Food safety standards mustn’t slip over festive season
WHEN it comes to food safety in the kitchen, accurate temperature control is crucial.
And so, with the festive period kicking off, bringing with it the likelihood of expanded menus, tighter turnarounds and busier services, it is vital that safety checks are not overlooked.
Chief amongst these is accurate temperature control.
Martin Brown, Hygiplas brand manager at catering equipment firm Nisbets, whose range includes the Hygiplas Multipurpose Stem Thermometer, said: “The importance of excellent temperature control and hygiene to maintain a high level of food safety is paramount within any foodservice environment.”
Mark Hogan, marketing and sales manager of Foodservice Equipment Marketing (FEM), underlined the importance of temperature control when it comes to food safety.
“Being able to easily and quickly check temperatures is a food safety ‘must’ in the modern commercial kitchen,” he said. “It’s also essential for food quality and consistency.”
In order to achieve consistent results, comprehensive staff training on food is crucial, according to Tim Stutt of Electronic Temperature Instruments (ETI).
Stating that all staff members who work with food “should be familiar with proper temperature monitoring”, he said: “The most important aspect here is employee training, and ensuring that the taking of key temperatures is a routine everyday operation.
“One person should be assigned primary responsibility for maintaining temperature logs or equipment, along with one back-up person.
“Temperature logs should be reviewed by the back-up person at least weekly.”
While the importance of regular temperature checks cannot be overstated, just as crucial is ensuring equipment is properly calibrated and checked frequently.
“The weekly checking of thermometers against a known accurate reference thermometer is recommended as good practice,” added Stutt at ETI.
Temperature probes: the basics
Base requirements for a commercial kitchen thermometer:
• Accuracy of 0.5°C
• Ease of use and easy to read display
• Speed of response
• Easy to clean – ideally water-resistant to enable light washing
• Different colours – most commercial kitchens have more than one thermometer. Utilise different colours to avoid cross-contamination
– Supplied by ETI