When running any business, it is important to know the regulations and requirements that are put in place to govern and run the industry. These are put in place to guide the business while ensuring you work on the right side of the law. This is no different from food caterers. With new information, research and technology coming up, it is vital to keep up to date with developments to ensure you follow them for the benefit of your business and your clients. This will benefit you by complying with the law, will reduce the risk of food poisoning among your customers and will also protect your business reputation in the long run.
Food hygiene is everything to a caterer and following guide will inform you on the requirements food caterers need to meet in 2016;
- Avoid cross contamination – This is when bacteria is spread between food, kitchen surfaces and equipment. This usually happens when raw food touches surfaces, equipment or ready to eat food and is the most common cause of food poisoning. Some ways to avoid food contamination include washing your hands thoroughly before preparing food and also washing them thoroughly after touching raw food. It is important to clean and disinfect work surfaces, equipment and chopping boards thoroughly before preparing food and after you have used them. It is important to keep raw food and ready to eat food apart at all times. This is important whne it comes corporate catering
- Cleanliness – Proper cleaning effectively gets rid of bacteria on hands, surfaces and equipment. Ensure your staff washes their hands properly before handling food. Clean and clear surfaces as you go and disinfect food areas thoroughly between different tasks especially after handling raw food. Ensure that you clear food waste that builds up and dispose of it in a hygienic manner.
- Proper chilling methods – Chilling food helps harmful bacteria from growing. Some food needs to be chilled to be safe e.g. cooked dishes and other ready to eat food such as salads and desserts. It’s important to not leave this food lying around at room temperature to prevent the growth and development of bacteria. Ensure any food that needs chilling (if hot/warm) is cool before chilling it.
- Cooking – Food needs to be cooked properly to kill bacteria. This is important especially in cooking meat and poultry.
- Training – Ensure your staff and team is well trained on the proper handling, preparation and storage methods.
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These guidelines will help you ensure your food catering business adheres to the law and will also help you maintain your great business reputation.