Cross Contamination (page 3)

Regular Maintenance

Not only the pub’s fabric (windows, work surfaces etc) needs regular maintenance, painting, decorating and repairs, so does your kitchen equipment. So ensure that you:

  • check extractor fans/filters are working properly and there is no build up of dirt or grease
  • replace chipped or heavily scored chopping boards
  • repair (or replace if necessary) any utensils or equipment that are damaged or have loose parts and throw away chipped/cracked crockery
  • regularly clean and maintain your cooking equipment – grills, microwaves, ranges, griddles and ovens and your refrigeration such as freezers and fridges

Top tip – make sure you check and calibrate your probe thermometer regularly – boiling water at 100ºC and in ice 0ºC – do this once a month.

Chemical and Physical Contamination

In order to prevent chemicals in materials such as cleaning solutions make sure you read and understand the manufacturers instructions on the packaging and that they are stored well away from any food, especially pest control chemicals. Make sure that any chemicals you use in the kitchen are food safe.

Keep all food covered and make sure that any damaged containers or lids are discarded this will ensure no “foreign bodies” fall into the food. I have always had a very strict “no glass in the kitchen policy” – it’s all too easy for glass fragments to get into food and once in the food they are well nigh impossible to spot. Don’t allow waiting or bar staff to leave customers’ glasses in the kitchen and if your kitchen staff have a drink in the kitchen (although not whilst prepping or cooking food) then make sure you have a supply of plastic glasses for them to use. The only exceptions to the no glass rule for me are items such as glass sundae dishes and glass sauce bottles – make sure they are stored well away from any prep or cooking area and used only as required and then put back straight away. If at all possible get your food suppliers to provide your sauces in plastic bottle.

As with pests, if you think any food has become contaminated with foreign objects throw it away.

If you follow the above procedures and get into safe method routines then you will minimise the possibility of contamination or cross-contamination in your kitchen and reduce the risk of harming your customers.

Here are some useful links

The Food Standard Agency’s Safer Food, Better Business

To Find a local Pest Contractor BCPA (British Pest Control Association)

For details of Level 2 Food Safety training at the How To Run A Pub Training click here

With thanks to Steve Pepper FRSPH, MIOH, MCIPD for his help in editing this article.

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