All of the world’s population are born into this world, surviving on their first beverage of choice: milk (minus, of course, those who are lactose intolerant). As people grow older, their dairy choices expand into different flavours of milk, cheese, ice cream and other related consumable foods and beverages.
Contrary to its innocent appearance, dairy is considered a perishable or high-risk food product. This means that for every item of dairy purchased, there are proper ways to store it and proper ways to handle it with special care.
Because foods bought and stored within food businesses are usually done so in bulk amounts, all high-risk food must be monitored closely and stored properly to prevent perishables from spoiling or worse, causing those dreaded cases of food poisoning.
With such a large amount of different foods, ingredients, cookware and people to always be aware of in an industrial kitchen, the overall thought can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming to employees. By keeping the biggest and most important points in the front of your mind, though, it will help keep track of the smaller but equally important rules of thumb.
Try following these important tips to help in remembering what to do when handling dairy products:
- Keep out of the danger zone: Bacteria that causes food poisoning grows and multiplies the fastest in temperatures that run between 5 degrees Celsius and 60 degrees Celsius.
- Never assume the expiration date: All dairy products come with an expiration date printed on the container – ALWAYS check this date before purchasing dairy product and before using them for consumption!
- Keep dairy products away from the freezer: (See the danger zone above) There is a common misconception that the freezer keeps everything fresh. While it works for certain food groups, dairy is definitely not one of them! Freezing dairy products creates an oasis for bacteria allowing it to migrate at the bottom of the food container. For certain dairy products, such as cheese and yogurts that contain good bacteria, freezing will make this type of food lose its flavour.
- Stay away from unpasteurised (raw) dairy products: Sure, it may be richer in taste but pasteurised products destroy the E. coli and other bacteria found in raw dairy products. When serving customers or clients, always stick with pasteurised dairy products!
The bottom line is that dairy products are extremely risky and spoil the faster with greater results than the other food groups. Making sure that all of your food business staff is well informed about providing the proper storage and care when handling or cooking with these ingredients will keep your kitchen much more organised and your food always tasting its best!
A CD-ROM entitled ‘All about allergens’ has been produced to provide a self-access resource for small business owners in the food industry to learn about food allergens. You’ll notice that I was one of the advisors on developing the CD.
Recently, I’ve been working with the AMES as a consultant to produce a video training series. I was involved in training and content development, and we’ve produced a fantastic set of videos. Here’s a sneek peak at what you can see.
If you have any questions on Allergens, please don’t hesitate to contact me for info. Also, here’s a link to where you can check out the entire series.
Recently, Food Processing News did a write up about me – Gavin Buckett, in their Spring 2008 edition. While I generally avoid the limelight, I thought I might share the story with you, my devoted blog readers.
Gavin Buckett completed the Diploma of Food Technology in 2002 and the Diploma of Confectionery Manufacturing in 2003.
Gavin found a passion for food through a part time job while studying Accounting in 1989 and has been involved in the food industry ever since. Fifteen years cooking included winning the Blue Flame Award for Victorian Apprentice of the Year and the Daryl Cox Memorial Trophy. Work also included stints in Singapore and Malaysia.
In 2003, while still cooking, Gavin gained tertiary qualifications in Food Technology and Confectionery Manufacturing at William Angliss Institute.
Gavin is a registered food safety auditor and food safety trainer and specialises in the preparation of HACCP certified food management systems and food allergen management solutions.
“I went to William Angliss Institute for a couple of years studying Food Technology and Confectionery Manufacturing. At the graduation dinner for the course, I was talking to the course coordinator and he gave me the contact details of someone who he said I should call. So I rang her up and introduced myself. She had a client who needed help achieving HACCP accreditation and had too much work on. We developed a relationship and I began to take on her overflow work.” That’s how I started my business in 2003 – totally by accident! I made one phone call and all of a sudden I needed an ABN.”
“I started AGB Solutions Pty Ltd with my wife, Angela in 2005. We are a specialist provider of Food Safety Solutions and Quality Assurance Services to all areas of the food industry including food and beverage manufacturers, distributors, restaurants, caterers, hospitals and aged care facilities to name just a few.”
Future plans for AGB Solutions include working closely with the DHS on the allergen training project, preparation of web based manuals for commercial and domestic clients, an increased range of specialised food safety products and regular food safety based workshops.
Gavin can be contacted at email@example.com or through his website at www.australianfoodsafety.com.au.