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Guide on food safety and sanitation in the time of COVID-19

Now more than ever, food and beverage businesses should take extra precautions on how they prepare, handle, and deliver their products to their customers. They should follow the health and safety protocols set forth by the Department of Health and Social Care of the UK and the World Health Organisation.

Although there is no study yet that says coronavirus can be transmitted through food or beverages, it is still advisable to observe proper and safe food preparation to at least further minimise the risk of transmission of the virus.

With that said, here is a safety guide on how food and beverage businesses should prepare, handle, and deliver their products:

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When Preparing Food

Even without the current pandemic, food businesses should maintain a clean and safe working kitchen at all times. Doing so will help keep the food free of contamination, bacteria, germs, and other harmful elements. Some of the basics guidelines that kitchens should follow include:

  • Wear hairnets and hand gloves while inside the working station
  • Store goods in clean and sealed food containers
  • Clean the kitchen equipment and dishwares before and after use
  • Provide clean and accessible water and handsoap
  • Place an adequate amount of trash bins around the premises

Now that there is a pandemic, food business owners should observe added safety precautions to ensure their customers’ health. They can do this by incorporating additional steps to their normal cleaning processes. One of which is to use special cleaning products, including:

  • Disinfectants – to remove any traces of bacteria on surfaces
  • Sanitisers – to wipe out grime and grease that may carry bacteria

When Handling Food

When handling or cooking food, you should still perform your company’s pre-existing best practices. However, you should follow the government’s additional guidelines on keeping the food safe and free from contamination.

One factor that you should look at is the cooking temperature. As you may know, properly cooked food is less likely to carry bacteria. This is because heat can kill harmful pathogens, eradicating possible health risks from your products.

According to experts, bacteria can live in temperatures between 8 to 60 degrees Celsius. If you want to keep your food safe from contamination, you should cook the food at a temperature of more than 60 degrees Celsius.

When Delivering Food

Although the World Health Organization has said that the risk of transmission in food packaging is low, that does not mean that you shouldn’t take precautions on how you would package and deliver your goods to your customers.

Here are some precautionary steps that you should do:

  1. Wipe down your food packages
  2. Keep certain items in sealed and refrigerated delivery containers
  3. Have your delivery personnel wear hand gloves and face masks
  4. Remind your delivery personnel to maintain a certain distance when handing the delivered goods to the customers
  5. If possible, implement contactless payments

Conclusion

Food and beverage businesses should take extra precaution on how they prepare, handle, and deliver food to their customers, especially now that there is an ongoing pandemic. On top of their pre-existing safety protocols, they should practice regular disinfection and sanitation in their establishments, especially in their working kitchen. They should also make certain adjustments to their cooking processes to further ensure the health of their customers. Lastly, like everybody else, social distancing should be practised at all times when delivering food orders.

If you want to read more food and restaurant news in the UK, check out our blog today. We regularly publish food industry-related articles to help food and beverage businesses improve their products and services.

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