Hygiene and Sanitation in Food Business

Hygiene and sanitation are the foremost considerations in setting-up and managing a food service business. It is the responsibility of the food service operator to take care of the health of the customers and workers. This can be done through knowledge of proper hygiene and sanitation even before the operation starts.

A. Water

This is to ensure the cleanliness of the food, equipment at the dining area, and the surroundings. Make sure that you have clean water containers that are always covered.
It should be boiled if you are not
sure if it is safe from germs and other bacteria. You may use water purifier or buy mineral water if you have enough funds.

B. Clean Surroundings

Dirty and messy working areas bring about most cases of food contamination or food poisoning. Pests and insects like rats, flies and cockroaches that touch the food bring bacteria that may cause disease. Because of this, cleanliness, orderliness and maintenance of a pest control system in the kitchen and dining area, is important. The dining area should be cleaned regularly. When spraying insecticide, do it during evenings when the eatery is closed to the public. Keep equipment and utensils safely covered in the kitchen to avoid being sprayed by insecticides.

C. Sanitation Head

It is advisable to have one staff in charge of maintaining the sanitation of your kitchen and dining area. Working table, sink, stove and other cooking equipment should be cleaned daily. Dining utensils should always be sterilized. General cleaning should be done every week to control insects and other pests.

D. Proper Food Handling

In the food service business, proper food handling and storage is important to avoid spoilage and wastage. Remember, spoiled food that is served would damage your reputation and business. It may even cause harm to the customers. Avoid buying food or ingredients that are easily spoiled. Determine the shelf life or the length of time food or ingredients will stay edible. For example, fish can be stored in the freezer for 2 to 3 days only. Leafy vegetables should be cooked on the day bought; and meat should not be stored in big cuts because the inner part of the meat will not be frozen.

E. Waste Disposal

Having a proper system in waste disposal should not be disregarded. Segregate wet and dry garbage. Put black plastic bag in the trash can for ease in disposing the garbage. The black plastic bag should be closed and tied when already full to avoid being reached by flies and other insects.

F. Cleanliness, Orderliness and Health of Workers in the Food Service

These are other important considerations in the food service business. Give specific responsibilities to all workers and make it clear to them that it is their responsibility to satisfy and ensure the health and safety of the customers. Ensure also that the cook and waiters have clean bill of health. Require them to have regular medical checkups. Only in this manner can anyone be assured as to whether or not they are afflicted with a communicable disease.

G. Uniform or Clothes of the Workers

The clothes or uniform of the cook and waiters should be given consideration. Clean and neat clothes and uniforms give the food business a good reputation. Wearing an appropriate outfit is one way of showing respect to the customer.

source: www.trc.dost.gov.ph, photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net

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