Be inspired with recipes created by chefs.
Sign up for updates about products, special offers, news and promotional materials from Goodman Fielder.
It‘s been a testing few years for the Australian hospitality industry. But now guests are ready, and legally allowed, to flock to pubs, cafes and restaurants again, it’s time to welcome them – and doing so safely will be key. Here’s what you need to know about practising good food hygiene in a post-lockdown world.
Stellar food hygiene protocols have always been non-negotiable for successful hospitality operators. They ensure the ongoing quality of your output, minimise the risk of food-borne illnesses, and make customers feel safe. And if they feel safe, the chances are they’ll visit your venue again. And with COVID-19 still looming large, people want to feel safe more than ever.
For many operators, it means there’s not only the pressure of a successful reopening, but also the added pressure of managing patron safety. On top of implementing practical COVID-19 safety measures, food hygiene plays a key part in this.
The consequences of poor food hygiene are well-known. Improper food handling not only affects the quality of your output but it can also lead to food poisoning, which – in worst-case scenarios – may land a customer in hospital. And it doesn’t only affect customers; you and your staff could be at risk too.
The good news is that there’s no evidence COVID-19 can be contracted via food, according to findings published by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Still, that doesn’t mean the virus can’t be contracted inside a restaurant. Since it’s passed from one person to another through respiratory droplets, close contact with a potential case can be enough to spread it – so in addition to immaculate food hygiene, hospitality businesses need to implement and maintain thorough cleaning regimes.
Word-of-mouth and online reviews can spread like wildfire – and just one negative customer experience can have a wide-reaching impact. Poor food hygiene can drive away existing patrons and prevent you from attracting new ones, which can be ruinous for a small hospitality business.
You may even be subject to a random food audit and, if you fail, your venue may be forced to close for a prolonged period.
If you’re running a hospitality business, the short answer is everyone. This includes all types of hospitality venues that offer any kind of food service, such as:
That’s regardless of whether your customers dine-in, takeaway or order delivery.
Most Australian hospitality businesses need at least one properly trained Food Safety Supervisor (FSS). This person needs to complete nationally recognised training provided by the Australian Institute of Food Safety (AIFS) to become certified.
In NSW, VIC, QLD and the ACT, there needs to be at least one FSS onsite at all times during staff hours.
What’s more, it’s yours and your FSS’s responsibility to pass this knowledge on to your team. That includes your kitchen staff and everyone who may come in contact with food, including:
The AIFS also offers a Food Handler Course that covers the essentials if you feel unsure about providing training yourself.
After COVID-19, food hygiene is more important than ever. By familiarising yourself with new regulations with best practices – and helping everyone understand what their tasks and responsibilities are – you can help set your venue up for success.