Food:

IF IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT

  • Left –Over Food include:
  1. Displayed but not Sold or Eaten during meal time.
  2. Food Prepared but not used in cooking Functions.
  3. Food Produced in quantities more than that required. Left –Over Food Should be handled carefully, e.g.:
  • Stored below 4 ºC until required.
  • Discard left-over Food refrigerated for more than 3 days from preparation date
  • Should not be mixed with fresh food.
  • Should be covered and stored in Specific separate areas.
  • Reheated before serving only once, with very strict measures.
  • You should only reheat Left-over Food once. The more times you cool and reheat food, the more potential there is for food poisoning, bacteria might grow and multiply because the food is cooled too slowly, and might survive because the food isn’t reheated properly.
  • When you do reheat, make sure that food is reheated thoroughly, so that it is steaming hot all the way through
  • For big or catered events, hold reference sample of all foods served for 72 hours.
  • Generally, Keep Perishable and frozen food out of temperature danger zone (5°C to 60°C).
  • Ill or infected workers not allowed to handle food