F&B services have direct access to guests’ health through food and beverages. The working staff handles every food and drink item closely that the guest is going to eat. Hence, if these services do not follow proper practices of hygiene and sanitation, the guests might get foodborne diseases such as food poisoning, nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Food contamination can occur through unwashed vegetables, uncooked meat, soft cheeses, and unpasteurized milk. If the food preparation and serving equipment used in F&B Services are not clean, then they become primary source of food contamination.
Types of Food Contaminations
There are three main sources of food contamination −
- Physical − This is accidental in nature and is caused by employee carelessness. The major culprits are air, dust, smoke, and dirt. To prevent this, food must be properly covered and stored.
- Biological − This contamination is caused by pathogens and microorganisms such as bacteria, molds, parasites, and fungi.
- Chemical − It is accidental contamination of food caused by cleaning solvents, pest control sprays, or other chemicals used in entire food production chain. This food contamination occurs when utensils or other tableware are not wiped dry after washing them using cleaning liquids. It also takes place when the food is not stored properly when pest control chemicals are sprayed.
Hygiene Concerns of F&B Services Staff
Personal hygiene is essential when one handles the food or beverage that the other is going to consume. The service staff must follow the given basic principles −
- It is said that the hygiene starts from home. Perform your daily cleanliness regime without any excuses.
- Wash hands and arms immediately −
- When you come from toilet.
- When you sneeze, blow nose, yawn, or cough covering your mouth with hands.
- After eating food, tobacco, or touching animals.
- After you touch hair, scalp, skin, or any body-opening.
- Wash hands with mild cleansing soap and warm water; not merely with running water.
- Wipe sweat often.
- Do not smoke or eat tobacco while working.
- Cover cuts, burns, or wounds on the skin.
- Keep hair and nails trimmed.
- Try using hand gloves as much as possible. Kitchen staff must use toque.
- Do not work when facing cold, cough, or any other contagious diseases. Inform your superior staff if you are not well.
- Do not touch ready-to-eat food directly. Always use gloves, serving tongs deli papers, or forks to handle such food.
- Do whatever required to let not your skin, body fluids, or any clothes you are wearing to come into contact with food or food containers.
- Ensure a clean uniform.
- Do not wear loose jewelry. Avoid wrist jewelry.
Hygiene Concerns of F&B Services Business
Any food business must be concerned about −
- Training all food handling and service staff with a detailed knowledge of food and equipment hygiene and safety.
- Ensuring food handlers and servers not to handle food in case of contamination possibility.
- Supplying hand-washing facilities with soap, running hot water, and paper towels for its staff.
Food Safety Concerns
Every F&B Services business must also be concerned about food safety and adhere to safety of food and beverage it serves. It must ensure −
- Marking Date on Food − The perishable ready-to-eat food refrigerated for more than 24 hours must be clearly marked at the time of preparation to indicate the date by which the food should be consumed.
- Storing of Food − Hot and cold foods and beverages need to be stored at the right temperature. The food temperature measuring devices must be accurate.
- Cleaning Equipment − The area and facilities allocated for cleaning food preparation and service equipment must be large enough to immerse the utensils and sanitize them.
- Limiting Cross-Contamination − Storing raw food such as raw meat or vegetables from cooked food is essential to avoid cross-contamination of the food.
Employing FSS − The F&B Services businesses must employee at least one Food Safety Supervisor depending upon the business size.