Food safety is critical to building consumer trust. Christian Salloum , managing director of Brandportunity FZE LLC, discusses why restaurateurs should ensure that their teams are fully trained in food preparation, processing and production. If food is not handled correctly, it can result in the rapid spread of bacteria, cross-contamination, allergies and potentially severe or life-threatening illnesses. To maintain a respectable and trustworthy reputation, restaurateurs must guarantee proper food handling, the utmost level of hygiene at all times, a sense of care and regular food handler training/refreshment programs across the year.

Food safety legislation
There are stringent food safety regulations in place for a reason. The complex legislation exists so that each business working with food does so safely and responsibly. It requires employers to ensure that each individual understands and adheres to their specific obligations. Food hygiene training covers each safety system and helps businesses remove or substantially reduce contaminants when handling products for human consumption. It also ensures that there are appropriate safety and monitoring systems in place.

Make sure food is safe to eat
If food is not safe to eat, it could make you sick. It’s essential to find a source and supply chain that is reputable. When guests dine at a restaurant, they want to know that they can trust that the food is good quality, responsibly sourced, hygienic and fresh. It’s essential to understand the food chain from the original source, such as the farm, all the way to the consumer. This involves numerous stages, such as production or harvesting, packing, warehousing and transportation.

“Food safety is compromised when hygiene is neglected at any stage of the food supply chain”

Prevent or control the spread of harmful bacteria All kinds of bacteria can develop and spread in and around food sources at any stage of the supply chain. Lack of hygiene makes food high risk if it is not handled correctly. Bacteria can be controlled at safe levels through proper hygiene practices:

  •  Proper storage and appropriate labeling
  • Temperature control
  • Appropriate food handling
  • Well-managed disposal of expired food
  • Proper consumption system in place FIFO (Fist In First Out) or FEFO (First Expired First Out)
  • Efficient and transparent paper trails These are also important points to follow at home with family, not only at a restaurant.

Eliminate the risk of food poisoning 
Bacteria, parasites and viruses can cause food poisoning, and cross-contamination can quickly occur across foods if chefs don’t follow the correct hygiene protocols. Unfortunately, it’s still common for people to experience mild to deadly food poisoning. If food safety legislation were not in place, the problem would quickly spiral. It is possible that chefs don’t know that the food is unsafe, so food hygiene standards, operations and practices should be in place to control any risk.

Protect vulnerable people 
Vulnerable people fall into the high-risk category when considering food safety risks. Examples of vulnerable people are:

  • The elderly
  • Children
  • Pregnant and nursing women
  • People who have a compromised immune system, such as those with cancer or with
  • HIV
  • People with serious food allergies
  • People following specific diet plans or treatment

Food hygiene roles 
How people behave around food is critical. Chefs and cooks must continually wash their hands when they are handling food to prevent the spread of bacteria. The same applies to personal health, such as coughing and sneezing around food. Teaching staff about food hygiene educates them on the importance of personal hygiene and how individuals maintain food safety techniques so that they don’t cause any embarrassment or harm to others.

Reduce food waste
Food waste is reduced when an efficient system is in place for managing food storage, handling, preparation and service. If food is not managed correctly and bacteria spreads, there might be a considerable loss of stock. All of these prevention techniques are taught on food hygiene course.

Improve efficiency
Every kitchen should have a process, routine and checklists in place. Correctly maintaining food hygiene and working efficiently ensures pride, job satisfaction, camaraderie and saving money on the soft costs of running a successful business. 

Build a positive reputation 
A food business with an exemplary hygiene rating will be instantly reputable. This will help with the overall success of the business if it runs alongside brand reputation, great food, excellent customer service and great hospitality. Without excellent hygiene, you won’t have a reputable business.

Secure a job in the food industry 
Certification shows that chefs are responsible and aware of the importance of hygiene alongside the restaurant managers and how stellar practices can have an effect on business. If a chef has studied food hygiene and has an up-to-date certificate, it’ll instantly show prospective employers that they understand the importance of food safety. Any food safety certification will put them ahead of the crowd. It’s essential to provide training and to maintain high levels of hygiene. Food safety is always compromised when hygiene is neglected at any stage of the food supply chain.

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