It is a legal requirement that any business that produces, distributes, or sells food must follow best food hygiene standards set out by food safety regulations in order to ensure that food is safe to consume.
During the busy Christmas season, it can be easy for food safety standards to slip. With more customers to cater to and an increase in temporary staff who may not be as used to working in a setting around food, it is crucial that employers keep on top of food safety and hygiene in the workplace during this period.
With that being said, what can employers do to ensure that food hygiene standards remain in tip-top shape?
Keeping on top of cleaning
Anything you use from a fork to a freezer is food equipment, and keeping equipment and working areas clean, tidy and undamaged is another key ingredient to ensuring the health and safety of yourself, your colleagues and your customers. This means:
- Keeping them free from dirt, grease and contamination
- Keeping them in good working order, and notifying your supervisor immediately if they’re not
- Removing objects from around the food area so they can’t fall into food
- And, reducing bacteria to a safe level and stopping it from spreading
As a food handler, one of the best mottos you can live by is ‘clean as you go’.
This means cleaning and tidying up after yourself during the working day, not just at the end of your shift, and also cleaning up spills when they happen, wiping down surfaces, tidying up after each task, removing waste bins and generally keeping your work area, equipment and yourself as clean and hygienic as possible.
Set personal hygiene expectations
Having high food hygiene standards and excellent personal hygiene at all times is crucial for all food handlers.
Keeping your hands clean is one of the most important things you can do to prevent bacteria from contaminating food.
Additionally, it is important that employees are provided with and wearing the correct PPE for food handling. This commonly includes hairnets, gloves, particular boots, aprons, jackets or smocks.
Other personal hygiene considerations include removing jewellery and other cosmetic products, wearing gloves, and having a first aid kit designed for food handlers.
Provide effective training
In the UK, it is considered best practice for organisations to ensure that their staff have up-to-date food hygiene knowledge, which can be demonstrated by taking online food safety training courses…
Our Food Safety & Hygiene Training courses can help your staff achieve Food Hygiene certificates quickly, cost-effectively, and easily work towards compliance with UK legislation, regardless of whether it's level 1 food hygiene training, level 2 food hygiene training, or level 3 food hygiene training. Our Food Allergy Awareness Training and HACCP Level 2 Training courses are also highly relevant for all food businesses.