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We know most business owners work hard to ensure they are selling a quality product and an excellent customer experience. However, when it comes to food safety all it takes is a small slip up and it could be all over. If you are caught breaking strict food safety procedures, or even worse if a customer gets sick after consuming food from your restaurant, your business could be shut down faster then you can say ‘salmonella’. Here are some small common mistakes that can be costly for a business.

  1. Crowding food in storage areas

There are a number of reasons it is important to keep storage areas organised and uncrowded. Firstly, It allows for easier cleaning. Crowded food storage areas tend to be overwhelming and encourage negligence when it comes to cleaning. Crowded fridges can also lead to foods being forgotten and going off which can then lead to the contamination of other products in the same space.

  1. Not sealing containers properly

It doesn’t sound like such a big deal but according to Squizify CEO and food safety expert Daniel McDouall, staff not sealing containers properly can lead to serious food safety risks. “If you put a raw product into a room in a container that doesn’t have a lid on it, the bacteria can be transferred to other cooked product. Having sealed containers is critical to avoiding contamination.” Daniel also points out that sealed containers are critical from a pest control point of view. Not only are pests dangerous to customers, if an inspector arrives unannounced and finds any kind of infestation in your venue, you could be shut down instantly.

  1. Not paying attention to potentially hazardous foods

All staff involved with food handling should be first made aware of potentially hazardous food. According to the Queensland Health website potentially hazardous foods include;

– Raw and cooked meat, or foods containing meat such as casseroles, curries and lasagne

– Dairy products such as milk, custard and dairy‐based desserts

– Seafood (excluding live seafood)

– Processed or cut fruits and vegetables, such as salads

– Cooked rice and pasta

– Foods containing egg, beans, nuts or other protein‐rich food such as quiche and soy products

– Foods that contain any of the above foods including sandwiches and rolls

It is important that when it comes to these foods you and your staff pay particularly close attention to how they are stored or prepared. When in doubt, throw it out.

Daniel says when it comes to hazardous foods a key thing is staff awareness and staff training. According to him a Survey done in 2016 indicates that 19.6% of staff members have poor worth ethics and 18.1% has low knowledge or skill level. Daniel says “That exposes 40% of your workforce straight away. There needs to be an emphasis on training starting with the basics and the fundamentals (such as what are hazardous foods) and consistently monitoring and following up with these activities.” This helps to generate better awareness within the staff. 

  1. Allowing food handlers to use mobile phones in the kitchen

Mobile phones have become an everyday part of our lives. While most people can’t go anywhere without their phone it is important you insist that any food handlers at your business keep their phones away from food prep areas and wash their hands after phone use. Why? It is a little-known fact that mobile phone surfaces are covered in potentially dangerous bacteria. In fact, a recent study found that there are potentially more bacteria on your phone than on a toilet seat. ( If you don’t think your customer would appreciate their food being made next to a toilet then you should probably ban phones from the kitchen and food prep areas.

If you want to be sure you are abidding all food safety regulations but dread the amount of time and effort needed to make sure your venue is up to code, let Squizify do the hard work for you. To find out how Squizify can help protect your business and give you more time to focus on making sure everything else runs smoothly, make an enquiry via our website today.