The point of sale is termed as the final stage in the food operations chain and if you have taken precautions to follow the Food Regulations so far, then do ensure that at the point of sale there are no shortcomings either. All points of sales are seen either as low risk or high risk food points that are monitored and inspected by regulatory authorities to check the compliance to the guidelines. Food Business Operators must take special care to train, educate and motivate their personnel to ensure that all regulatory issues are being followed strictly.
The food at the point of sale may be prepared
- At the selling point itself
- In a kitchen attached to a selling point
- Elsewhere and brought to the selling point from a central kitchen in a chain outlet
- In households like at owner’s house
It is natural to assume that the preparation of food right up to this point has been handled and prepared as per the specified guidelines and so it is safe. In order to ensure that the food at the point of sale remains safe and hygienic you must take the following precautions.
- The point of sale should be located in a clean, dry place that is protected from dust, rain, wind, strong sunrays, flies and insects
- The point of sale should ideally be away from the contamination points like animal and human, waste water drains, garbage dumps
- Use rust free, corrosion resistant materials for surfaces and utensils that come in contact with food for storage or display
- Keep tables, awnings, benches & boxes, cupboards, glass cases, utensils, crockery clean and tidy ensure it is not chipped or broken
- Do not use utensils and serving dishes made of lead, cadmium, non food grade plastic and other toxic materials
- Keep animals away from the vicinity and prominently display “Pets not allowed”.
- Maintain counter display of cold foods at 4°C and that of hot foods at 60°C
- Clean fridge atleast once a week to remove stains, ice particles and food particles and maintain temperature in the fridge in between 4°C-5°C.
- Always keep the Finished Foods above the Raw Foods on the shelves
- Salad should be freshly cut
- The Veg & Non-Veg food should be separately prepared and separate utensils should be used for the same
- Separate equipment & containers should be used for Veg & Non-Veg food operations
- You should use separate chopping boards and knives for raw fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry and ready-to-eat food
- Crockery should be properly cleaned & dried
- Cleaning of table, Spoon & Crockery
- Cover all foods and beverages properly. Discard all food left at room temperature for more than two hours
- Ensure food servers are wearing gloves at all times and dispose gloves after one use
- Wrap the take away foods in safe, clean and environmentally friendly material
- Keep food away from printed paper and newspaper
- Provide good design containers/dispensers for sugar, salt and ketchup etc. so that only the required quantity could be poured/discharged
- Wash and dry the containers at the close of business for the day to prevent growth of fungi and infestations. Use only potable water for washing/cleaning
- Place drinking water like bottled and filtered water in a protected place
- No sale/purchase should be done without cash memo
- Make available the complaint/ suggestion and inspection books
- Display in a prominent place phone number, address of food establishment manager.
- You should use the customer’s complaint to improve your standards.
Besides all these important precautions, the food business operators must always ensure that food handlers are following all the personal hygiene requirements all the time to ensure that the food is safe for the consumer.