Module 4: Food Safety Introduction
After learning the principles of food safety that you may apply in your establishment, you must also learn what challenges can prevent operators from carrying out these practices, and how to perform a safety audit to ensure that your food outlet stays safe for you and your diners.
Performing a safety audit monitors the compliance of an establishment and its personnel to food safety standards using a sanitation checklist that ensures:
- Cleanliness and upkeep of premises
- Personal hygiene
- Food hygiene
- Food transportation
- Records and documentation
Types of safety audits
Internal audit – Can be done by managers or quality control officers from companies with a Quality Control/Assurance Department.
External audit – Done by a health department representative of the local government. A 3rd party auditor may also be commissioned to perform the audit.
Challenges of practicing food safety
Now that you know how to keep your premises sanitary and how to perform a safety audit, you need to also learn the challenges that can prevent operators from carrying out these practices.
- Time & money – Investments in training and equipment.
- Language & culture – Different cultures have different cooking practices.
- Education & literacy – Staff with different educational levels.
- Lack of awareness about microbes – Can lead to the spread of contamination and diseases.
- Suppliers’ standards – May result in substandard ingredients that can compromise your food.
- High risk customers – Children, pregnant women and the elderly.
- High staff turnover – Retaining and retraining.
How to respond to challenges
- Time & money – Conduct regular safety training programs and invest in adequate equipment.
- Language & culture – Formulate and implement universally acceptable food safety standards. Create standard recipes for chefs to follow.
- Education & literacy – Explain food safety principles simply with local languages and visual representations. Make use of out-of-store safety seminars.
- Awareness of microbes – Post photos of factors that affect their growth. Post Dos and Don’ts when handling and storing food and tables showing minimum cooking/holding/reheating times and temperatures.
- Standard of suppliers – Conduct plant visits, get referrals and purchase only from reputable and accredited suppliers. Provide suppliers with product specifications and implement a receiving program.
- High risk customers – Always prepare for the worst. Monitor food safety standards and conduct in-house food safety audits regularly to keep your staff in line.
- High staff turnover – Work on a motivation and rewards program to retain personnel. Make staff feel like they have a stake in your company and be generous with praise and give credit when due.
Congratulations, you’ve completed the Food Safety Auditing and Challenges topic!
Pick a related topic from the Food Safety module, or go back to the Chefmanship Academy modules page.