Do you own a catering business? If so you must know that food safety for catering is of the utmost importance, if you don’t want to spread illness to your customers and also be liable for legal action. If your customers fall ill after consuming your food, they can definitely complain about your products to the relevant authorities, and you could end up in a bit of a pickle. So here are some of the most important food safety tips that you should know about.
The majority of food contamination occurs during the food handling process according to studies that have been done, and for the most part, they are easily preventable. Therefore each member of your team should ideally possess a food safety for catering certification that can give them the qualifications that they need, in order to handle food. You should know about how you can prevent cross contamination. Cross contamination can happen when germs spread between food, surfaces and equipment. Make sure you keep raw meats and poultry separate from fresh produce. Use different chopping boards for different food items. Disinfect and wipe down surfaces after handling any raw food, and wash all equipment in hot, soapy water before using them again. Most importantly, wash your hands regularly, and remember to change gloves after handling any raw items.
Another very important component of food safety is preparation. Use separate chopping boards for vegetables, meats, fruits and the likes. Always, only use a chopping board to cut and chop your ingredients. Any other surface could harbour germs that can contaminate food. Use separate boards for raw meat, vegetables, and ready to use food, and wash boards with hot soapy water between uses. Always keep the food prepping area free of clutter to minimise contamination.
Food safety for catering takes food temperatures very, very seriously. Your food must always be cooked to the right temperature. You then need to hold the food at a temperature above 63 degrees to control the bacteria multiplication that would otherwise happen in the hot food. When you reheat food, you must always reheat to above 82 degrees with is legally required. If the food goes cold, the bacteria could easily multiply and your customers could fall very ill, very fast. That is not something any caterer wants to experience.
Your food storage must be on point and must leave no room for error. Store all your raw and cooked food at the right temperatures in the right containers. Chill or refrigerate items separately. Do not overfill the fridge as the air needs to circulate in order to maintain the right temperature. Use both an external and an internal thermometer. Food items should be kept in airtight containers. Meat and poultry should be at the bottom of the fridge to prevent anything dripping onto other food, which will cause cross contamination and encourage the growth and spread of harmful bacteria.
Now that you know how serious the risks of mishandling food are, why wait? Get your food safety certification with us or ensure that all of your team has the right qualifications. You can contact us on [email protected] for more information.