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Further information

Maintain your Food Safety Management System

HACCP or SFBB, make sure you are doing what your written system says you should be doing.  Ensure a manager is checking the records regularly, and that up to date records are available for inspection at all times.

Take temperatures accurately and at the right time of day

Ensure staff are not taking temperatures in advance. Do they know how to read the thermometer correctly?

Do not prepare food too far in advance

If you have to prepare tea at lunch, ensure that you have somewhere to store it safely (high risk food in the refrigerator not left out on the work surface).

Keep raw and ready to eat (RTE) foods separate (Even in the freezer)

Raw and RTE foods should be adequately separated in the freezer. It is good practice to even separate fully packaged foods to prevent possible contamination on the outer packaging of raw meat from touching the packaging of RTE foods.

Keep raw meat preparation away from RTE foods or ready to use cooking utensils

To prevent cross-contamination, where possible, prepare raw meat in a separate area, away from RTE food preparation areas (rather than separate chopping boards and knives). If the same area has to be used you need to ensure that you have a system in place for a thorough cleaning between raw food and RTE food preparation.  

Ensure cleaning is thorough

Follow a 2-stage cleaning process. Use heat disinfection (e.g. dishwasher) for utensils etc. Ensure your cleaning chemicals kill dangerous bacteria, including E.coli O157 (Read labels and look for those that conform to BS EN 1276 or BS EN 13697). Make regular checks to ensure staff follow instructions, particularly dilution strengths (where applicable) and contact times.

If you prepare food in advance make sure you put a ‘use by’ date on, even in the freezer

Food prepared in advance should have a date of preparation and a date which it should be used by.

Use your wash hand basin for washing hands, nothing else

Make sure you only use the wash hand basin for washing hands NOT washing food or cleaning utensils. Ensure that it is easily accessible at all times.

If your regular cook is off, make sure that records are maintained and systems are followed

Train all your staff who work in the kitchen, to follow your procedures and complete the documentation. Long or repeated gaps in your food safety records could mean the difference between a score of 1 or 5.

Instruct and train all staff involved in food handling

Remember it is the understanding of the systems, cleaning methods, correct temperatures of food etc. of the staff, that are on duty at the time of the inspection, that will be taken into account, when deciding your Rating.