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Is the Food that you're Serving Safe?

Jul 12, 2008
Outbreaks of food poisoning have been in the news a lot as of late. As you know, many of these outbreaks were traced to restaurants. No matter where in the world you are, there are safety regulations which must be followed and Victoria, Australia is no exception.

Regardless of the kind of food you serve in your establishment, cleanliness and following safety regulations with regard to food handling are good habits to keep and can prevent food poisoning.

In many cases of food poisoning, Salmonella is the culprit. Raw poultry and eggs are generally the source of this bacterium in foods, but this bacterium can also be carried by contamination from faeces as well as pet reptiles. To prevent food poisoning occurring due to salmonella contamination, two steps can be taken. First, always thoroughly cook food, this will kill the bacteria. Second, regular hand washing before, during and after cooking will stop the transmission of this bacterium.

Escherichia coli, more commonly known as E-coli can cause severe illness and even fatalities in some cases. E-coli is naturally occurring in the human body and in some foods - but other strains can kill. E-coli bacteria make harmful substances which cause its symptoms, which include watery or bloody diarrhea. The methods of preventing E-coli are much the same as those for preventing the spread of salmonella - thorough cooking and hand washing. Washing one's hands should become a habit for anyone who works in a kitchen, as this can prevent food poisoning. Remember, you pick up everything with your hands; including germs!

With all of the stories about food poisoning in the news, it's understandable that some people are a little nervous about dining out. To make sure that your establishment keeps your customers safe from the risk of infection, be sure to follow the HACCP principles. HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points and is a set of principles designed to make sure that foods prepared for people to eat are safe. Many of these regulations are simply common sense, such as putting milk back into the refrigerator after use or dating items before freezing.

Running a restaurant kitchen requires that you stay on top of a lot of different things. If you've got employees whom you supervise, you must ensure they are up to speed on HACCP principles and adhere to them. You don't want all of the work you've put into your restaurant to be ruined by one mistake made out of ignorance of the HACCP principles.

Having a HACCP certified kitchen is very marketable. If you have received stickers or certifications from health officials, be sure to place them where your customers can see them. This way they know that the food which you are serving to them was prepared in a clean kitchen which complies with health and safety regulations and they can dine in without getting anxious.
About the Author
Author: Malcolm J. Richmond gives recommendations on food safety issues in commercial kitchens. Visit the "Food Safety" website for more great tips on HACCP Certification.
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