A food business operator has to take certain precautions when employing personnel for his food business operations as food has to be safe and contaminant free for the health and safety of consumers. Also, not following the hygiene standards set by FSSAI could result in the loss of license. Once personnel have been employed an FBO has to ensure that they are strictly following personal hygiene as per guidelines. At no time should the hygienic standards be lowered and personnel must not be allowed to adopt a careless attitude on personal hygiene or in handling food.
Essential Hygiene Measures for FBOs
FBOs must follow these essential measures required to ensure food safety and to protect food from environmental exposure.
• Recruit only those staff that have under gone a medical examination and cleared parameters.
• Have the staff vaccinated for Typhoid every 3 years.
• Undertake health checks of employees every six months and maintain health records
• Instruct and educate employees not to handle food if they are infected with contagious diseases like Jaundice, diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, sore throat, eye, nose or ear discharge, skin problems (boils, cuts, itching etc.).
• Motivate and supervise them to maintain personal hygiene if they either cook, serve or sell food.
• Promote in-house food safety training for employees on an on-going basis. OR arrange for them to participate in food safety training programme run by recognised organisations.
• Maintain relevant records of training programmes of employees
• Ensure food handlers wear clean and appropriate clothing.
• Make certain that there are enough caps and gloves so that food handlers can cover their hair and wear gloves when handling food.
• Encourage them to change their street shoes once they enter the cooking premises to avoid contamination.
• Forbid them from keeping personal belongings near food or on food contact surfaces
• Make available hand washing facilities on the premises like continuous supply of water soap, tissue/ roll paper, paper towels, hand dryer or hand sanitiser.
• Strictly discourage wearing of jewellery, threads or cosmetics on their hands
Hand Washing Most Important
Hand washing is one of the most relevant and critical criteria for all food handlers to follow. Hands must always be washed with soap and under running water before handling any food. Personnel must be thorough in washing their hands after
• Using toilets
• Handling garbage
• Touching animals
• Touching raw food of animal origin
• Touching toxic substances like cleaners, pesticides, disinfectants etc.
Certain practices are very important while handling food to ensure food safety and so food handlers must not be permitted to
• Chew or smoke tobacco
• Chew betel nut or gums
• Touch mouth, tongue, nose, eyes or other body parts
• Spit, sneeze, cough etc. near food
• Touch ready-to-eat food with bare hands
• Handle food and money at same time