Bacteria can be transferred to food when dirty surfaces and equipment are used. This leads to food poisoning from bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria and Cryptosporidium.
Council's Environmental Health Officers routinely inspect premises and regulations exist to ensure food is safely prepared, stored and handled. These are outlined in the Food Safety Standards
This is one of the most important aspects of food safety - keeping hot food hot and cold food cold. Correct temperature control minimises bacteria growth and the spread of food poisoning.
Potentially hazardous food must be stored at or below 5 degrees Celsius or at or above 60 degrees Celsius. Frozen food must be stored at or below minus 18 degrees Celsius.
Food Temperature Logs
Food Temperature Logs have been developed to help you keep track and ensure all food is stored within the correct range. They are also useful when accepting deliveries of cold or frozen food and the Corrective Actions Record is useful for keeping track of food that has not been stored correctly and the steps taken to resolve temperature issues.
Various Food Temperature Logs are available to download from the Helpful Documents sidebar to the right on this page.
Cleaning and sanitising
It's important to note the difference between cleaning and sanitising.
Cleaning means "clean to touch" and includes removal of accumulated dirt, dust, food particles, odour and grease.
Sanitise refers to reducing the numbers of bacteria. For areas to be safe for contact with food, surfaces must be sanitised to a certain level through the application of heat and/or chemicals.
Develop a cleaning schedule
Do an inventory of the premises and make a list of all the items that need cleaning. Include walls, floors, ceilings, bench tops, shelving, equipment, fixtures and fittings. Remember to include less visible areas such as behind and under equipment. Make a note of how each area is to be cleaned and how often. Determine who is responsible for the cleaning and what chemicals/detergents need to be used.
A Cleaning Schedule template and information on cleaning frequencies and procedures are available to download from the Helpful Documents sidebar to the right on this page.