According to Wikipedia “Food safety is a scientific discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent foodborne illness. This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potentially severe health hazards. In this way food safety often overlaps with food defense to prevent harm to consumers. The tracks within this line of thought are safety between industry and the market and then between the market and the consumer. In considering industry to market practices, food safety considerations include the origins of food including the practices relating to food labeling, food hygiene, food additives and pesticide residues, as well as policies on biotechnology and food and guidelines for the management of governmental import and export inspection and certification systems for foods. In considering market to consumer practices, the usual thought is that food ought to be safe in the market and the concern is safe delivery and preparation of the food for the consumer.”
Which, is probably the one of the most comprehensive answers you’ll get, however does it actually answer the fairly simple question of “what is food safety?”
Our aim is to make food safety simple for every business. Whether you’re a pop-up food stall or an international, multi site franchise, the level of service you receive from your chosen food safety partner should be tailored to your business, not a pre-prepared, one size fits all solution. It doesn’t matter what your business needs, whether you need someone to conduct a food safety audit on your premises, to help you with HACCP development or provide training solutions for your staff, our team of expert food safety consultants tailor everything to your needs. We don’t believe in boring you with technical jargon and industry buzzwords, we believe that your chosen food safety partner should provide the help you need to ensure the product you provide is safe.
Achieving a good level of food safety, according to the FSA, should enable your business to:
At STS Solutions, we know that by following our advice you’ll be able to outwardly demonstrate that you are exceeding these very basic business targets to any EHO or industry body that may come knocking. In fact, we’re so adamant on this that our own STS Public Sector Code of Practice is recognised nationally as the Safe Standards of Supplies for ALL UK hospitals. Not only that, but our competitors offer compliance services in our own STS Code of Practice & Technical Standard for Suppliers to the Public Sector! What does that say about our competitors?
As long as you remember the 4 C’s then achieving a good level of food safety (and food hygiene) shouldn’t be difficult for any food business, even a newly formed one that’s trying to find it’s way in the marketplace. But over time, every business eventually becomes complacent. Both management and staff assume that the 4C’s are constantly being adhered to, rather than ensuring that they are.
According to the FSA, “good food hygiene is all about controlling harmful bacteria, which can cause serious illness. The four main things to remember for good hygiene are”:
If you’re unfamiliar with the 4C’s, maybe the food industry isn’t for you! In their simplest terms they are:
Cross-contamination is when bacteria is spread between food, surfaces or equipment used in the kitchen. Cross-contamination is most likely to happen whenever raw food touches or drips onto other food, surfaces or equipment. As cross-contamination can occur so easily it is also, unsurprisingly, recognised as one of the most common causes of food poisoning. So what do you need to do to avoid cross-contamination and ensure you are delivering a high level of food safety?
Properly cleaning yourself, equipment, surfaces and where required, food can stop harmful bacteria from spreading. You should do the following things to prevent the spread of bacteria:
Correctly storing food within a chilled environment, such as a refrigerator, can help to stop harmful bacteria from growing. Certain foods need to be kept chilled, such as food with a ‘use by’ date as well as most ready to eat foods. As you’ll doubtless be aware, it’s extremely important that these types of food are not left to stand at room temperature as this can cause them to spoil, Remember:
Thoroughly cooking food kills bacteria. Whether cooking or reheating, food must be cooked correctly and should be steaming hot throughout. It’s especially important that any poultry, pork, rolled joints and any food made from minced meat. as harmful bacteria can still be found within the middle of these kinds of products. Despite popular trends, such as serving burgers rare, it’s not advisable to serve these products rare or pink and they should be steaming hot throughout. However, whole cuts of beef or lamb, such as steaks, can be served pink or rare provided they are fully seared on the outside.
These simple steps will be enough to ensure that your business delivers a high level of food safety however these things alone may not keep you complaint with food safety regulations in your industry. Food manufacturers have different food safety requirements from restaurants and this is where STS Solutions can help your business.