A Guide to Food Safety for Hospitality Businesses
If you own a hospitality business such as a hotel or a restaurant your staff must be aware of and comply with relevant food safety standards and procedures.
The food that you prepare and serve consumers must be safe to eat. This will cover all aspects of the food production chain from the manufacturer to transportation, receipt, storage and serving.
Every hospitality business that provides food to customers must have a policy that will outline the food safety standards that they have created and how they will comply with them. Staff must be properly trained, and the right practices must be implemented.
As well as this, businesses must maintain thorough safety records providing proof that food has been stored correctly.
There are many different systems that can be put in place to monitor food safety standards. This will include:
- Records of items produced to ensure that they meet acceptable safety standards.
- Keeping detailed temperature logs of equipment such as freezers and refrigerators.
- Implementing thorough cleaning schedules.
- Carefully checking deliveries to ensure that food packaging is intact and temperature-sensitive items have been transported at the right temperature.
- The delivery process is properly documented, and systems are in place to check deliveries.
The monitoring of food safety is important to reduce hazards either to an acceptable level or where possible eliminate them completely. Regular checking and monitoring will ensure that problems are identified early, and suitable controls can be implemented.
The HACCP Process
The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) process is a controlled system used by businesses in the food services industry to ensure that suitable controls are in place to manage the safety of food products.
Businesses in the hospitality sector must take a preventative approach to the risks associated with incorrect storage and transportation of food items. The purpose of the system is to reduce the risk of food safety hazards by identifying areas where food safety may present a risk. There are multiple stages to the HACCP process from delivery to chilled storage.
Checking the integrity of the product, identifying any defects or issues with packaging and confirming temperatures upon arrival.
Making sure that products are stored at the right temperature and in the right location.
The method of food preparation and when food will be prepared. This is important because it may affect the timing of the delivery.
The time between preparing and cooking.
The length of time food can be held at a specific temperature.
The length of time that food should be left to cool and what temperatures should be maintained during the cooling process.
Food must only be reheated once and reach the minimum temperature.
Stocks should only be held for a minimum length of time and food labelling is very important to make sure that this guideline is met.
The way in which food is served should be carefully considered well in advance. Food that must be served cold should be stored in the refrigerator for as long as possible to reduce the risk of contamination.
All of these steps are important for hospitality businesses, and specifically, those businesses who receive, prepare, cook and supply food for events.
For the HACCP system to prove effective, it is important that they:
- Identify areas where hazards can be controlled.
- Understanding any critical control points – points in the food journey where the hazard must be controlled.
- The maximum and minimum levels where the hazard must be controlled.
- Methods of eliminating or where this is not possible, reducing the hazard to the lowest possible level.
- Maintaining full and accurate records of the entire process.
- Preventing the Spread of Bacteria.
One of the most serious threats to food safety is the growth of bacteria. When food is stored at the incorrect temperature, this creates the ideal environment for the growth of bacteria. In ideal conditions, bacteria will multiply every 20 minutes so food can quickly become contaminated with millions of bacteria in a very short space of time. Some bacteria can also form spores which will protect them when conditions are unfavourable, making the bacteria almost dormant. When conditions become more favourable, bacteria can thrive making food contaminated and dangerous for human consumption.
The importance of temperature control has never been more important. With more and more hospitality businesses receiving and distributing food to events, making sure that food is transported at the right temperature is crucial. Preventing food spoilage will help:
- Avoid waste due to the deterioration of the food.
- Prevent the use of contaminated food which can cause illness.
- Save money on having to re-purchase spoilt items.
Temperature control is one of the most significant factors in a hospitality business, particularly for foods that are sensitive to temperatures such as meat, fish, dairy and some fruits and vegetables.
ICEOTEMP can help strengthen your HACCP systems, prevent food spoilage and ensure that the food you transport to clients or to other premises is safe for human consumption. Our vehicles keep accurate temperature records throughout the journey and deploy the latest technologies to make sure that food is safe for human consumption.
To find out more about our vehicles, please contact our team or browse our website. We have been in the industry for many years and we work with many different types of business including those in the hospitality sector. We understand that food safety standards are important, and we help you comply with our advanced technologies and specialist vehicles.