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Selling or Advertising Food Online

Selling or Advertising Food Online

Selling or advertising food online has become a norm nowadays. However, before anyone decides to sell or advertise food online they have to make sure to research any relevant food safety laws.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has developed a Selling or Advertising Food Online leaflet with essential information for all those who are selling or advertising food online (including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages). Although published in 2017, this is a relevant guide that lists the mandatory information you must provide to the consumer when selling food online.

 

Selling or Advertising Food Online Guide

The guide makes it clear that if a food business sells or advertises food online, they are responsible for the food information provided to their customer and must comply with relevant food law. The guide goes on to highlight key areas which food businesses selling or advertising online should address, including:

Although this leaflet focuses on the rules for selling food online, the rules also apply to food sold or advertised by any other means of distance communication.

 

Meeting the Requirements

Any food supplied through distance selling must meet the same information requirements as food sold in a physical premise e.g. a shop. The Regulation defines “means of distance communication” as “any means which, without the simultaneous physical presence of the supplier and the consumer, may be used for the conclusion of a contract between those parties”.

Common methods of selling food by means of distance communication include:

 

If you sell food online, you must comply with the relevant food law. The main purpose of food law is to ensure that food available for consumers to buy is safe. It also requires food businesses to provide consumers with the necessary information about food, so that they can make an informed choice at the time of purchase. Food law prohibits the use of misleading information.

To find about requirements for selling or advertising food online please refer to this Selling or Advertising Food Online leaflet published by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).

 

Online Food Safety Training

Please remember – it is a legal requirement that staff who are involved in a food environment are trained and/or supervised commensurate with their work activity!

Myelearnsafety offers fully online Food Safety (HACCP) courses.

To find out more, please check our Courses page.

Alternatively, should you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to let us know via email info@elearn.ie

eLearn Online Health and Safety Training

eLearn Online Health and Safety Training

Storing Food After Delivery

Storing food after delivery is very important when food safety is considered and the food should be stored as quickly as it can be put away. For instance, in a previous eLearn Safety blog post Receiving Food Delivery from 19th January 2024 we talked about the importance of proper and planned handling of food deliveries. Most importantly, it is very important to note that once the food is accepted from delivery operators it should be unpacked from the outside packaging before storage. In addition, frozen foods should always be stored first. It is extremely important to remember that raw meat and ready-to-eat foods should be handled and stored separately. All food handling staff should be competent and trained in safe food handling. An easy and convenient way to achieve this is by taking one of eLearn Safety fully online Food Safety courses.

 

Plan for Storing Food After Delivery

Never tightly pack food in storage areas. For instance, food should always be kept at least 15cm above the floor and at least 5cm away from the walls. This is because it will make cleaning and pest inspections easier.

In addition, keep records of all food temperatures. If you observe high temperatures, report this immediately to the Supervisor/Manager. This can be the result of a delay in storing food, allowing it to warm up to room temperature. Such delays can be avoided by having allocated time slots for staff to store food correctly.

 

Contamination is Dangerous

Food contamination is very dangerous! You must remember to:

 

Stock Rotation

Stock rotation is important when we talk about storing food after delivery. Therefore, you should always practice a FIFO system (First In First Out). In addition, you should label each item so that anyone who would check for these items knows when it was delivered and its shelf life. For instance, never sell food that has passed its Use-By date and make sure that all the correct storage requirements are followed.

For additional information about Use-By and Best-Before dates please check eLearn Safety blog entry Shelf-life of Food Products from 10th March 2023. In addition, you might find some very useful information on Teagasc website and their page Shelf Life of Food Products from 9th January 2022.

 

Basic Storage Rules

Always remember to:

 

Online Food Safety Training

Please remember – it is a legal requirement that staff who are involved in a food environment are trained and/or supervised commensurate with their work activity!

Myelearnsafety offers fully online Food Safety (HACCP) courses.

To find out more, please check our Courses page.

Alternatively, should you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to let us know via email info@elearn.ie

Receiving Food Delivery

Receiving food delivery is an important activity in any food handling business. This is to ensure that all food is received fresh and safe when it enters the foodservice operation. All food deliveries must be moved to proper storage as quickly as possible.

 

Getting Ready for Receiving Food Delivery

Clean designated receiving tables must be provided for all food. It is essential to keep raw meats away from ready-to-eat food such as salads, breads, etc. If the food is not separated, dangerous contamination can occur. It is very easy in a busy environment for delivered foods to come into contact with each other. This is why great care must be taken at all times to prevent this. Always use separate probes for different types of food. For example, never use a probe that was just used for raw meat, such as chicken, to measure the temperature of a ready-to-eat food. Never bring packaging material into the kitchen. It may have become contaminated outside.

Record and check all food coming into the kitchen. All personnel responsible for receiving and storing must be fully trained and empowered to reject any food that is not fit for use. eLearn Safety offers an easy and convenient way to train your staff in basic safe food handling through fully online food safety courses. The Food Safety (HACCP) Level 1 is an ideal starting point! This course is designed to introduce participants to food safety and hygiene issues. It is based on the training criteria set down by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s Guide to Food Safety Training Level 1.

 

Things to watch Out For

It is important to check every delivery before the food is accepted.

Always check the following:

  1. Inspect the delivery truck when it arrives to ensure that it is clean, free of putrid odors. The truck must be also organised to prevent cross-contamination. Be sure refrigerated foods are delivered on a refrigerated truck.
  2. Check the interior temperature of refrigerated trucks.
  3. Confirm vendor name, day and time of delivery. Verify driver’s identification before accepting delivery. If the driver’s name is different from what is indicated on the delivery schedule, contact the vendor immediately.
  4. Check frozen foods to ensure that they are all frozen solid and show no signs of thawing and refreezing. For example, look for the presence of large ice crystals or liquids on the bottom of cartons.
  5. Check the temperature of refrigerated foods.
  6. Check dates of milk, eggs, and other perishable goods to ensure safety and quality.
  7. Check the integrity of food packaging.
  8. Check the cleanliness of crates and other shipping containers before accepting products. Always reject foods that are shipped in dirty crates.

The above list is an important practice – not for safety alone, but for quality as well.

 

Rejecting Foods

Food must be always rejected if the food packaging is damaged, there are signs of pests and relevant food temperatures are not observed. A record of all received and returned food should be kept.  Similarly, it is important to store food as quickly as it can be put away. Above all, always remove outside packaging and store frozen food first. In addition, raw meat should be transported and stored separately from ready-to-eat foods. Never accept a delivery that is left outside of your premises and exposed to elements! Always receive food deliveries directly from a delivery person!

 

Online Food Safety Training

Please remember – it is a legal requirement that staff who are involved in a food environment are trained and/or supervised commensurate with their work activity!

Myelearnsafety offers fully online Food Safety (HACCP) courses.

To find out more, please check our Courses page.

Alternatively, should you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to let us know via email info@elearn.ie

Food Contaminants

Food contaminants are those things with the potential to contaminate food and make it unsafe to eat. The things that contaminate food are known as ‘food contaminants’.

 

Types of Food Contaminants

Food contaminants may be either:

 

Food Contamination Examples

The things that contaminate food can either exist in the food naturally or be added to it at some point before it is eaten.

Each food handling business must foster a positive food safety culture. Failure to comply with basic food safety legal requirements is not only a potential risk to public health, but also a risk to the food business’s reputation if things go wrong.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) reported that ten Enforcement Orders were served on food businesses during the month of November for breaches of food safety legislation:

Some of the reasons for the Enforcement Orders in November include: evidence that people were living and sleeping in the food preparation area; dead mice found in the ingredient storage area which is a part of the food production area, along with numerous mice droppings on shelving; ongoing cockroach infestation in the kitchen, storage areas and on the shop floor; large food storage containers found to be covered in food debris, dirt and cobwebs; evidence of mould and mildew on a chip storage container and on the chip scoops; inadequate temperature control measures in place for high-risk foods; no evidence to demonstrate that the food business operator was trained in food safety, with no evidence of a food safety management system; heavy deposits of mouse droppings behind the fridge, freezer and in the main food preparation area and in the dry goods store; evidence that food infested by rodent droppings was placed on the market; an establishment operating as a meat cutting plant, also producing meat preparations and meat products, without approval from the competent authority.

 

Online Food Safety Training

Please remember – it is a legal requirement that staff who are involved in a food environment are trained and/or supervised commensurate with their work activity!

Myelearnsafety offers fully online Food Safety (HACCP) courses.

To find out more, please check our Courses page.

Alternatively, should you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to let us know via email info@elearn.ie