food safety tips for 2019

Start 2019 on the right foot and prepare yourself and your team for the new year by understanding food safety for your kitchen or food factory.

2018 will be a year to remember with the Listeriosis outbreak taking the main focus for food safety in South Africa.

2018 also saw the shocking news that our Minister of Environmental Affairs Bomo Edna Edith Molewa passed away from Legionnaire’s Disease.

It was also a year where the Cape Region experienced severe water shortages which affected food safety.

With such a year, 2019 will be a year where the public becomes even more aware of hygiene and food safety, which means more awareness and pressure will be loaded onto the food industry to comply with food safety requirements.

This can only be a good thing for us all.

FCS Tips for Food Safety in 2019

  1. Read through your FCS corrective action reports and make sure that you understand the requirements. You are always welcome to contact us for clarity.
  2. Sign up for the FCS Monthly Newsletter. We always provide additional insights to food safety and microbiology.
  3. Start the year fresh with your team by implementing food safety training. Remember basic food safety training is required by law.
  4. The festive season is over and hopefully would have been incredibly busy. This likely means you wouldn’t have had time to deep clean the kitchen. Start the new year with a good deep cleaning of the entire kitchen.
  5. Relook at your schedules and checklists and start planning your routines.
  6. Do a thorough stock take and ensure that expired stock is removed.

FCS Tips for Maintenance in 2019

Food Safety requires that you are aware of all critical factors that can contribute to food poisoning. This may mean that is it time to look at keys in terms of your maintenance plan. Focus on areas that are related to the risk. You can use the FCS report for this.

  1. Check your hot water temperatures and repair/replace boilers if needed. Hot water is critical to food safety and cleaning.
  2. Re-evaluate all fridges and freezers. Cold temperatures will help keep your food stock fresh and germ free. Do a full service of these units or replace as need be. Having sufficient storage space will go a long way in maintaining food safety.
  3. Repair or replace any damaged or rusted equipment, tables or shelves. Food Safety does not only focus on bacteria, but also pests, chemical and physical contamination.

FCS Tips for Legionella Control in 2019

Legionella control is often a forgotten area of risk, which as we saw in 2018 had a high profile consequence. Water quality and safety are critical to any facility. 2018 also saw the update of the Legionella control system SANS 893.

  1. Read through and understand the FCS Legionella audit requirements.
  2. Check and maintain the hot water system and ensure that hot water is generated to a minimum of 60°C.
  3. Install outlet valves for both the boiler and storage tanks.
  4. Schedule the annual cleaning of boilers and storage tanks.
  5. Update the letters of appointment, memo’s to housekeeping and training of maintenance and housekeeping staff.
  6. Update and implement your record-keeping system.
  7. Repair or replace any rusted pipework.
  8. Evaluate and monitor and aerosol-generating fountains and ponds and pools. Remember to record, pH, available chlorine levels and cleanliness and condition.

Food Consulting Services is a private South African-owned Food Testing Laboratory and Food Safety Consultancy, that tests water and food to ensure compliance with South African National Standards. We also perform hygiene survey audits to the hospitality and food manufacturing industry. If you’d like to learn more about Food Consulting Services, visit our website or feel free to enquire with us. We look forward to hearing from you and becoming your food safety partners. Get in touch with us for more information.

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