One of the most important aspects of food safety is temperature control- keeping hot food hot and cold food cold. By doing this correctly, bacteria growth can be minimised, therefore the spread of food borne diseases or 'food poisoning' can be reduced.
According to the Food Safety Standards, Potentially Hazardous Food must be stored at or below 5 degrees Celsius or at or above 60 degrees Celsius. Frozen foods must be stored at or below minus 18 degrees Celsius.
How can I improve Temperature Control in my Food Business?
The Food Temperature Logs (below) have been created to help you keep track of temperatures, to ensure all food is within the correct range. If your food business accepts deliveries of cold or frozen food from suppliers, you may find the 'Temperature Record - Delivery Checks' helpful. The 'Corrective Actions Record' is designed to help you keep track of any incidence of food not being held at the correct temperature, and the corrective actions you take to remedy the issue.
Cleaning and Sanitising
How can I improve the cleanliness of my food business?
Another crucial element of food safety is cleanliness. In order to comply with the Food Standards Code, food businesses must maintain their premises and all equipment in a clean and sanitary condition. Operators must ensure all equipment and surfaces are free from accumulation of dirt, food waste, grease and any other visible matter.
Bacteria can be transferred to food when dirty surfaces or equipment is used. This can lead to food poisoning from bacteria such as: Salmonella, Listeria and Cryptosporidium. By keeping your food premises clean, you are minimising the risk of food poisoning and other illnesses.
What is the difference between cleaning and sanitising?
When operating a food business, it is important to note the difference between 'cleaning' and 'sanitising'. Before a surface can be sanitised, it needs to be cleaned.
Clean means 'clean to touch', so cleaning includes removal of accumulated dirt, dust, food particles, odour and grease.
Sanitise means to reduce the number of bacteria, by the application of heat and/or chemicals. Surfaces must be sanitised to a level which is safe for food contact.
How do I develop a Cleaning Schedule?
An easy and effective way to ensure your food business is kept clean is to develop a cleaning schedule. A cleaning schedule is a set of instructions that lists everything that needs cleaning and/or sanitising, how it needs to be done and who is responsible.
To develop a cleaning schedule, go through the premises and make a list of all the items, surfaces and equipment that need cleaning. Include visible surfaces such as walls, floors, ceilings, bench tops, shelving, as well as all equipment, fixtures and fittings. Also include areas which are not visible, which may require cleaning less regularly, such as behind and under equipment. Next to each item to be cleaned, note how it needs to be cleaned, and how often. Determine who is responsible for cleaning each item, and what chemicals/detergents need to be used. By keeping up to date with the cleaning schedule, you are not only helping keep your premises clean, you will also be assisting Council Environmental Health Officers when they routinely inspect your premises.
Below is a list of recommended cleaning frequencies. This will help you put together your cleaning schedule. We have also created a sample cleaning schedule, which you may print out and use.