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HYGIENE PRACTICE Good Hygiene Practice Scores High


in the Recognition of Success What is Food Hygiene? Good Hygiene Practice scores high in the recognition of success in the Catering industry. Below you will find a guide on how to improve good hygiene practice


‘Food hygiene is the action taken to ensure that food is handled, stored, prepared and served in such a way, and under such conditions, as to prevent as far as possible the contamination food.’


Bacteria will grow rapidly in foods, especially at higher temperatures, the danger zone is 5°C – 63°C. Outside of this zone, bacteria either stops growing, or grows very slowly. In order to prevent the growth of bacteria you simply have to maintain the appropriate temperature i.e. keep hot food hot, above 63°C, and cold food chilled below 5°C.


Personal Hygiene - Hands This is one of the easiest ways to spread bacteria, and in some ways one of the easiest aspects we can improve upon. Your hands come into contact with not only food, but also a whole range of equipment, which in turn can transfer the bacteria onto food; this is known as cross contamination. The solution is to wash your hands upon entering the food preparing area and prior to touching any food and also after each of the following tasks; • Handling raw meat, poultry, shellfish, eggs or vegetables • Using the wash room • Coughing or sneezing • Touching your face or hair • Any cleaning or handling of waste.


Keeping Hot Foods Hot Eating higher risk foods is safe providing it has been heated to the appropriate temperature. However, if there is a time lapse between cooking and serving, then it is possible for the food to fall into the danger zone. If the delay is intended, then it is important that the appropriate equipment should be used to ensure that the foods are kept at a safe temperature level, for example, when using a hot cupboard or Bain Marie. It is important that this equipment should already be at the correct temperature and that food should already be fully cooled before this equipment is fully used. The equipment you use should not be used to reheat food.


Keeping Cold Foods Cool Cold food should be kept at the appropriate temperature, until the nearest possible time until consumption and kept away from other


foods. They should be handled as


infrequently as possible to prevent the spread of bacteria onto them. Cold foods should always be kept covered.


Chilling and Reheating Foods If you do not intend to serve food immediately then it should be cooled down appropriately. As guidance food should be


Curry & Tandoori | Volume 11 | December 2011


below 10°C within 90 minutes and then promptly placed in the fridge. the


fridge this will increase the fridge/chillers, and increase the spread of bacteria.


Guidelines for Reheating Food Keep the food chilled as for as long as possible, until the reheating process commences. Also keep food covered and clear of other foods and divide into smaller portions. When re-heating, heat to at least 70°C for a minimum of 2 minutes, and finally, do not reheat food more than once.


Refrigeration A commercial fridge should operate between 1°C - 4°C. By putting food into the fridge you do not kill bacteria but simply remove one the requirements bacteria need to grow and instead becomes dormant until the temperature increases again. Keeping foods refrigerated is a short-term method and most foods fall in the one to a maximum of five days, however, this does vary.


Full information can be found on the


manufacturers labelling and should not be stored past its use by date.


Guidelines for Refrigeration Keep raw meat and poultry away from other foods, ensure that nothing (particularly raw meats) can drip onto food below, allow cooked food to cool before placing in the fridge, and keep all foods covered as much as possible. Do not overcrowd the fridge, as air need to circulate to keep food fresh, and also carry out regular temperature checks. In addition, minimise the amount of times the doors are opened and closed, and defrost your freezers on a regular basis, planning this into your diary is best practice.


Freezing Freezers keep food at a temperature of between -18°C to - 25°C. Deny bacteria all warmth needed to grow and moisture to form into ice, as this prevents bacteria from multiplying. Some bacteria will die as a result of this action. However, some will just remain dormant and will once again grow should temperatures increase. The length of time food can be frozen for depends on the type of food and the rating of your freezer. This can vary between 2- 12 months, keeping food longer


than manufacturer


guidelines may not result in contamination but could result in deterioration of quality.


Guidelines for Freezing The freezer should lower the temperature of the food to -22°C (the temperature should never rise above -18°C). Wrap, label and date all food. Store food neatly within the freezer and do not overload. Use old stock before new by rotating stock, and know the maximum storage periods for each food type, and keep the door shut properly.


The Bangladesh Cuisine  41


It is important not to put the hot food straight in as


temperature of


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