What are the four Cs of food hygiene that commercial kitchens must follow?

Commercial kitchens must adhere to good hygiene standards. Maintaining good practices keeps businesses on the right side of the law and allows them to protect the reputation of their company. It also reduces the risk of giving customers food poisoning.

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When it comes to good hygiene where food is concerned, it is always about controlling any potentially harmful bacteria and minimising the risk of serious illness. These four Cs are the key elements:

Cross-contamination

This covers any bacteria being transferred from food, surfaces or equipment to other food. It is easy to do, even if you have been careful not to use the same utensils twice. Most cross-contamination happens when raw food touches cooked, or when it drips onto food or surfaces. Be particularly aware of cross-contamination, as it is the most common cause of food poisoning. Food Safety has tips on how to avoid cross-contamination.

Cleaning

Cleaning is essential to get rid of bacteria and dirt on hands, surfaces and equipment, and goes a long way towards reducing cross-contamination. Make hand washing a habit and clean all food preparation areas and equipment thoroughly, especially when you or a member of staff has been handling raw food. Do not allow waste food to build up in or around the kitchen area and make sure it is disposed of correctly. Adopt the ‘clear as you go’ policy.

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Chilling

Keeping food at the correct temperature is key to keeping it safe. If you need to invest in a commercial freezer or other refrigeration to maintain standards, specialist retailers such as www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk have a wide range.

Check food when it is delivered to you to ensure it is cold enough, and put things away at the right temperature as soon as possible. Put food back into refrigeration as soon as possible after use and avoid dramatic differences in temperature. Checking the food is important and it is also important to keep checking your storage equipment. Fridges and freezers must maintain constant temperatures within a range.

Cooking

Make sure all food is cooked correctly so that any harmful bacteria are killed. Check all the way through, as the centre must be piping hot. This is especially important for pork, poultry and minced meat, including sausages and burgers.