Your customer’s health and safety is your priority. Following the correct receiving and food storage procedures are a key part of preventing contamination and spoilage and reducing food wastage.
WHEN RECEIVING INGREDIENTS
- All food items and raw ingredients used to produce food in a canteen should come from approved suppliers.
- Temperature and time are the two most important factors to be aware of when receiving your food items and ingredients. A nominated staff member should understand and check the conditions and temperatures of the food items being received.
- Check best before dates to ensure that the stock has not expired.
DRY STORAGE OF INGREDIENTS
- All dry and canned goods should be stored off of the floor and in closed, labelled containers.
- Storage areas should be well ventilated and pest free; be aware that dry storage areas can become a food source for rodents and insects.
- Practise diligent stock rotation for both wet and dry stock (First In, First Out).
- Chemicals should be stored separately from food as chemicals can cross-contaminate food items.
DON’T FORGET THE FRIDGE
- Store dairy and meat products separately.
- Always cover your prepared ingredients and cooked food with a lid or cling film.
- Always date-label your fresh produce and cooked food.
- Always practise the ‘First In, First Out’ method when using raw ingredients.
- Raw meat, poultry and fish should be covered and stored on the bottom shelf of the fridge.
- Unprepared vegetables should also be stored on the bottom shelf, but in a separate area to the raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.
- Clean the fridge regularly, especially the fridge handle, shelves and storage containers.
- Once a day, check for food that has passed the ‘use by date’. Follow the correct procedure to record it as wastage and throw it out.
- Ready-to-eat foods such as cheese, yoghurt, cooked meats and cooked foods sit on the middle or top shelf.
- Store open, pre-packaged products on the shelf below the cooked food.
- Ready, prepared and washed vegetables should be stored on a separate shelf.