Food hygiene is an important aspect of running a food business. In 2015, the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) cited increasing evidence of food poisoning cases in the country.
“Food poisoning from harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances caused the deaths of some two million people, mostly children, yearly worldwide,” said CAP president S. M. Mohamed Idris in conjunction with World Health Day. “In the US alone, 48 million food poisoning cases occurred annually, causing an average 3,000 deaths per year.”
“Malaysia has not been spared from fatalities caused by unsafe food. An average of 8,000 food poisoning cases are reported yearly in the country. It was only the tip of the iceberg as many cases go unreported.”
Precautionary measures must be taken to ensure that customers do not contract food poisoning. Negligence in food safety can lead to a bad name for your outlet or stall if food safety is not given due attention.
Be aware of these biological dangers!
Tips for better food and stall hygiene
The three key factors that contribute to illnesses due to lax food safety can be attributed to misjudgement of time and temperature, cross-contamination and personal hygiene.
Time and temperature
- Keep cooked food in a cooler.
- Maintain dry storage temperature of 10°C to 21°C.
- Cook food thoroughly to reduce microorganisms to an acceptable level.
- Exercise caution when cooking food in batches.
- Cook at the right temperature – 65ºC and above.
- Always wrap and mark the items (date received, manufacturing and expiry dates, quantities).
- Practice first in, first out (FIFO) for stock rotation.
- Toxic substances or products must not be stored in the regular food storage areas.
- Keep food in boxes or high on shelves, and not on the floor.
- Use food covers to prevent contamination from the environment.
- Wash your hands after handling raw materials and after visiting the washroom.
- Wear a cap or hair net.
- Cover all wounds.
- Keep nails short and clean.
- Wear an apron.
- Wear a facemask when unwell.
Clean your hands thoroughly
- Wash hands with water.
- Soap hands.
- Rub hands with soap for 20 seconds.
- Clean nails.
- Wash hands.