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Hygiene and Safety in Food Service
In order to prevent food spoilage in food service following need to be taken care of.
Lack of proper attention to handling of food and negligence of personal hygiene lead to food poisoning and require serious attention. The incidence of food borne disease can be considerably reduced by certain healthy practices.
· Cook at high temperature to ensure that all bacteria are killed.
· Keep all perishable foods in a cool place or in refrigerator.
· Cover food to protect from dust, flies and other modes of infection.
· Avoid consuming moldy and foul smelling foods.
· Avoid damaged and bulging tin/ canned foods.
· Wash the foods carefully to ensure the removal of insecticide, worm, eggs, and other parasites sticking to it.
· Keep the utensils free from contami-nation.
· Ensure food handlers are healthy and free from disease.
· Avoid taking food with dirty fingers.
· Avoid tasting food while cooking.
· Maintain the three ‘E’s of safety – Engineering, Education and Enforce-ment.
Food hygiene and sanitation is highly important in food service operations espe-cially in larger scale as they might affect public health. Quality control, micro-bial safety and good personal hygiene are essential to keep food safe.
Hygiene in the kitchen is very important for the general cleanliness of the environ-ment and the people working there as it requires handling of food materials.
(i) Environmental Hygienic: The place where food is delivered, prepared and served.
Site should be free from air pollution and insects, water supply and sewage disposal should be taken care of. In structure, clean-liness of walls, floors, ceilings or any sur-face should be free from any hazards of infections.
Equipment like furniture and fit-tings need most attention to make it dust and dirt free. Thorough cleaning is required to avoid chemical residues that may contaminate food.
Need for proper ventilation is required in all areas of the kitchen. All kitchen should be provided with exhaust fans and extraction hoods above cooking range to remove impurities.
Kitchen should be well lighted to detect dirt, grease and infestation easily.
Water supply should be treated to ensure that it is fit for cooking and drink-ing and washing utensils.
Kitchen waste like peelings, trim-mings, plate waste, spillage, empty cans and bottles must be disposed immedi-ately from the kitchen, never be allowed to remain anywhere near the production, storage or service area. All these become contamination of food.
(ii) Hygienic Food Handling: In receiv-ing food materials quality of food received will go a long way. Check for microorgan-isms, accidental chemicals and pesticides.
In storage proper methods should be followed.
1. Temperature prevailing in storages.
2. Humidity in the storage environment.
3. Presence or absence of any type of in-fection.
Handling food at the stage of prepa-ration is very important from hygienic point as in receiving and storing. Food should be cooked as quickly as possible after the preparation, unless frozen for later use. In food service establishment food should be held for some time before service. The holding temperature for food, within the danger zone is 100C to 620C. In service food care is necessary to see all serving equipment is clean and server is not in any way contaminating the food. Tables must be clean. Clearing up is a vital part as far as hygiene is concerned. Otherwise it may spread infection quickly. All wastes should be emptied in pedal bins. Disposal should be emptied into the garbage bins. Waste food should not be transported open to safeguard the health of people.
(iii) Personnel Hygiene: It refers to the general health, personal grooming and working habits of all personnel.
In dress – Grooming – Health and Habits-following points should be adhered.
a. Wash hands, cut nails, short hair trimmed.
b. Clean shaved,
c. Do not touch food when suffering from cold, fever, diarrohea, cholera, jaundice and wound if any
d. Avoid licking fingers.
e. Clean working area regularly.
f. Keep all food covered.
g. Have bath daily.
h. Brush teeth twice a day.
i. Cover wounds properly.
j. Wear well-polished shoes.
k. Handle food correctly.
l. Leaning or sitting on the work table is an objectionable habit.
m. Resist from smoking.
n. Avoid chewing pans / chewing gums / betel leaves.
Safety: Safety implies the concern for providing conditions at work, which will protect people from infection, injury and theft. It also includes protection of prem-ises, equipment and other resources from infestation, damage and destruction. Safety measures to be adhered in food service operation for a healthy environment are:
a. Wear clean cotton clothes and head cap.
b. Switch off the gas first from the knob on the cylinder and then switch off the knob of the gas stove.
c. In case of fire close the main connec-tion / gas cylinder knob.
d. Do not place any newspapers, poly bags next to the lighted gas.
e. Keep the knives in a tray and then carry.
f. Do not leave any utensil unattended on the gas stove.
g. Add sufficient water in pressure cook-er, follow instructions carefully.
h. While frying hold the skillet firmly with tongs. Gently slide the food in hot oil.
i. Keep floors dry immediately wipe any spills on the floor.
j. Cool the food before grinding in the mixer / grinder.
k. Keep fire extinguishers in the lab at strategic points.
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