This is a simplified version of the requirements of the Food Hygience Regulations to help you operate your business with the safety of the food and the processes in mind.

Display and service

  • High risk foods must not be left at room temperature
  • Serve hot food hot – too hot to handle . If there is a delay before serving hot foods, then they need to be kept hot - not just warm.
  • Cold high risk foods must be kept below 4°C
  • All displayed food must be adequately protected from possible contamination
  • Disposable single service eating and drinking utensils should be used and along with straws, cups, spoons etc must be protected from contamination.

Storing

  • Keep dry foods (flour, rice, pasta etc) in airtight containers
  • Hot food should be cooled quickly before being refrigerated
  • Food in the fridge must be kept at 4°C or below. The fridge temperature must be checked regularly
  • Keep raw meat, poultry and fish on the lowest shelf of the fridge to prevent the juices from dripping on other foods
  • Frozen foods must be kept at -18°C.

Labelling of food

  • Packaged food should be labelled with the common name or description of the food, the net weight, volume, or number of contents, the business trading name and address
  • Packaged food with a shelf life of less than 90 days should have a date mark being a ‘best before’, ‘use by’, or ‘packed on’ date mark
  • Take care over the wording of any claims made about the origin, type, quality or effect of the food and note that the use of the words pure, real, genuine, imitation, mock and substitute have special constraints. The word health cannot be used regarding any food
  • Contact the Community and Public Health Office for details regarding the labelling of food under the Food Regulations 1984 
  • (03) 364 1777.

Personal hygiene - hand washing

All those handling food must wash their hands:

  • Before handling any food or equipment
  • After handling raw food especially meat and chicken and before they handle other foods
  • Immediately after going to the toilet, blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing, smoking, eating, combing or touching their hair, handling waste food or rubbish and handling cleaning equipment
  • Hands must be washed thoroughly, preferably using a bactericidal soap, then rinsed in clean water and dried on a disposable towel.

Food safety

The following requirements relate to both the MFP and any base facility.

Supply and transport

  • All foodstuffs must be obtained from registered food premises
  • High risk and other readily perishable foods must either be kept below 4°C, or above 60°C - preferably 70°C
  • The food must either be kept in clean containers with lids, or be effectively wrapped to prevent contamination
  • Food containers used for transporting food must not be used for any other purpose and must be capable of being easily cleaned
  • The compartment or part of any vehicle used to transport food products must be clean and must not contain anything that may contaminate the food or its packaging.

High risk foods

High risk foods are those perishable foods that can support the growth of harmful bacteria (that can cause food poisoning) and are intended to be eaten without any further treatment
such as cooking, which would destroy the bacteria. They include:

  • All cooked meat and poultry
  • Cooked meat products including gravy, stock, and roll/sandwich fillings
  • Milk, cream, artificial cream, custards and dairy products
  • Cooked eggs and soft products made with eggs, like mayonnaise
  • Shellfish and other seafood
  • Cooked rice.

Preparing food

  • Fruit and vegetables should be washed thoroughly and all foods checked for signs of spoilage before preparation
  • Frozen food should be thawed in the fridge or microwave rather than at room temperature. It should be used immediately after thawing and must not be refrozen
  • Raw and high risk foods must be kept separate during preparation
  • Cutting boards and bench surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned, especially after preparing raw meats and before preparing any high risk food. Preferably separate boards should be used.

Cooking

  • Preheat ovens, so food can cook or reheat as quickly as possible
  • All meat, especially poultry must be cooked thoroughly (75°C minimum internal temperature), with the juices being clear.

Food Handling

All those handling food must:

  • Not cough or sneeze over or around food
  • Not smoke while preparing or handling food
  • Not prepare or handle any food for sale if they have suffered from diarrhoea in the last 2 to 3 days
  • Operators must avoid unnecessarily handling food and should use tongs, forks, scoops or disposable gloves etc where possible
  • Have no infected sores or wounds.

The type and design of the environmental screening provided, will determine the amount of food preparation and handling that can be carried out on the MFP and the weather conditions that it may operate under.