FOOD SAFETY AND HYGIENE

All volunteers must read this document to ensure they comply with the government standards for food safety and hygiene set out in the guidelines below.

1. Cleaning

You should do the following things:

  • Clean and disinfect food areas and equipment between different tasks, especially after handling raw food.

  • Clean as you go. If you spill some food, clear it up straight away and clean the surface thoroughly.

  • Use cleaning and disinfection products that are suitable for the job and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Do not let food waste build-up. Dispose of food waste suitably.

  • Use a cleaning schedule to make sure that surfaces and equipment are cleaned when they need to be. It can also help to stop cleaning products being wasted or used incorrectly

For more information, please watch this food safety cleaning video: https://youtu.be/bRh1N1My4GY

2. Cooking

Thorough cooking kills harmful bacteria in food. Undercooked food could cause food poisoning.

Most types of meat should be thoroughly cooked as there could be harmful bacteria in the middle. You should thoroughly cook the following types of meat:

  • Poultry, for example chicken or turkey

  • Duck and other fowl

  • Pork

  • Rolled joints

  • Products made from minced meat, such as burgers, sausages and kebabs

  • Kidneys, liver and other types of offal

Before you serve them, check that:

  • They are steaming hot all the way through

  • Any juices run clear

  • There’s no pink or rare meat inside

 

With whole cuts of beef and lamb such as steaks, cutlets and roasting joints (not rolled joints), it is usually only the surface which can be contaminated with food poisoning bacteria. Make sure the meat surface is properly cooked and sealed to kill any bacteria, even if the middle of the meat is still pink.

For more information, please watch this cooking safety video: https://youtu.be/jT7Le7L2PrQ

3. Chilling

Chilling food properly helps to stop harmful bacteria from growing. Some foods need to be kept chilled to keep them safe, for example:

  • Food with a use-by date

  • Cooked dishes

  • Other ready-to-eat food such as prepared salads and desserts

It is very important not to leave these types of food standing around at room temperature. Make sure that you:

  • Follow storage instructions

  • Put food that needs to be chilled in the fridge straight away

  • Cool cooked food as quickly as possible and then put it in the fridge

  • Keep chilled food out of the fridge for the shortest time possible during preparation

  • Check regularly that your fridge and display units are cold enough

When you are serving or displaying cold foods, they can be kept outside the fridge for up to four hours. If any food is left after this time, you should either:

  • Throw it away

  • Put it back into the fridge

Your fridge temperature

Cold food must be kept at 8˚C or below. This is a legal requirement in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For more information, please watch this food chilling safety video: https://youtu.be/TxKRq-jDD1I

4. Cross-contamination

  • To prevent cross-contamination, you must ensure that work areas, surfaces and equipment used for raw and ready-to-eat food are adequately separated.

  • Clean and disinfect work surfaces, chopping boards and equipment thoroughly before you start preparing food and after you have used them to prepare raw food

  • Use different equipment (including chopping boards and knives) for raw meat/poultry and ready-to-eat food

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food and after touching raw food

  • Always keep raw and ready-to-eat food separate and store raw food below ready-to-eat food in the fridge

  • Use separate cleaning materials, including cloths, sponges and mops for raw and ready-to-eat food.

Please watch this food safety cross-contamination video: https://youtu.be/cCpr11OuYKI

5. Transporting food

When you transport food, you must prevent it from becoming contaminated.

Vehicles and containers used to transport food must be:

  • Kept clean and in good condition

  • Protected in a way to minimise contamination

  • Capable of keeping food at the right temperature

  • Able to check food temperatures where necessary

When transporting, you must separate:

  • Different types of food such as raw food and ready-to-eat food

  • Food from non-food items

  • Food can be contaminated if vehicles and containers are not cleaned.

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