Hygiene and traceability: everything you need to know to guarantee maximum food safety for your consumers
Hygiene and traceability are crucial subjects for any professional of the CHR. However, the implementation of good practices in order to guarantee maximum food safety for your consumers requires knowledge and understanding of the issues of hygiene and traceability. Discover the steps to follow to achieve this.
In order to guarantee maximum food safety for your customers, compliance with sanitary rules by professionals in the catering industry is strictly regulated and subject to frequent controls. These sanitary rules concern different key points:
Premises, materials and equipment:
These regulations oblige professionals to respect several principles:
On January 1, 2006, the "Hygiene Package" came into force in the European Union;
The purpose of this text is to regulate the hygiene of restaurants. This new law introduced the implementation of the Sanitary Control Plan (SCP).
What is the Sanitary Control Plan?
The Sanitary Control Plan is a mandatory document for any restaurant. It describes the actions implemented by an establishment to guarantee hygiene, but also food safety, concerning microbiological, physical, chemical and allergenic dangers.
This document attests that you have implemented the necessary means to protect the health of your consumers. However, the SCP is an evolving document, which must be updated regularly, but also adapted to the specificities of your establishment.
The sanitary control plan (SCP) must be composed of 4 main parts :
When you open a restaurant, it is important to take into account that some training courses are mandatory. This is the case of the training in good hygiene practices for people handling food.
This HACCP training is mandatory since October 1, 2012. Commercial catering establishments must have at least one person in their workforce who can prove the training certificate in food hygiene. It must be taken into account that all persons handling food within the establishment must have at least received instructions concerning hygiene rules.
Two types of establishments are concerned by this training:
Traditional restaurants (restaurants, tapas bars, caterers, cafeterias and self-service restaurants).
Fast food restaurants (snacks, fast-food, food-trucks, kebabs...).
Many training organizations offer this training course which lasts 2 days (14 hours) and which abides by precise specifications. The cost of this training course varies between 250€ and 500€ per person depending on the organization.
According to the law, any owner of a catering establishment must be able to put in place the principles of prevention and control in order to ensure the safety of consumers and prevent risk. The HACCP method is therefore necessary for any restaurant professional wishing to comply with the law.
The HACCP method stands for "Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point" and is translated into French as "Système d'analyse des dangers - Points critiques pour leur maîtrise". This method, invented by NASA, was born in the 1960s. It was originally used to ensure the food safety of astronauts!
Here are 7 principles to better understand the HACCP method:
1. The goods and the temperature of the dishes
Traceability and control of incoming goods
When receiving goods, it's essential to check the products. To ensure the quality of the products, different elements must be checked:
Attention, if you notice any non-conformity, it's necessary to refuse the goods before unloading.
All food items received in the establishment, but also the dishes produced, must be traced. Traceability allows, in case of food poisoning for example, to quickly determine the origin of a product.
It's therefore important to take the time to check the labels when receiving the products. This one must contain :
Concerning the central kitchens, a downward traceability must also be implemented. To implement this traceability, it's necessary to keep or copy the labels of the raw materials, but also to allocate batch numbers to the various productions.
This traceability passes by the conservation or the recopying of the labels of the raw materials and by the attribution of batch numbers to the various productions.
The temperature of food preparations
To avoid intoxication of your consumers, it's essential to pay attention to the temperature of food preparations. Here is what you need to know:
The temperature record of the refrigeration equipment
It's important to regularly check the temperature of your refrigerators and freezers, to make sure that your goods have not broken the cold chain.
To check the temperature, you can use a thermometer, stored in your cold room. You should record the temperature on a regular basis, either in a logbook or directly in a kitchen management software.
Controlling the quality of frying oil in oil stations
After several consecutive uses, the quality of your frying oils deteriorates. This alters the taste, which is problematic for the quality of your preparations, but can also make them toxic.
The decree n°2008-184, specifies that the acceptable limit of TTCP* (total content of polar compounds) is 24%. To measure this content, several methods are available to you:
The cleaning and disinfection plan for areas and surfaces
Regulations require that in each establishment preparing, storing or distributing food items, the premises and equipment must be in an impeccably clean state. For that, each professional must define precisely a cleaning and disinfection plan.
The cleaning plan is built around these different categories:
The law requires that each person working in an area using food must respect a certain level of personal cleanliness and wear appropriate clothing (gloves, masks, caps, aprons).
The most used work tool, the hands, the cleaning of these must be meticulous and regular. The contact between contaminated hands and your products can have a very dangerous effect on the health of your consumers.
If a person is ill, and it can be transmitted through food, should not go to work under any circumstances. It's their responsibility to notify their boss.