Every person working in a food-handling industry must maintain a high level of safe food handling. This article is going to provide some basic safe food preparation tips.
The primary objective of the hygiene rules is to ensure a high level of food safety to protect customers. It covers the activities carried out by food service outlets that prepare and sell food to be consumed directly by customers or wrapped and pre-packaged before they are sold.
You can prevent the spread of food poisoning bacteria through good food handling practices and by maintaining good personal hygiene.
Good personal hygiene is one of the most important practices to ensure safe food.
Adherence to these safe food practices is essential in any food safety business. However, there is no reason why safe food handling should not be practiced in your home as well. SefeFood has some additional advices for kitchen hygiene and food safety for domestic kitchens.
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!
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Studies show a recent increase in the number of risk assessments and enforcement orders by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. It is perhaps a sign of the times with the statutory body protecting the health of consumers. This is done by calling for better hygiene, safety and standards across the food industry. With this in mind, the demand for appropriate safe food handling training is also on the rise. An online delivery businesses in particular are encouraged to ”get up to speed”.
In this article, we take a closer look at food safety requirements. We also look at why businesses need to take a more proactive approach to food safety training.
The online delivery market in Ireland is projected to reach more than €1.5 billion in the next five years. While the pandemic exacerbated the need for online deliveries, this figure has been rising for quite some time. This puts a pressure on food businesses to significantly improve the way they do business.
But what is causing this exponential rise?
We live in an increasingly busy world. Most people are therefore drawn to anything that saves them time, money and energy. As a result, customers continue to demand more choice and convenience. An online delivery was simply the next step in this evolution. However, this trend has also required businesses to consistently improve their ordering systems. Yet food safety, quality and standards had to be maintained if not improved.
Unfortunately, as evidenced with the enforcement orders, not all businesses are in compliance with food safety regulations. Online delivery businesses might also be struggling to keep up with the increased demand and the general requirement for improved quality and service in the food industry.
Moral of the story: safe food handling training is needed to ensure online delivery businesses are meeting and exceeding the required food industry standards.
Food safety is not just something you do. It is rather a key ingredient that must be ingrained into the mindset of a food business. When you place a strong emphasis on food safety, you demonstrate a commitment to quality. This helps nurture a sense of trust with customers. Food safety is also a way to uphold standards over time and make sure the business is abiding by the law.
Simply put, food handlers and managers are required to undergo training to adhere to regulations. This is to ensure they do things the right way. The same risks which apply to these roles are just as present in the everyday operations of an online delivery business.
Parasites, viruses and bacteria are common causes of foodborne illness. Online delivery exposes food to pathogens and safety issues such as temperature abuse and cross-contamination. Online training in safe food handling helps staff learn how to store and handle food properly. This will prevent customers from falling ill as a result of the above!
Personal hygiene is an extremely important part of online delivery. This is, unfortunately, often ignored by businesses. Quite often, this is a rather awkward topic to approach with staff. However, the food safety training covers everything from cleaning and sanitisation to hand-washing and other aspects of personal hygiene.
The objective of online food safety training is to provide the best possible experience to customers in the food industry. Proper training can ensure staff is ready to deliver safer, faster and better service. This will in turn improve the customer experience.
However, food safety training is not only a means of improving a business. It is also the core of food safety management which helps you comply with the law.
The Food Safety Authority is tasked with ensuring food is properly produced, marketed and distributed, while adhering to certain legal requirements and practices. One such requirement is that food businesses in Ireland must employ a food management system which fully adheres to the principles of the HACCP.
In fact, the responsibility for training staff on food safety lies with the business. You must also keep all food safety training certificates on file. All certificates must be available and ready to be verified in the event of an inspection. In other words, you are expected to take a proactive approach to online food safety training and there are consequences if you fail to comply with these requirements – including criminal prosecution!
Now, we emphasise these laws in order to highlight the competence of the Food Safety Authority as opposed to scaring you into taking action. At the same time, you cannot simply ignore them and food safety training is something which every food business in Ireland needs to provide for their staff.
In case you might be asking yourself, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) refers to an internationally recognised tool which enables individuals to identify, analyse and address food-related hazards. For instance, Level 1 food safety training provides the education needed to begin working with food and a typical course equips the individual with skills and knowledge related to hygiene, cleaning, food contamination and many more food safety topics.
Most food agencies including the FSA in Ireland recognise HACCP and these principles help guide the manner in which food is handled and transported. Online food safety training should therefore abide by HACCP principles and provide sufficient education for learners to put these principles into practice.
While you get to choose in terms of the platform, it’s important to invest in food safety training courses which adhere to the principles of HACCP. These certifications ensure the business is compliant with FSA regulations and help establish practices which promote food safety and quality at every turn.
Are you an employer that requires food safety training for staff? Perhaps you need to undergo this training yourself? MyElearnSafety provides online food safety training courses (HACCP) to keep you and your staff up to speed!
If your workplace has a fridge, a microwave, or a kitchenette of any type, food safety rules apply to you. If your work has ever held a potluck, food safety rules apply to you. If your workplace has ever ordered in food, food safety rules apply to you. If you bring a lunch to work, food safety rules apply to you. Essentially, food safety rules ought to be followed anywhere that there is food! Below are ten rules for food safety. These are general tips that apply to all workplaces.
Keep raw food separate from cooked foods to avoid cross-contamination. If raw food is spilled, or comes in contact with cooked food, clean it up and discard cooked food.
Know the Danger Zone! Bacteria can grow in temperatures between 40F and 140F, so keep hot food hot (above 140F) and cold food cold (below 40FC)!
Place raw food on the bottom of fridge. Avoid having raw food thaw and rip on other refrigerated items by placing raw food on the lowest shelf.
Wash fresh fruits, vegetables, and bagged salads and spinach. Washing produce ensures that harmful pesticides or raw food bacteria are removed before consumption.
Clean your work fridge out from time to time. Removed outdated products, questionable looking items, and any Tupperware that looks like a science experiment.
Keep the work refrigerator cool (below 40F). Install a thermometer in the fridge to be sure.
If you work has a microwave, be sure to keep it clean and free of debris. Have all employees cover their food when microwaving to prevent food from splattering.
To avoid harmful bacteria growth after a pot-luck lunch, ensure that all left overs get packaged up separately, and refrigerated right away.
If your work has a barbeque and hosts cook-outs for staff, ensure that meat is grilled to the appropriate internal temperatures. Have a meat thermometer on hand.
After preparing your lunch, heating a dish for a pot-luck or a BBQ, or dishing out some ordered food, ensure that proper clean up and disinfecting of all prep areas is completed.