Tag Archive for 'food poisoning'

Australian Food Safety Specialist Gavin Buckett Interviewed On Channel Nine Show “Mornings.”

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If you own a food establishment, then watch out!

Council food inspectors could be soon knocking on your doors to check whether your food business complies with Australian food safety standards and regulations.

Recently, our Founder and Managing Director Mr Gavin Buckett was interviewed on the “Mornings” show on Channel 9 about the standards for food safety in Australia. Of course, what was talked about wasn’t entertaining, especially for the 445 ‘sloppy businesses’ in Brisbane that paid fines totalling $579,700, for the lack of sufficient food safety standards, but the purpose of the story was to focus on ways that customers can spot the safe places to eat.

You can watch the interview as TV presenters Sonia Kruger and David Campbell have turned food safety into a small, focused debate that will open your eyes to what customers should look out for the next time they dine out at your restaurant.

You can watch the video interview by clicking the image below:

Food-safety-expert-Gavin-Bucket-interview-on-Mornings-Show

Gavin Buckett’s advice for diners:

A lot of kitchens are open plan so you can see the staff, and where food is being prepared. You can see what they’re doing, the uniforms they’re wearing, and even if they’re washing their hands. Always take a look at the environment the food is being prepared in.

Advice for food businesses and restaurants:

Don’t gamble with food safety! At The Gourmet Guardian we work confidentially and cost-effectively with food businesses to:

• Reduce potential food safety dangers you might not know about

• Prevent dangerous outbreaks

• Uncover hidden issues that might be just as problematic and costly.

We can also help empower your employees with fun and engaging food safety training through our RTO Prime Skills website: Click here to make sure your business is Food Safety compliant.

As the Brisbane Council says: “Clean up or close up.”

When it comes to food and the health of your patrons, there is no room for shortcuts.

 

Kitchen Bacteria

salmonella-bacteria-food-largeWhen people get a bacterial infection, antibiotics are used to kill harmful bacteria that are safe to the human body. For other bacteria found within food or contaminated surfaces and utensils, different methods, such as heat, UV radiation and chemicals are used to effectively control bacteria.

Methods used to kill bacteria and control it from spreading is known as microbial control which consists of three general categories:

  • Physical – heat, freeze-drying, ultraviolet radiation and filtration
  • Chemical – chemical agents like disinfectants Lysol or Clorox, destroy most vegetative cells
  • Chemotherapeutic – antibiotics used to treat patients diagnosed with an infectious disease

The most commonly known bacteria often found in the kitchen is called Salmonella. Salmonella bacteria are found inseparate158 raw meat, especially raw poultry eggs, unprocessed milk and surprisingly, chocolate! If consumed, these bacteria can cause many not-so-good sicknesses, otherwise known as, food borne illnesses. With over 2,000 different strains of Salmonella, all forms can result in unpleasant to serious symptoms of food poisoning if it’s not prevented beforehand.

Cutting down on the amount of Salmonella poisoning that enters the kitchen or gets spread across the countertops can be easily managed just by following a few simple steps:

  • Cook raw meat thoroughly to the proper temperature
  • Properly refrigerate and freeze food
  • Always thaw food in the refrigerator and never leave sitting out at room temperature
  • Separate raw meat and fish to keep them from touching each other or other food when shopping and storing
  • Keep cutting boards for raw meat and other food separate and stored in a different location so that you don’t mix up the cutting boards
  • Wash hands, utensils and kitchen surfaces thoroughly with hot, soapy water as soon as you’re finished touching raw meat to prevent bacteria from spreading

Having a clean kitchen is extremely important, whether it’s in the home or in a fine dining restaurant, it’s inevitable that raw meat will end up on kitchen counters, sinks and storage areas before getting cooked. Because of this, the safest and most effective methods of cleaning are needed to keep these kitchens cooking!

Disinfectants are one of the most popular AND most important chemicals used in kitchens because of the compound it Chef Cleaning Countercontains that destroys or inhibits the growth of bacteria. When disinfectants are applied to countertops, sinks, trashcans or other areas, its chemical reactions completely wipe out those little microbes.

Sterilisation is obviously the best way to sanitise anything but when talking about ingesting food, disinfectant is less extreme and much less likely to endanger people, pets and plants when applied the right way.

Different disinfectants do work differently than each other with some holding the potential to kill bacteria and others, to simply stunt its growth. That’s why it’s extremely important to know which type of disinfectant you’re buying before bringing it into your kitchen

While there are several types of these disinfectants out on the market, there are two basic types that most people are familiar with: Typical disinfectant and inhibitors. The difference between these two types is that your typical disinfectant stops the growth of bacteria by killing them and your inhibitors only prevent bacteria growth.

Much like taking antibiotics for too long can become ineffective to your immune system, disinfectants can also become less effective after prolonged use. Sometimes, a few bacteria escape the cleaning process and produce new populations resistant to the specific disinfectant.

cleaning-kitchenThese little fugitives can then develop altered genetic structure that allows it to survive additional antibiotic treatments which delves into a whole deal of science that only specialised scientists can fully understand!

The bottom line is, know your kitchen disinfectants and even more importantly, know how to use them because this will make ALL of the difference between delicious, healthy food and sickening, food poisoned food!

Food Poisoning Report

Protect your business and your clients
from getting food poisoning!

Did you know that there are 2,700,000 cases of food poisoning in the food service industry in Australia every year? (5,400,000 when you consider Australian households).

That’s more than the population of Brisbane, Wollongong and Sunshine Coast combined!

Fortunately, the majority of these tragic ‘accidents’ are easily avoidable as long as your employees handling, preparing and transporting food understand how to prevent good food from going bad.

That’s why The Gourmet Guardian has released a special and timely report to help you, your managers, supervisors, chefs, kitchen hands and employees understand how to prevent food poisoning outbreaks before they happen.

Even when there are no ‘casualties’,
food poisoning is STILL deadly… to your business!

While many food poisoning victims recover in a few days, it can cause hospitalisation and trigger chronic diseases like fever, vomiting and diarrhoea.

That’s the good news.

The flip side… In rare instances it can prove fatal to young children, the elderly and sometimes even healthy adults.

That would be tragic for you and your business!

Thankfully, the prevention is better than the cure… and, thanks to The Gourmet Guardian, the ‘cure’ is easy.

You can start implementing it in the next 5 minutes.

Click here to download your complimentary copy of the Top 10 Causes Of Food Poisoning report

Click on the image to download your complimentary copy of the Top 10 Causes Of Food Poisoning report

This special report is published by Gavin Buckett who has vast experience including15 years as a qualified chef, food safety trainer implementing HACCP systems in at least a dozen market sectors as well as six years as a registered food safety auditor, which in 2008 culminated in achieving the highest Level 4 – High Risk Auditor status in the National Food Safety Auditor Scheme.

In this important document, you will discover the top ten causes of food poisoning. This list is not “ranked” in any particular order as we don’t want you to think that one is more or less important than another.

All 10 are equally important. With this special report in hand, all you have to do is go through the 10 points and tick off the boxes to ensure your food operations are not putting your clients, your staff and your business at risk.

This special report will also educate you about the following:

  • IMPORTANT! How high risk cooked foods must be cooled to keep them outside the DANGER ZONE!
  • How to ensure the food you serve and sell is ‘SAFE’ from salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria and deadly viruses!
  • The right temperature food must reach when reheating.
  • The ONLY foods that do not require further cooking prior to consumption and the ones that do.
  • An easy way to find out if your food suppliers are playing Russian Roulette with your business!
  • What you must know abut the Critical Control Point – Psst! Most food businesses get this wrong.
  • How to reduce the number of dangerous micro-organisms to an acceptable level.
  • What you must know about defrosting – before you get burned (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun)!
  • The 3 sources of cross-contamination – You might be surprised to learn NONE of them has anything to do with food!
  • How to control the potential hazard in your workplace.

This special report will at the very least give you 10 practical and important points you should implement in your food service business IMMEDIATELY…

Did you know that a restaurant in Sydney
wasn’t aware of one of these points,
killing one man and making another 12 people sick?

That was just from 1 point out of the top 10.

They might have got 9 out of 10 but were “unaware” of 1 of these requirements.

Pretty scary isn’t it. Definite “food for thought” …

Don’t leave food safety to chance!

Download this important report immediately and discuss these points with your staff as soon as possible.

Click here to download your complimentary copy

Click here to download your complimentary copy

Let’s face it…

Having food authority inspectors and environmental health officers breathing down your neck is not fun.

They could close your business ‘until further notice’ or for good!

Worse still, you could plead guilty in the industrial court to counts of handling and selling unsafe food. Heavy fines and penalties, or worse, you could kill someone.

Don’t take the risk of food poisoning lightly –
especially when prevention is so easy.

2UE Interview On Dirty Chinese Restaurants.

Gavin Buckett was interviewed on Sydney’s 2UE 954 Talk Back Radio yesterday. Click on the hyperlink to listen to the 5 minute interview that discusses the NSW Food Authority Name and Shame register and Chinese restaurants that seem to occupy most of the top of the list.

GOURMET GUARDIAN
2UE INTERVIEW David Oldfield


CLICK ON IMAGE TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW
(Full Transcript Below)

2UE Footer

Click on the image to listen to the interview right now

Eating out is a bit of a common place thing of course in the 21st century but also a long time before that.  The news is that the New South Wales Food & Safety Authority have named and shamed a whole series of restaurants and Chinese cuisine has predominantly hit the top of the list.  So is it a question that the cuisine you choose may determine your chances of getting sick or is it just that we’ve got more Chinese restaurants than anything else?  How does it work out?

Gavin thanks for joining me.

Thank you very much David.

Gavin Buckett is an Australian food safety specialist.  Gavin is it just simply a matter of there being more Chinese food restaurants than anything else?

I think that that may be a possibility.  I know looking back to my childhood that most of the multicultural food that we had sort of 20 or 30 years ago was Chinese and I also remember that every single suburb had a Chinese restaurant on most corners.

And of course the clubs, you’d go into the RSL or something and they would have a Chinese restaurant.

Yes, and I know that there’s a lot more cuisines, like Thai and the Vietnamese, around now but I think it would be important to take a look at the number of Chinese restaurants as opposed to the number of different cuisines as well.

It would be a good idea wouldn’t it if they actually did that rather than doing it on just raw numbers; apply it proportionately based on numbers of restaurants.  In fact the Chinese may come in better under the ties with some of the others.

Possibly, yes.

Certainly there are very, very large numbers of them.  Are there hygiene issues behind some of these cultural methods that pertain to food safety; I mean we always see stories about how certain cultures do things, for example they use one hand to go to the toilet and one hand to eat their food and you know there are issues of cross contamination because it seems that maybe things aren’t all that clean.  Are there elements of that in anything we might see in restaurants?

Look I’ve seen some terrible things in my time but it’s not specific to one nationality or one type of food business or anything like that.  So we find that there are some businesses with different cuisines that are very, very good and there are some that aren’t.  But I’ve not found in my experience, and we’ve been doing food safety now for almost 10 years, and we haven’t found that’s its specific to any one cuisine.

In fact I saw a movie the other day which was a comedy based in an American restaurant where an American chef actually went into the toilet and was standing there at the trough, you know as men do, and he had his cake spatula with him and was about to go back into the kitchen and lather up a cake.

Well I haven’t seen that but I have seen at one shopping center where a chef walked in, he was in full chef’s uniform with his apron and gloves on, he then went to the urinal and just opened to one side, finished doing what he was doing and then walked back out of the toilet without changing gloves, or washing his hands, and walked right back into his restaurant.

Well maybe he’s one of those chef’s that you know cooks with one hand and goes to the toilet with the other.

Yes, and he certainly wasn’t of Chinese descent so, like I said its not something that’s specific to one cuisine or another but yes, the importance of food safety certainly is something that all food businesses need to implement.

Yeah and I suppose, responsibly speaking, when these various name and shame things occur like the New South Wales Food Safety Authority, it would be better if they gave us a proportional understanding given the numbers of restaurants when you’re going to cut it down to cuisine.  Because the report this morning did most certainly give the idea that if you were going to get sick there was more chance of it in a Chinese food restaurant; but the suspicion might be that there are simply more Chinese food restaurants so it proportionately gives the wrong impression

Yes, possibly.  Like I said I don’t know the number of different Chinese or Indian or Pakistani or any of those different restaurants that are around.  But I think from the name and shame website is that it indicates what penalties are being raised and that’s what the officers and inspectors are finding.  I don’t think its their job to turn around and say, look there are more Chinese restaurants than others; they’re just reporting what they find, so I think it would be discriminatory if they proportionately reported what had been found.

What I’m getting at is the way the story was related though, they way the story sort of went; the suggestion was you’ve got more chance of getting sick from eating Chinese food than something else because of the raw numbers that were used.  But in fact proportionately there may simply be more Chinese restaurants; so the report may have been unfair.  But I suppose the very interesting thing also about the name and shame file is I wonder if you look up these things, and anyone listening if you do this, if you go to the website and have a look at any one of those name and shame restaurants, would you ever go to any one of them?

Gavin can you understand why somebody looking at these restaurants that have been caught out in the past, would just never go there again?

Very much so.  I know that I was doing some training in Sydney and I didn’t know a lot about some of the cases that one of the guys in the class was talking about and I spoke to him at the break and he said that he looks at the name and shame website all the time.  So I went back to the hotel where I was staying and I pulled out [Renwick], that’s where I was staying, and there were 36 restaurants there in [Renwick]; that’s going back about 8 months now.  There were 36 restaurants there that were listed including the one that I had eaten out at the night before, and it certainly didn’t give me… A lot of confidence.

Yeah.  I hadn’t seen anything that would not make me eat there, but it certainly would be something that I believe the public has a right to know.

Yeah, absolutely.

A lot of the time you can’t see what goes on behind the walls.

More than a lot.  Gavin, I appreciate your time.

Can I just clarify one point?  Just before the break you mentioned that it might be safer to eat in your own home.

Well if you are cooking the food yourself; I’m certainly happier with everything that we make at home yeah, but I have a couple of restaurants that I love.  Yeah go on.

But according to the Food Safety Information Council there’s about 5.3 million people that get food poisoning every year in Australia and about ¼ of that is quantified back to people preparing food in their own homes.

Is this because they are using poor ingredients or is it because they’re eating stuff that’s long past when they should have used it because they’re leaving things in the fridge for too long; like seconds and sort of leftovers and what have you?

Well it could be leftovers and things that have been left in the fridge, it could be you know a domestic fridge if it’s overloaded it might not be running at the right temperature or drawers being opened frequently but…

It’s a good point actually Gavin, you sort of pack everything you can into your refrigerator but if you do that it doesn’t actually work very well.

Well that’s right, and with having a young family myself things like changing nappies, if people don’t go and wash their hands after changing nappies and then go and prepare sandwiches or prepare food or salad or something for their kids then it could easily be that they’re making their own kids sick as opposed to or something they’ve picked up at school or something like that.

Taste sensations you’re not looking for.  Thanks for your time Gavin.

All right.

That’s a good point there in closing about what happens in your own home too; especially when people leave stuff in the fridge for too long.  “How long has this been here?”

Let me tell you, if there’s any question about how long something’s been in the fridge, just don’t risk it.

The Science Behind Food Safety

Words like, ‘food poisoning’, ‘foodborne illness’ and ‘kitchen accidents’ are very common when talking about food safety in general. What isn’t talked about as much is the science behind all of it.

Since the majority of food safety revolves around foodborne pathogens, scientific research is the foundation of all food safety rules with two main types of research: Laboratory experimentation and investigation.

Because most countries’ governments depend on disease and food surveillance data to regulate their country’s types of foodborne pathogens, different types of testing are required for epidemiology, food microbiology and food technology. All of this falls under laboratory experimentation and provides the types of harmful microorganisms found in food that causes disease along with the level of risk involved.

After this data is discovered and on hand, food safety specialists take on the essential role of investigator to assist the public in awareness and help food businesses keep their industrial kitchens free from foodborne illnesses.

This investigation is extremely important, to say the least, for any well-run food establishment, especially considering there are over 200 known bacterial pathogens that exist in a spore or vegetative cell, viruses, parasites and toxins. That’s a scary number of foodborne pathogens which is why trained professionals are needed to handle this spectrum of the food business!

If not, restaurants may end up doing their own inspections, much like this man:

Without this Food Preparation Checklist, You Could Be Courting A Food Safety Disaster

If you run a restaurant or kitchen of any sort in Melbourne, you already know that it is a tough town when it comes to food safety standards and restaurant reputation.  You will find that there are number of things that can sink a restaurant in Victoria, but nothing will shut a business down faster than sanitation violations.  If it is discovered that your restaurant has health violations, you can watch your business drop like a rock.

The answer, of course, is to make sure that your kitchen stays in great shape and maintains a high standard of cleanliness.  Though this is by no means a complete list, you will find that these suggestions can help keep your kitchen operating at a high standard.

Store cooked and uncooked food separately. This is essential when you are looking at making sure that your restaurant has a high degree of sanitation.  Essentially, cooked food very often goes directly to the tables of your diners.  Raw food, which is uncooked and untreated, may very well still be carrying bacteria or other contaminants that can be transferred to the cooked food.  By keeping them separate, you’ll be able to keep them from affecting each other.

Label everything. It seems simple, but the truth of the matter is that you should label everything that comes into your kitchen.  Make sure that your kitchen staff undergo food safety training and know what is in the various containers. This way they will only open them when necessary and they will not risk contamination through repeated exposure.

Labelling will also help to improve the speed and efficiency of your kitchen.  Similarly, you may also want to think about dating things to know when they were received.

Temperature readouts. No matter where you keep food, you should make sure that there is a temperature gauge nearby.  This can be instrumental when you are keeping cold foods and when you want to make sure that they stay good.

Take some time and really consider what your options are going to be when it comes to installing thermometers in your food storage location; this can help you a great deal.

Food satefety training for your staff? Remember that when it comes to keeping your restaurant sanitized that your workers play a large part.  There does tend to be a fairly high turn around in kitchens, so take some time to make sure that your workers are aware of what needs to happen to keep the kitchen to high food safety standards.  Make sure that you include both front room staff and kitchen staff when it comes to this kind of food safety training.

When you are running a commercial kitchen, you’ll find that you need to think about what your options are going to be in terms of keeping it safe and clean.  Educate your staff and keep in mind the fact that there are professional services out there that can help you monitor your existing procedures and give you a detailed list of how they can be improved.  Remember that a little money spent on this now can prevent large legal fees down the line.

Gavin can be contacted at gavin@agbsolutions.com.au or through his website at www.australianfoodsafety.com.au.

What Mistakes Does Your Team Make in Food Preparation?

Anyone who owns or runs a restaurant or other food preparation business wants to provide their customers with a safe and quality product.  Unfortunately, there are times when mistakes are made and the end result could be a sick or even dead patron.

Do you know that there are approximately 5.4 million cases of food poisoning a year in Australia?  Of these 120 will end with the loss of someone’s life.  All of these cases of food poisoning could be prevented if proper steps had been taken in the preparation of the food products they ingested.  I am sure that everyone in your kitchen wants and tries to comply with food safety standards, however, mistakes happen.  Or what if those standards are simply not enough?  What if there was more you could do to protect the people who are entrusting you with their well-being?  Would you take the opportunity to learn enough to guarantee your foods safety?

A food safety expert can save your kitchen the embarrassment of causing people to fall ill after eating your food.  With about 5.4 million cases of food poisoning a year, it is only a matter of time before someone gets sick from your kitchen; unless you are willing to do all that it takes to prevent it from happening.  By allowing a food safety expert to assist your staff, they can ensure that no one will get food poisoning from your kitchen.  Wouldn’t you enjoy that piece of mind?

A food safety expert can also make your establishment a more profitable one.  As people begin to talk about the wonderful experience they had dining in your restaurant, more guests will come in to try your menu for themselves.  What pride you would feel knowing you were running a place people loved to come into then told their friends about it.

AGB is the only Australian company owned and operated by an apprentice Chef of the Year.  Gavin Buckett is a food and safety expert and is making it his mission to teach restaurant owners and managers how to better protect their patrons and their businesses.

There are different food safety programs available to suit your individual needs.  For example, they can have their auditors come to your establishment and provide weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, or annual audits depending on your desire.  AGB can also provide your kitchen with management solutions such as; menu writing, cost control, equipment recommendations, event planning, sourcing suppliers, food preparation and handling training, product and recipe development, and allergen controls.  In addition, AGB also has a food safety compliance system.  It is a twelve-month course that only requires 10 minutes of your time each week.  This program teaches you tips, techniques and new teachings, all of which will make your restaurant a success.

When your establishment is run properly; is clean, organised, and putting out delicious quality products, word spreads.  When your restaurant is dirty, disorganised and putting out subpar products, word spreads.  What do you want people to be saying about your kitchen?

The HACCP systems designed by AGB Solutions Pty Ltd are practical and easy to read and each program is specifically designed for each client’s business. As most clients are implementing HACCP for the first time, AGB Solutions have designed an 11 Point Checklist for HACCP Certification Success so that we can provide our Guarantee to your success. Click here to see what we include in our 11 point checklist.

How to Ensure That You Don’t Have Any Sick Customers from Your Food

If you are a restaurant professional in Melbourne, whether your restaurant is large or small, you need to make sure that proper sanitation and health concerns are one of your top priorities.

There is a good chance that you know of, or have even been to a restaurant that has suffered from health code issues. The repercussions of this can be immense.  The most obvious and potentially devastating sign of poor food hygiene is sick customers. This of course is an unpleasant situation for customers and in the best case scenario, they will simply never return to your restaurant again. In the worst case scenario, they will sue!

Recovering from the loss of reputation that results from poor food safety can be nigh on impossible. Because of this it makes much more sense to protect yourself and your customers by ensuring that your food safety standards are high to begin with.

When you are looking at the maintenance of good food hygiene, you will find that at the most basic level, it is a matter of cleanliness.  All of the handling and storage areas should be kept clean and anyone handling the food must be aware of what they are doing and take the proper precautions.

Food should be thoroughly cooked, and whether being stored or served, should be at an appropriate temperature to prevent the multiplication of bacteria.

Cross contamination, especially with regard to meat, is also something that requires constant vigilance. Meat should always be stored in such a way that accidental drippings will not contaminate other foods.

An extremely important aspect of good food hygiene in the kitchen is the idea that anyone who handles food in your kitchen should be well trained and aware of the safety procedures in place.  Before and after handling food, they should wash their hands with warm water and liquid soap, and after washing, they should make sure that they dry their hands on a towel intended for that purpose.  Hand washing is the core of good hygiene in the kitchen and it should be undertaken after going to the toilet, handling money, breaks, and after sneezing or blowing your nose.

Even with a good understanding of food safety, it is important to be aware of the fact that there is a lot to be said for consulting an expert.  You and your staff have a lot going on, and in many ways, it can be difficult to look objectively at a familiar situation and make sure that everything is being done right. However these small details that get overlooked can become a big issue and potentially devastate a business!  It is here that professional services that will assess your safety procedures and suggest improvements come into play.  You can use these services to reduce the chance of a food poisoning outbreak.  In a place like Melbourne where news travels fast, you can bet that this is something that you will be glad you invested in!

Gavin can be contacted at gavin@agbsolutions.com.au or through his website at www.agbsolutions.com.au.

Are your Food Safety Preparation Systems Setting You Up For Disaster?

If you are someone who is in charge of one, or several kitchens in the bustling city of Melbourne, you already know that the sanitation and health of both your workers and your customers needs to be one of your highest priorities.

There are many things to keep in mind when you are looking at making sure that your kitchen meets the food safety standards standards that have been set by the health code, but the truth of the matter is that for even the most conscientious of kitchens, it can be easy to get sloppy.

When you are looking at the sanitation of your kitchen and the good health practices of your staff, there are many things that are at stake.  The goal of many restaurateurs is to ensure that customers have an enjoyable experience and that they associate the restaurant with good times.  This is much harder to do if they get sick.

There is also the fact that if you are careless with your sanitation you can, and most likely will run into legal difficulties. There are many things that you can do to help leave legal matters out of your life, and taking care of your health issues is one of them.  Also keep in mind that it doesn’t take much to ruin the reputation of even an established restaurant.

There are some very basic things that can be done to reduce the chances of a food poisoning outbreak at your restaurant.  First, make certain that your staff are educated on matters of food safety.  Verify that they are aware that spoiled food does not necessarily look or smell different from food that is good, and let them know that food must be kept hot or very cold in order to make sure that bacterium doesn’t grow on it.

Remember that all food should always be covered and that raw and cooked foods should always be kept separate. Take some time to make sure that food is not defrosted in the open air and that hands are washed before and after handling food.

Also take care that the various hot and cold places in your kitchen meet the requirements of the local legislation, and always store meats on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator in order to keep juices from dripping down onto other foods. These are the basics for a commercial kitchen, but remember that as a general rule, the busier the kitchen, the more stringent food safety procedures need to be.

Amidst the calamity that dinner time can bring to commercial kitchens it can be exhausting to keep even the simplest orders in mind, let alone adhering to proper food safety procedures. However the reputation of your restaurant depends on these procedures so it is vital that you take no chances. The more streamlined your procedures are the more likely they are to be followed by your staff. Consultation with a food safety expert is often a worthwhile exercise. These people can evaluate your current procedures and suggest any improvements to strengthen your restaurant’s ability to produce safe, quality food.

Gavin can be contacted at gavin@agbsolutions.com.au or through his website at www.australianfoodsafety.com.au.

Food Poisoning – Is Your Food Safe?

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 Australia is no exception.

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.

Salmonella is a bacterium which can affect many types of food items. Usually, raw poultry and eggs are the prime suspects in salmonella related food poisoning cases, but contamination from faeces and pet reptiles can also carry these bacteria. There are two ways to prevent salmonella form causing food poisoning which are guaranteed to be effective: thoroughly cooking food before serving and regular, thorough hand washing before, during and after cooking or eating.

Escherichia coli (or E-coli for short) is a form of bacteria which can cause serious illness or even death. Found naturally inside of the human body and in some foods, some strains can be lethal. E-coli produces harmful, toxic substances and includes unpleasant (to say the least) symptoms including watery and/or bloody diarrhea. A healthy adult can generally weather a case of E-coli food poisoning, but the elderly, the sick and young children are at risk of getting very ill if infected. As with salmonella, the way to prevent E-coli infection is thorough cooking and regular hand washing, along with careful cleaning of all cooking areas. Hand washing should become a thoroughly ingrained habit. You use your hands to pick up everything – even harmful microbes.

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.

Being in charge of a restaurant means that you have to keep a handle on a lot of things at once – make sure that HACCP principles are at the top of your list. All of the hard work you’ve put into your business could be lost if someone gets ill from your food due to a preventable mistake by an employee unaware of the food safety regulations.

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.