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Food Handling

Food handling, be it preparation, processing, manufacturing, packaging, storage, transportation, distribution or offering for sale should be carried out while following your critical controls. This is essential in preventing food poisoning. The following are some examples of the more common critical controls.

Prevent food being contaminated by:

  • cleaning and sanitizing surfaces that come into contact with food.
  • using separate utensils for raw and cooked foods (e.g. coloured knives and chopping boards.)
  • separating raw and cooked foods at all times.
  • observing the rules on personal hygiene.
  • covering food.
  • By adequate labelling of hazardous and/or inedible substances and storing in separate and secure containers.

Prevent germs from surviving a process that should kill them by:

  • thoroughly defrosting before cooking.
  • thoroughly cooking especially poultry and rolled joints.
  • ensuring food reaches 82°C when reheating.
  • ensuring manufacturers instructions are followed when using a chemical sanitizer.

Prevent germs from multiplying by:

  • rapid cooling before refrigeration.
  • ensuring correct refrigeration temperatures.
  • ensuring hot food is kept above 63°C before service.
  • ensuring good stock rotation (e.g. applying the date of defrosting or cooking to food)
  • observing 'use by' dates.


A checklist should be used for accepting food onto the premises. This should record the supplier, food type, signs of damage or infestation and where appropriate the date code and temperature

Verify the record with the date and time of delivery and the initials of the person accepting the delivery

Additional checklists for recording temperatures and date codes can be found in the section on temperature control.

Updated: 23 Oct 2014
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