Hume Food eNews

Hume Food News Winter 2017

The Hume City Council Services Guide provides information on Council services, activities, programs, events for residents and businesses.

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Protecting food preparation surfaces Consider the surfaces on which you prepare food. Now consider everything you place on that surface. Imagine a simple cardboard box that contains lettuce. Where has the box been? There's a good chance it may have been dragged along the ground, rested on dirt, or thrown in the back of a truck. These types of boxes may make their way along the floor or onto a shelf in the coolroom. Other containers of ingredients may also occupy the same spot and make their way onto the prep bench. The best way to prevent contamination from happening is to discuss it with all staff and avoid using the bench for purposes other than preparing food. If you're cramped for space and it can't be avoided, you should then clean the surface thoroughly with a sanitiser before using it. Looking clean and being clean is rarely the same thing. Storing stock on the floor is dangerous, unhygienic and against regulations. Australian Standard 4674-2004 states that all shelves must be designed and securely fixed so that there is a clear space between the lowest shelf and the floor of at least 150mm - enough to see underneath and insert a broom if required. All stock should be on shelves that can easily be swept and mopped under. If stock is kept on the floor, dust and food residues quickly build up around these items. By storing stock on the floor, it also makes it difficult to get to the older stock – remember: first in, first out. Ensuring the floor throughout your premises is clear means that pests will not have easy access to your food products and will have fewer places to hide. Keeping stock on the floor can create dark and undisturbed areas where the pests will go unobserved. To assist in stock rotation, cleaning and pest control, ensure your stock is stored on well maintained shelves that can be easily cleaned and also allow for surrounding areas to be maintained in a clean state. Ensure you are using suitable scoops for the transfer of ingredients from bulk storage containers. Council's Health Officers are finding many proprietors using single- serve take away tubs to scoop out ingredients. This results in the food handler sticking their thumb into ingredients, and creates a risk for the fragile edges of the containers to break off. Off the floor, on the shelf Around the Traps Get the scoop Home produced foods As Council's Health Officers make their rounds, it has been found that some proprietors and businesses have been preparing food in their own homes for sale within the business. Residential premises are generally not suitable for commercial food preparation. Such activity increases food safety risks and contravenes Section 35 of the Food Act 1984. Where this has occurred, and something goes wrong, you may find you are not covered by your insurance. Selling food produced at home by others is also fraught with risks. If the premises where it is produced is not registered, the conditions under which it has been prepared may well be unhygienic and unregulated. If contamination or food poisoning occurs as a result of your sale of this food, and you cannot verify its origin on a registered premises, you can be liable for all of the costs of legal claims and any compensation that arises. Be wary of people asking that you sell their products from your premises, as their product could be incorrectly labeled and/or poorly prepared. If you are unsure of labelling requirements or have concerns about suspicious activity, please call Council's Health Officer's on 9205 2599. These containers are made of clear and light plastic, and any pieces entering the ingredients will be difficult to detect. Your customer shouldn't have to discover a piece of plastic in their food – use a scoop.

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