With all the excitement regarding your food, the Bureau has dedicated this area to updating you on some best practices that, when applied correctly, will reduce risk of foodborne illness resulting in costly complaints.
There are certain foodstuffs because of their very composition are classed as “high risk”. These are mainly our ready to eat foods, high protein foods such as chicken, ham, turkey, pork, beef, seafoods, dairy products, sauces, gravies, milk, eggs, nuts etc.
Remember also we have foodstuffs that are commonly linked with “allergens” e.g nuts, soy, gluten, dairy products, seafoods etc. It is therefore important that you label these products as a way of providing information to customers.
The hand is most important and common vehicle for transferring bacteria to foods and so hand hygiene is critical. Ensure that your staff is trained in correct handwashing procedures.
Always remember to separate raw from cooked or ready to eat foods and apply the FIFO system to assist with shelf life extension.
Store chilled foods at 5 degrees celcius and remember the refrigerators cannot cool hot foods, but will maintain the temperatures of foods, therefore only transfer foods to the refrigerator upon them reaching the cool temperature.
Remember certain bacteria can form heat resistance and heat stable spores which will be difficult to kill by ordinary cooking temperature. Spores are developed through improper heating practices and poor temperature conditions.
Remember to heat leftover foods only once and to discard leftovers. A leftover policy is an important part of your management procedure which should be enforced.
Remember one untrained personnel in your operation can render your business redundant. Ensure always that you have a training matrix which will help to keep track of training needs for your team members.
Submitted by: Food Hygiene Bureau, Jamaica