As a restaurant owner, you know what it’s like to be run off your feet ensuring you make consistent sales and keeping your customers happy! You have so much to take care of on a daily basis including menus, deliveries, finances and providing excellent service. That’s why it’s important to understand how you can easily comply with food safety regulations.

Making your restaurant food safe

Dealing with food provides extra difficulties when creating a safe and healthy working environment. There are strict food safety standards you need to comply with, which are regulated by the Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code. Your restaurant must make sure that the premises have adequate space and equipment for the preparation of food. This includes providing decent ventilation, lighting, adequate sewerage and disposal of garbage, sanitized walls, floors and ceilings. There are also requirements for fixtures and fittings to be cleaned easily and efficiently, and all eating and drinking utensils, as well as food contact surfaces, must be both clean and sanitised. The Code also provides information on different chemicals to use to ensure your food preparation areas meet these standards.

Your restaurant must also have hand washing facilities that are easily located and allow for adequate hand washing by all employees. These facilities must also be located within five metres of where food is handled. All food must be able to be stored away from other products that could be a source of contamination, including cleaning chemicals or personal items. Certain foods also require extensive temperature control including cold foods that must be below 5 degrees Celsius and hot foods that need to be above 60 degrees Celsius. Not only must the workplace comply with all of these requirements, but your staff require food safety training as well.

Making your employees’ food safe

All employees who handle food or food contact surfaces, as well as supervisors, need to have the skills and knowledge to handle food hygienically. Many restaurants have training to this effect, which includes teaching employees how to wash their hands properly, wear gloves and make sure their clothes are clean. Your employees also need to let you know as soon as they have any symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea or fever. That way you can send them home to rest before there’s a chance of any possible food contamination.

Restaurants like yours are also required to have a Food Safety Supervisor who is trained to prevent customers becoming sick with food poisoning if the food has been handled or prepared incorrectly. This qualified supervisor is only required if the food made in your restaurant is ready-to-eat, needs temperature control and is not sold or supplied in original packaging.

Conclusion

This may sound like a lot to handle at first but once you know the requirements, you can put a system in place to handle these issues efficiently. Making your restaurant food safe will ensure customers keep coming back and your business continues to be successful. If you need any assistance in understanding the Food Safety legislation and what happens if you don’t comply, a lawyer at LegalVision will be happy to assist you.

Bianca Reynolds

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