One in seven takeaways in the UK has failed food hygiene inspections, according to new analysis of data from the Food Standards Agency.
Across the nation, more than 7,000 takeaways failed their inspections due to dirty premises and poor food preparation procedures.
Restaurants given a zero score won’t necessarily be shut down but they will require a follow-up visit within a month to ensure progress has been made.
If you manage your own restaurant and you’re concerned about your Food Hygiene Rating, here are a few tips and guidelines to help you maintain good standards, keep customers safe, and achieve the rating you deserve.
Keep cross-contamination to a minimum
- Wash your hands before and after preparing food
- Keep raw and ready-to-eat foods separate
- Adopt a colour-coded system to separate equipment based on the type of food it’s used for. For example, use red coloured chopping boards and knives for raw meat, while using yellow equipment with ready-to-eat items
- Make sure employees are trained to minimise cross-contamination risks
Ensure surfaces and floors are cleaned frequently and effectively
- Ensure all staff understand the importance of washing their hands effectively and do so before and after handling food
- Clean and disinfect work surfaces, chopping boards and equipment before and after food preparation
- It’s good practice to clean and disinfect surfaces as you go along throughout the day
- Use the appropriate tools for each cleaning task. Be sure to follow any instructions on cleaning product packaging
Chill foods sufficiently
- Check food when it’s delivered to ensure it’s cold enough
- Put chilled or frozen food away immediately after delivery
- Always let cooked foods cool at room temperature before placing them in the fridge (but never leave cooked foods out of the fridge for longer than an hour).
- Regularly inspect your fridge and freezers to ensure they’re cold enough
Cook foods thoroughly
- Cook foods thoroughly before serving and ensure they’re cooked right through
- Ensure juices run clear before serving
- Burgers, sausages and minced meat must not be served pink or rare unless specific controls are in place
When inspecting your premises, a Food Hygiene Officer will want to see evidence that you take all the above safety measures into consideration. Not only will they check your premises are clean, tidy and free from potential hazards, they’ll also ask for evidence of a Food Safety Management System (FSMS). Take a look at our guide to Food Safety Management Systems to find out more.