1 The Professional Food Handlers Guide. (In compliance with new Australian Food Safety Standards) H Y GIENIC SOLUTIO N S
2 This booklet is designed by Kimberly-Clark to assist you and your staff in achieving the highest standard of food safety awareness. This booklet provides a broad perspective on hygiene and safe food production. While Kimberly-Clark is committed to providing quality service, advice and product to the food industry, there may be times when you require more specific information related to your particular business activity. Your local Environmental Health Officer will be able to assist you with such matters. For more information on Kimberly-Clark Food Safety solutions you can call or visit our website As a professional food handler one of the most important factors you need to consider is the safety of the food you produce or handle. After all, your customers need to know they can trust that the food they buy from you will not make them sick! This means all staff have to know how to work safely with food and use the right tools for the job to prevent food contamination. By doing this you will: Keep your customers; Protect your business and its reputation; and Ensure compliance with the new Food Safety Standards*. *The draft National Food Safety Standards of ANZFA are nearing completion. Food businesses should move now so they can be in compliance when these standards become progressively enforced, planned to be from January 2001 through to January Take away facts: Did you know that every year Australians consume 20 billion meals and the food industry is worth around $25 billion to the Australian economy?
3 Whether you work in retail, food service or manufacturing, this booklet will help you to: Spot food safety hazards in your workplace; and Stop these hazards from causing food poisoning by following six easy steps: 1. Keep food at the right temperature 2. Protect food from contamination 3. Follow personal hygiene procedures 4. Keep your workplace clean 5. Control vermin 6. Implement supply chain control procedures Unsafe food causes food poisoning Working safely with food helps protect your customers from food poisoning. Food poisoning is an illness caused by eating food which is contaminated by bacteria (or their toxins) & viruses. Everyone can get food poisoning, but some people are more susceptible; children under five, the elderly, pregnant women and the sick. Typical symptoms of food poisoning include; diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach pains. However, more serious cases lead to hospitalization or even death. A food poisoning incident can cost a business millions of dollars in product recall, fines, lost business, lost wages, medical costs, legal fees etc. Take away facts: Every day in Australia 11,500 people suffer from food poisoning costing the Australian community around $2 billion per year. 2
4 What makes food unsafe? Microbiological Hazards The biggest cause of food poisoning is bacteria or microbiological hazards. Bacteria live everywhere; in the air, water and soil, on your hands, nose, mouth and bowels, on cleaning cloths, equipment and work surfaces. They can easily hitch-hike from these things onto food. The problem is that you may not be able to see, taste or smell them so it s important to spot and stop poor work practices to prevent food contamination. To grow, bacteria need food to eat, time to multiply, the right temperature and moisture. The best way to prevent microbiological hazards from contaminating food: 1. Kill the bacteria by cooking the food at 70ºC 2. Stop the bacteria from growing by keeping hot food hot and cold food cold 3. Protect food from contamination from raw foods, people, equipment and utensils and vermin. 3 Take away facts: Bacteria can live on tea towels, cleaning cloths and rags these can be a major source of contamination because bacteria love warm, damp conditions to grow. Using single-use wipers will STOP this potential hazard in your environment.
5 Even though this tea towel has only been used a few times, it is very likely to be teeming with millions of bacteria including Staphyloccus. These bacteria will be spread to every surface this tea towel comes into contact with. Take away facts: By using the same cloth to clean different surfaces, equipment and areas that have held raw and cooked food, you can transfer food poisoning bacteria throughout the food production and service areas. 4
6 What other things can make food unsafe? Chemical Hazards Chemicals can enter food from equipment, i.e. oils and lubricants, food additives and pesticides. But the main source of chemical contamination is from cleaning chemicals. The best way to prevent chemical hazards: Always use the right amount of chemicals when cleaning; Make sure all chemicals are labeled and stored away from food; and Never store chemicals in food containers Physical Hazards Foreign objects can enter food through faulty equipment or people. Loose parts, jewellery, hair, packing material, staples and nails, cleaning equipment, strands of cloth, buttons and zippers are not uncommon. The best way to prevent physical hazards: Don t use equipment that is broken or has loose parts service your equipment regularly Don t use rags for cleaning Wear a hairnet & uniform and remove jewellery & nail polish when working with food 5 Take away facts: Rags and old cloths can be a major source of physical contamination. They can contain dirt, buttons, metal zips and loose fibres. The safest solution is to use disposable wiping cloths to minimise contamination.
7 Control 1: Keep food at the right temperature Some foods need special temperature controls to stop food poisoning bacteria and their poisons ( toxins ) from growing, e.g. Dairy products like cheese, milk and cream products Eggs and egg products Uncooked and cooked meats, poultry and seafood products These foods are called Potentially Hazardous Foods i.e. foods that bacteria are more likely to grow in and cause food poisoning. To protect these foods you must keep them out of the temperature danger zone when you: 1. Receive the food Check that fresh items are at or below 5 C and frozen items are at or below 18 C Do not accept any food that is not at these temperatures 2. Store the food Make sure cold rooms and fridges have temperature gauges that work and are accurate! (ie are calibrated ) Keep fresh items at or below 5 C and frozen food at or below 18 C Take away facts: Keeping food cold doesn t destroy bacteria. It just stops the bacteria from growing to dangerous levels. Always use a thermometer to ensure food is kept out of the Temperature Danger Zone. Sanitise the thermometer before and after use with a single-use anti-bacterial wipe. 6
8 Don t store items for too long remember: first in, first out Check temperatures of fridges and freezers twice a day 3. Thawing food Prevent cross contamination do not allow thawing liquid to drip onto other areas, articles, food or equipment Maintain thawing food at 5 C Ensure all food thawing in cool rooms has a use by date and discard/throw-out date 4. Handle the food Plan ahead don t prepare too much food at once Don t keep it out too long return to storage as quickly as possible 5. Process the food Cook food to the right temperature a minimum core temperature of 75 C Use a clean, sanitised probe thermometer to check the internal temperature of the food. 6. Cooling of prepared food Cool cooked food to 21 C within 2 hours Cool further to 5 C or less within a total of 4 hours 7
9 7. Display/serve the food (hot, cold or dry) Hold hot food at or above 60 C and cold food at or below 5 C Don t keep items for too long remember: first in, first out Check temperatures every two hours 8. Transport the food Keep fresh items at or below 5 C and frozen food at or below 18 C All of these stages are critical to food safety you can prevent food poisoning by keeping the food at the right temperature. This means keep hot food hot and cold food cold 70ºC cooking temperature to kill bacteria Danger Zone: 60 6ºC 59ºC 5 4 Keep hot food hot above 60ºC Food stored in the danger zone may cause up to 1million bacteria to multiply in just for 4 to 6 hours Refrigerator temperature 5ºC or below Keep cold food cold Take away facts: Always cover and store cooked food ABOVE raw foods in the refrigerator and do not over-stock the fridge. 8
10 Control 2: Protect food from contamination Remember, bacteria are hitch-hikers they jump from raw foods like unwashed fruit and vegetables, meat, seafood and poultry; as well as people and equipment, onto food. The best way to protect food from contamination: 1. Food Wash raw fruit and vegetables Cover and store raw or cooked food separately Never store raw meat, seafood and poultry above cooked foods in the fridge 2. Equipment Only use clean and sanitised equipment and utensils Use colour-coded cloths, buckets, mops and equipments for different tasks Use separate equipment for raw and cooked foods (e.g. chopping boards, knives and benches) A colour-coded system is best 9 Take away facts: Ensure you are using a colour-coded cleaning schedule. For example only use red cleaning cloths, buckets and mops to clean toilet areas, blue for kitchen floors or green for food preparation surfaces. This will help ensure that bacteria from the toilet are not transferred to food areas.
11 3. People 4. Vermin Don t sneeze, cough or spit near food Don t touch food with bare hands Wash your hands when you touch something that could contaminate food (e.g. waste, chemicals and raw foods) Pest proof the premises Report any pest sightings and develop a pest control system Did you know sneezing is the fastest way of spreading bacteria across food and equipment? Take away facts: The US Food and Drug Administrator (FDA) concluded that the hands of food workers can transmit pathogenic organism such as E.coli, Hepatitis A virus and Salmonella directly to food. 10
12 Control 3: Follow personal hygiene procedures Did you know that you are covered in bacteria? We all carry food poisoning bacteria on our skin and inside us. This means you can accidentally contaminate food with bacteria when you touch food and equipment. Personal hygiene means making sure that you: 1. Wash your hands using anti-bacterial soap & dry with a single-use paper towel: After using the toilet; After handling raw foods; After handling waste; Before starting work and after every break; After touching hair, scratching, blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or using a tissue or handkerchief; After handling dirty equipment; After handling chemicals; and After smoking, eating or drinking. 11 Take away facts: Food handlers NOT effectively washing and drying their hands is one of the major causes of food poisoning. You can STOP contamination by keeping hands hygienically clean and using anti-bacterial soap, plus installing no touch soap dispensers, taps and conveniently located hand towel dispensers.
13 2. Report illnesses and do not work with food when sick Report illnesses such as; Typhoid, Cholera, Hepatitis, TB, Gastro (diarrhoea and/or vomiting) If you have any of these illnesses or symptoms DO NOT WORK WITH FOOD! 3. Wear the right uniform Do not wear jewellery, watches or perfume Wear correct protective clothing such as hair nets, gloves, slip-proof shoes, aprons and a clean uniform Keep fingernails short and clean and don t wear nail polish 4. Follow hygienic procedures when working with food Cover all cuts and sores with a coloured, water-proof dressing Do not smoke, eat or spit in food preparation areas Do not touch food with hands use tongs or disposable gloves when handling food Do not cough or sneeze over food or equipment Take away facts: Ensure all food handlers wear protective clothing such as aprons or overalls, hair nets and disposable gloves. Staff must always report illnesses and cover any cuts, sores or pimples. 12
14 Washing hands How? Rinse hands in warm/hot water Rinse off soap thoroughly Dry hands with paper towel How to wash your hands in 60 secs flat. Apply enough soap for wash Wash arms up to your elbows Scrub under fingernails, wash between fingers Right palm to rear of left hand Palm to palm, fingers interlaced 13 Take away facts: Hot air blowers can contaminate your hands with airborne bacteria and leave your hands warm and damp, the ideal medium for transfer of bacteria from one surface to another A single-use disposable paper towel minimises the risk of contamination.
15 Control 4: Keep your workplace clean Cleaning helps get rid of harmful bacteria that can contaminate food, equipment and food preparation areas. Along with temperature controls, cleaning is very important in protecting food from contamination. What cleaning procedures do you have to follow? 1. Keep your work area and equipment clean. Clean after each use, when you begin to work with a new type of food and at any time contamination could have occurred. 2. When you clean; first clean away the dirt and food particles with detergent. Then sanitise with heat or chemicals to kill the germs. The best way to clean your work place is to : 1. Pre-clean remove excess soil by sweeping or wiping with a durable wiping cloth and water 3. Wash with detergent loosen grease and dirt by applying a detergent with a clean wiping cloth 3. Rinse to remove dirt and detergent 4. Sanitise use an appropriate sanitiser and wiping cloth and apply as per directions 5. Allow to air dry Take away facts: Drying tip pools of water can collect in washed dishes providing a warm, damp place for bacteria to grow placing single-use disposable cloths in-between or underneath kitchen utensils, crockery and cutlery will ensure the water is absorbed, preventing this contamination risk. 14
16 Control 5: Control vermin Vermin spread disease and can contaminate and damage your food and equipment. What pest control procedures should you follow? 1. Keep vermin out Keep doors and windows closed and screened Make sure all small openings and holes are sealed 2. Don t feed them Keep lids on bins and empty them regularly Don t eat food in the food handling area Cover all foods and store them properly Keep all areas and equipment clean 3. Destroy them If you see a pest report it if there s one there are usually more Use a professional pest controller to control and kill vermin 15
17 Control 6: Implement supply chain control procedures 1. Supplier evaluation Set specific selection criteria for sourcing new suppliers Contact other customers and evaluate their experiences Evaluate product samples Perform site inspection review Food Safety Assurance procedures and supplier capability 2. Customer complaint response policy Obtain complete information about the complaint and then evaluate Notify the various enforcement authorities and/or agencies including the local council and Environmental Health and Safety Officer (EHO) Ensure good public relations and customers relations are maintained Accurately record any complaint in a Customer Complaint Record Register 3. Recall procedures Record accurately all purchase and supplier information i.e. purchase order records, receival check list, acceptance record log, details of rejection or return of goods, and supplier details 16
18 Whenever a food recall is implemented, investigate, assess the risk and take action if necessary Actions to be considered may include product withdrawal from the retail chain, stopping all further sale of suspect product and notifying relevant parties Detain, separate and quarantine all food in stock or process and mark not to be used in production or for sale Ensure customers are notified of relevant product information such as date produced, distribution and sale points and lot or code numbers Arrange for pick-up and return of product and/or disposal Ensure all receipt details of product to be collected or disposed of are completed prior to return or disposal Disposal of product must be under controlled supervision 17
19 HACCP HACCP is a universal food safety system. HACCP stands for: Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points HACCP was first designed to protect American astronauts from getting food poisoning on the first manned flights into space. HACCP aims to protect food from contamination by: 1. Identifying the points in your business that are very important or critical to food safety; 2. Putting in place controls to prevent microbiological, chemical and physical hazards from contaminating food; and 3. Monitoring these points to make sure that contamination does not occur. HACCP involves identifying all the potential hazards at each of the process steps in your business, from purchasing and receiving through to sale or service. It shows how your business controls and prevents those hazards to ensure safe food. By writing it down, an Environmental Health Officer or Food Safety Auditor can see that you have taken the right steps to protect your customers and reduce the likelihood of a food poisoning incident. The new Food Safety Standards are based on the concept of HACCP. 18
20 How does your business rate? Here is a quick food safety test you can do on your business. These questions are the kinds of questions that an Environmental Health Officer or auditor would ask you. If you answer yes to all the questions congratulations! If you answer no to any questions you have probably found a problem in your workplace that needs to be fixed. Yes No 1. We keep food at the right temperature We check the temperature of incoming food items We calibrate the temperature gauges in our cold rooms and fridges We store fresh items at or below 5 C and frozen food at or below 18 C We rotate stock on a First In First Out basis We check the temperature of fridges and freezers twice a day We cook food to the right temperature We check hot and cold holding temperatures every two hours We hold hot food at or above 60 C and cold food at or below 5 C 2. We prevent contamination We wash raw fruit and vegetables We store raw and cooked food separately We use separate equipment for raw and cooked foods 19
21 Yes No We use single-use cloths instead of tea towels or rags We use colour-coded cloths, buckets and mops for different cleaning tasks Staff follow personal hygiene procedures We control vermin 3. We follow personal hygiene procedures Staff wash hands using an anti-bacterial soap and single-use paper towels Staff report illnesses and do not work with food when sick Staff wear the right uniform Staff follow hygienic procedures when working with food How to wash your hands charts & stickers are above hand wash stations Hand wash stations contain no-touch taps and no-touch soap dispensers 4. We keep our workplace clean We keep our work area and equipment clean We use a sanitiser We follow a cleaning schedule 5. We control vermin We keep vermin out Staff report all pest sightings We use a professional pest control contractor 20
22 How does your food safety knowledge rate? Here is a quick quiz to test your knowledge of hygienic food practices. Answer true or false to each question. True False 1. Part of my responsibilities include spotting and stopping hazards 2. Every day 11,500 Australians suffer from food poisoning 3. To grow, bacteria need food, time, the right temperature and moisture 4. Bacteria grow fastest in the Danger Zone between 0 C and 5 C 5. Tea towels can readily lead to cross contamination 6. Colour-coded wiping cloths can help prevent contamination 7. It is best to dry hands on disposable paper towels 8. Using the same cutting board for handling raw and cooked food can cause contamination 9. To prevent contamination it is important to wipe thermometers with anti-bacterial wipes 10. Always store raw food above cooked food in the refrigerator 21
23 For hygienic wiping, hand drying and soap solutions contact Kimberly-Clark Australia on Freecall H Y GIENIC SOLUTIO N S at Visit our websites and 22
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