The Food Safety Management System (FSMS) provides practical implementation guidelines for those FBOs who are involved in manufacturing, packing, storage and transportation of food in the catering sector to ensure food safety throughout the supply chain. The guidelines are meant for a wide range of food establishments and broadly includes :
- Restaurants, hotels, cafeterias and cafés
- Food service operations in institutions, hospitals, schools & religious places
- Bakeries, snack bars, eating houses
- Food catering units- rail & airline
- Kiosks, temporary or permanent food events, and mobile vending operations
Since the catering industry is on the rise it poses extra responsibilities on the FBOS to ensure food safety and provision of nutritious and wholesome food. Challenges before FBOs include :
- Sub Standard or contaminated raw material: Catering industry has little or no control on safe raw materials such as pesticides residues, veterinary drug residues, etc.
- Lack and Clean Surrounding: The outlets located in high traffic zones like bus stands, railway stations, roadside, etc. face the challenge to maintain safe and hygienic environment zones.
- Lack of infrastructure: The vendors and small FBOs lack infrastructure/ equipment such as refrigerators, hot case, warm and running water, adequate kitchen space, etc. to ensure safe food.
- Water Quality: Street food vendors, kiosks, etc. use water provided by the municipal authorities and usually the quality of water is not potable making food prepared unsafe for consumption.
- Lack of food hygiene and safety knowledge and training: Attrition is very high in this industry and also there is a good percentage of uneducated and unskilled staff, who have little knowledge of good hygiene practices and food safety regulations.
- Multiple Registrations: Food businesses have to apply for multiple forms from various government agencies to start a business. The procedure for application is complex and cumbersome.
ESTABLISHMENT DESIGN AND FACILITIES
Location and Surroundings
- Catering Establishment must be located away from environmental pollutants and polluting industries that emit smoke, dust and fumes, away from garbage dumps, stagnant water and locations where rodents, flies and mosquitoes breed and flood prone areas.
- Premises must be protected from environmental hazards and maintain a distance of 30 metres from potential sources of contamination.
- Roads around the premise should have a hard surface to minimise food contamination from dust. \
- No direct access from residential area to food premises to prevent cross contamination
Premises and Rooms
Construction, design and layout of premises must reduce contamination of food and Construction and design must be able to
- Help carry out for food operations
- Effectively cleaned and disinfected
- Exude dirt, dust, fumes, smoke and other contaminant
- Prevent entry and harbourage of pests
- Provide a safe environment for workers and customers
- Have food flow is in one direction from receiving → to storage → to preparation→ to cooking → to packaging /serving despatch.
- Have spaces for food preparation, cooking and cooling, food storage, storage of equipment / utensils, installation of sanitary fitments, and cleaning facilities
- Prevent food or clean eating utensils from being conveyed through open spaces
- Provide separate areas for food processes, toilets, clean-up and chemical storage
- Floors must be made of impervious material, tiled without gaps and well-sealed, easy to clean and resistant to effect of hot water, sanitizers and detergents.
- Walls and partitions should have non-absorbent materials that are washable, easy to clean and sealed so they do not harbour microbes
- Ceilings, false ceiling and overhead fixtures must have a continuous construction without empty spaces, paint must be non-flaking and must be easy to clean
- Floor mats if used must be non-absorbent materials and cardboard, newspaper, sponge, should not be used as floor material
- Windows must minimize the accumulation of dirt and dust and be fitted with removable and cleanable insect-proof screens
- Doors should fit closely to prevent entry of pests
- Food contact surfaces, cutting and chopping surfaces and surfaces of equipment shall be smooth, washable and corrosion-resistant. Painted and wooden surfaces and canvas cloth (other than single use) not recommended.
Equipment & containers
- Equipment and containers in direct contact with food shall be made of materials that are durable, non-corrosive, and smooth, without cracks, with no toxic effect and easy to maintain. They must be fitted with lid or covered clean gauze net to protect the food completely from dust, dirt and flies and other insects.
- Equipment used to cook, heat treat, cool, store or freeze food should be designed to achieve the required food temperatures as rapidly as necessary in the interests of food safety.
- Equipment used in a food establishment should be suitably located or positioned so that it is not exposed to contamination and maintained, cleaned disinfected and inspected easily. Containers being used for storage of chemicals etc. should be clearly marked and stored away from the food items.
Food control and monitoring equipment
Equipment used to cook, heat treat, cool, store, freeze or serve food shall be designed to achieve the required food temperatures and designed to monitor and control temperatures.
- Water for drinking, food preparation, dishwashing, cleaning equipment and surfaces directly/indirectly in contact with food, preparation of ice and steam should be of potable quality.
- Should be adequate and hot and cold running water should be available in the food preparation area.
- In absence of tap water, water should be stored in clean non-corrosive containers with tap.
- Non-potable water can be used for cleaning the exterior premises, in lavatories, cleaning of waste bins, etc.
- Drinking water coolers and dispensers shall be regularly cleaned and disinfected so as to keep it free of dirt and microbial contamination.
Drainage and waste disposal
- The drainage should be meet expected flow loads, constructed so as to prevent accumulation or back flow of waste water and be easy to clean and inspect.
- Drain shall be covered in the food processing area with removable grills filters or any other removable fittings and have a cockroach trap. End of the drain must have filters to prevent entry or re-entry of pests and rodents.
- Containers for holding waste shall be in adequate size, closed and made of impervious material, leak proof, clearly identified, easy to clean, material.
- Waste in food area should be segregated into wet and dry garbage.
- Waste disposal should be done through properly segregated colour coded bins ‘WET’, ‘DRY’ and ‘OTHER MATERIALS’.
- Waste disposal shall be done in accordance with the rules laid by local authority.
- Adequate facilities shall be provided for cleaning food, utensils and equipment.
- Separate designated place for washing raw fruits and vegetables, washing utensils and equipment to prevent food contamination
- Adequate supply of hot and cold water for washing utensils and equipment
- Washing sink, taps etc. must be of corrosion resistant materials
- Separate areas away from food for storing brooms, mops, pails, and cleaning compounds when not in use and NOT in Toilets
Establishments must have
- Personnel Hygiene Facilities
- Hand washing facility in food preparation area which can be accessed conveniently and furnished with soap dispensers, paper towels, adequate hot and cold water and indicated that this facility is only for hand washing
- Toilet Facilities and Dressing Areas for food handlers
- Toilet rooms for the public must be completely enclosed and separated from the food preparation and storage areas.
- Lighting and lighting fixtures should prevent accumulation of dirt and be cleanable.
- Adequate natural or artificial light to ensure the safe and hygienic food preparation
- Adequate storage facilities for all items required for operation, including food, food ingredients, equipment, and non-food materials such as utensils, linens, single-service and single-use articles, packaging, and chemical agents. During storage, food items shall be protected from contamination such as water leakage, pest infestation or any other insanitary condition. Adequate shelves and racks with appropriate space off the floor must be used for storing and floors not to be used for storing.
- Storage must be are cleanable and in dry location to prevent deterioration and which restricts entry of pests and away from locker rooms, toilets, sewer lines, storage of chemical/pesticides
Air circulation and ventilation
Natural /mechanical ventilation systems including air filters, exhaust fans, should be provided and they should prevent grease or condensation from collecting on the walls and ceiling and must be easy to clean.
ESTABLISHMENT – CONTROL OF OPERATIONS
All food establishments should implement and maintain an approved food safety programme that is documented and that identifies and controls food safety hazards
Food Receipt (Procurement of raw materials and ingredients)
- Receiving area must be separated to restrict environment impact of pollution and cross contamination and in small establishments receiving and food preparations activities must not be done simultaneously
- Receiving area, containers, equipment must be kept clean and sanitized before receiving food products and after non-veg products are received and must have pest control facilities
- All packaged raw materials, food additives, colours etc. being purchased as a raw material or direct consumption shall be purchased from a FSSAI licensed/ registered vendor should conform to FSSAI standards or guidelines. Fruits and vegetables purchased from vendors in mandis or directly from farms may be exempt from FSSAI licence but must be free from spoilage, bacterial or fungal infestation
- High risk foods supplier shall provide a Certificate of Analysis and preferably a Certificate of Guarantee to the food business (Form E) which states that the food being supplied conform to FSSAI standards.
- All the packaged produce received must be checked for expiry/ best before date, packaging integrity, storage condition and temperature, etc. to ensure the quality of product.
- Vegetarian and non-vegetarian products must not be received together. In case sea foods and meat products are received at the same time they must be in separate packaging and not in contact. Receiving temperature of potentially high risk food should be at or below 5°C and receiving temperature of frozen food should be -18°C or below.
- Containers for non-veg and veg foods must be colour coded and the same knife, spoon or thermometer should not be used for vegetarian and non- vegetarian products. Trolleys handling coal, garbage or other items shall not be used for transporting food.
- FBO should have procedures in place to confirm that the incoming food materials meet the documented specifications (for example visual inspection upon receipt, certificate of analysis, laboratory testing, review of label for allergens, supplier control).
- Records showing the dates, descriptions, quantities and sources / destination of supply should be kept and well maintained for audits. Temperature monitoring of all perishable and high risk items must be done for every batch of receiving and a record shall be maintained.
- Food items being rejected should be returned to the supplier stored separately if return is not possible immediately and reason for rejection noted.
Food and packaging materials storage
- The storage facilities shall be designed and constructed to avoid cross contamination
- Cold storage for foods stored below 5°C and for frozen foods below -18o C with separate refrigerator and freezer for vegetarian and non-vegetarian products
- Separate storage for raw, processed, packaging, rejected, returned or recalled food items, allergen material or foods like groundnuts to be distinguishably marked including cleaning agents.
- Raw food, food additives and ingredients shall be stored separately from the area of work-in-progress, processed, cooked and packaged products, packaging materials, stationery, hardware and cleaning materials.
- Dry storage area must be well ventilated and properly lit free of pest harbourage and cobwebs and insect bait available
- Only food grade containers shall be used for storing food products. These containers should be kept clean and sanitized before transferring the food product.
- All types of foods must be subjected to FIFO (First in First out), FEFO (First expire First out). Proper date and time tagging of food products to ensure stock rotation and prevention of food spoilage
Sequence of storing food in case of a common refrigerator
- Top: Salads
- Milk and dairy
- Cooked Vegetables
- Cooked meat
- Bottom: Raw Meat
Pre-preparation area must be well segregated into dry and wet zone. All contact surfaces must be pre-sanitized. Vegetarian cutting boards must be sanitized with 50 ppm chlorine and non-vegetarian cutting board with 100ppm chlorine with a minimum contact of 2-3 hours.
Colour coded chopping boards and knives to prevent cross contamination. Suggested Colour Code :
- Red for meat and poultry
- Blue for Raw fish and shellfish only
- Grey for Raw unwashed vegetables and fruits only
- Yellow Ready to Eat and Cooked Foods
- Green for vegetables
- White for bakery and milk products
High risk foods like meat, fish and poultry and perishable vegetarian and dairy products shall be handled in air conditioned temperature.
Pre-prepared wet items like pastes or chutneys must be date tagged with time before storing them for later use.
Frozen foods should be thawed quickly in a manner that will prevent the rapid growth of pathogenic and spoilage bacteria. During the process of thawing, the microbiological count should not exceed the limits specified in the relevant product. Thawing can be done in refrigerator and running water and used within 12 hours of thawing.
Since harmful contaminants can’t be seen, smelled or tasted, it’s important that you cook your food to a safe internal cooking temperature to avoid food poisoning. Preparation area should be clean and ventilated. In case any cooking/frying is to be done then proper outlets for smoke/steam. Food handlers must be aware of allergenic contaminants like milk, cereal grains such as wheat, maize, and nuts.
Reheating must be done through direct methods like heating on a stove or in a microwave. High risk foods such as meat, poultry, fish and gravies should be reheated only once leftovers discarded.
Food Display and Service
Portioning of food must be carried out in safe and hygienic conditions. High risk foods must be portioned in refrigerated areas and all food portioning at room temperature must finish within 30 minutes.
- Packaged food must be securely wrapped and unpackaged food covered with lid and gauges to prevent contamination.
- Only food grade containers, plates, cutlery and dishes must be used and there must be no direct handling of ready to eat foods with bar hands.
- High risk food should be displayed at 5oC or below or at 65oC and above.
- Hot food should be kept in heating containers. Ideally, food should be displayed in small portions that can be refilled.
- Temperature should be monitored at regular intervals. Cold food should be kept on ice during display.
- Dispensing containers and accompaniments at dining service such as salt, pepper, ketchup and sauces should be kept in clean food grade containers
- Mouth freshener or pan or supari must comply with standards in the regulation and must be licensed or FSSAI registered product.
Food Packaging and wrapping
Packaging design and materials must be food grade and conform to BIS standards must provide protection and prevent contamination, damage and accommodate required labelling as laid down under the FSS Act and Regulations. Wrapping and packaging must be done in a hygienic manner in proper temperature. Use of staple pins, rubber bands and strings must be avoided.
Conveyance must be clean, maintained and repaired so there is no food contamination. Adequate temperature must be maintained for all types of foods and must be protected from pests, foreign matter and environment pollution. The conveyance must not be used for any other purpose than to carry foods.
ESTABLISHMENT – MAINTENANCE & SANITATION
Cleaning and Sanitation
- There must be a cleaning and disinfectant programme in place for
- areas and equipment
- people responsible for particular tasks
- scheduled frequency
- monitoring and checking of cleaning effectiveness
- cleaning must remove debris from surfaces
- use of detergent and appropriate cleaning agents
Preventive maintenance of equipment & machinery shall be carried out regularly as per the instructions of the manufacturers. Any temporary fixes must not put the food product at risk. Regular inspection required for maintenance.
FBOs must have a proper pest control programme in place for equipment and premises. There must be detectors and traps in place to prevent contamination of materials, products and facilities.
Waste disposal management
- Food waste, non-edible by product & other refuse shall not be allowed to accumulate in food handling or storage areas but must be removed regularly
- Labelled materials, products or printed packaging designated as waste shall be disfigured or destroyed to ensure that trademarks cannot be reused.
- Disposal of sewage and effluents must be carried out in conformity of specified requirements
- Waste stores and dust bins must be kept appropriately clean, free of pests and in closed conditions and shall be disposed as per local rules and regulations including those for plastic and other non- environment friendly materials
ESTABLISHMENT – PERSONAL HYGIENE
All food handlers must undergo medical examinations by registered medical practitioner and must be free of infectious and communicable diseases.
Illness and injury
- Food handlers suffering from a disease must not be allowed to handle food.
- They must report jaundice, diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, sore throat with fever, visibly infected lesions, boils, cuts or sores & discharge from ears, eyes or nose.
- Personnel with open cuts, wounds or burns shall be required to cover them with suitably water proof dressings before starting operation
- Food handlers must maintain high degree of personal hygiene.
- Wear appropriate clothing and cover head and beard.
- Hair, nails and moustache must be properly trimmed and hair must be tied and gloves worn at all times
- Hands shall also be washed after –
- handling non – food chemicals
- handling incompatible food products (such as raw versus cooked food) or contaminated material
- coughing or sneezing or blowing their nose
- using toilet facilities
- using cell phones
All food handlers shall follow a good personal behaviour. Any behaviour or unhygienic practice which could result in contamination of food shall be prohibited in food handling areas. It includes –
– Unprotected sneezing or coughing
Visitors shall wear protective clothing, footwear and adhere to all the personal hygiene requirements as mentioned above while entering food handling areas
PRODUCT INFORMATION AND CONSUMER AWARENESS
Product information & Labelling
All packaged food products shall carry a label and requisite information as per provisions of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and regulations and must carry information on food allergens, list of ingredients, lot identification, etc.
Consumer awareness and Complaint handling
Information shall be presented to consumers in such a way as to enable them to understand its importance and make informed choices. Complaints should be accurately categorized according to safety concerns and other regulatory concerns, such as labelling. Complaints related to food safety shall be investigated by appropriately-trained technical personnel.
ESTABLISHMENT-TRAINING & MANAGEMENT
Annual training should be given to personnel responsible for monitoring and measurements and corrective actions in the food safety management system, supervisors whose activities have an impact on food safety and internal auditors. Periodic assessments of the effectiveness of training should be done and reviewed.
Management & supervision
The Food Business shall ensure that technical managers and supervisors have appropriate qualifications, knowledge and skills on food hygiene principles and practices to be able to ensure food safety and quality of its products, judge food hazards, take appropriate preventive and corrective action, and to ensure effective monitoring and supervision.
ESTABLISHMENT – AUDIT, DOCUMENTATION AND RECORD KEEPING
- FBO shall conduct a self-evaluation through internal and external audits or other mechanisms at periodic intervals, but at least once in a year to verify the effectiveness of the implemented food safety systems.
- Appropriate documentation & records including incoming material checks, inspection and testing, calibration of food safety equipment, water testing, operational controls (such as temperature, pressure, time etc.), product recall and traceability, storage, cleaning and sanitation, pest control, medical examination and health status of food handlers, training etc. shall be maintained in a legible manner, retained in good condition for a period of one year or the shelf life of the product whichever is more.