Understanding Food Safety in Hotel Operations
Understanding Food Safety is a critical part of any hotel operation that operates a restaurant on premise. Guests expect a memorable experience while they come to dine at your hotel. The last thing they want to remember is that they fell sick in your restaurant.
Implementing a Food safety program is mandatory by law, but it also makes good business sense as it improves the goodwill for the restaurant and ultimately business when by word of mouth your business improves.
Food Safety Standards and Authority
You would undoubtedly have heard of HACCP or ISO standards when it comes to food safety. In India food safety is governed under the FSSAI ( Food Safety and Standards Authority of India). FSSAI lays down the acceptable standards of food safety and hygiene across all spectrum of food operation.
How to set up a Food Safety program in your hotel?
Any Food Safety program has 4 parts: Identifying , Eliminating, Recording and Training. Let’s look at these 4 parts in detail.
Any good program begins with identifying the areas which can lead to food safety issues. The HACCP or Hazard Analysis at Critical Control points identifies the various areas that can potentially create issues in your organisation and lets you implement ways to reduce these issues. The process follows the flow of food in your organisation and lets you plan your operations in such a way that cross contamination is eliminated.
A typical flow of food in your hotel may be Receiving, Storing , Preparing/ Cooking, Cooling, Reheating , Waste Management.
By effectively planning your facility, you can restrict the back flow of ingredients thereby creating a flow in the production facility.
Eliminating: Sometimes it is not commercially viable to implement design flow in restricted spaces. In that case, the program should effectively eliminate the possibility of cross contamination with effective food hygiene standards. Care should be taken to eliminate and build best practices into operations to ensure all food that is served to the guest is safe to be eaten.
Recording: Another important principle of any food safety program is the recording aspect of the flow. Care must be taken to record the implementation correctly and efficiently. Key temperatures of refrigerators and food held on the buffet must be monitored to ensure that the food is not kept in the Food danger zone. ( 5 deg C to 60 deg C). One should also record pest prevention, cleanliness schedules and other aspects of the program which help to maintain food safety.
Training: Unless you work for an establishment where there is no food handlers, you need to pay attention to training your employees. Majority of the food handlers are a threat to food safety programs because of lax implementation of recognized standards. Any food safety training program must have a yearly re certification so that all food handlers are given a refresher in what is their role in food safety. On this website the Basic food safety course helps your teams to understand the basics of the food safety program in an easy to learn environment. The program is also available in all major language thanks to Google Translate so that even someone who does not read English can benefit from it. The benefit of the program is that it can be accessed as many times and has lifetime validity so that the person can benefit if any standards are updated.
And if you are interested in training your team, do check out our training plans for hotels