Processed Non-vegetarian foods like meat, marine food and poultry are those that have already been prepared for safe consumption. Processing can be of any form like grinding, adding ingredients or cooking, which changes the appearance, texture and taste from an earlier form.
Temperature control at the adequate level is one of the most important procedures in processing and preparation of non-vegetarian food as that is a key factor in the control of microorganisms. If temperatures are not adequately maintained then it would lead to the growth of harmful bacteria and the meat product would be unsafe for human consumption.
Food business operators therefore must take adequate steps so they have alternate means of maintaining the temperature in case there is electricity failure. The surrounding area as well as the area where non-vegetarian food is being prepared and processed must be kept clean and hygienic as per FSSAI regulations. There should be proper covered dustbins to dispose those parts of the food that are not consumed or which have fallen on the ground during preparation.
Keep in mind the following requirements that your employees must follow in processing and preparation of non-vegetarian products.
- Keep separated raw and processed meat from other foods and surfaces.
- Use separate items like cutting boards, dishes, knives and different preparation area for raw meats, poultry and marine products so there is no cross contamination.
- Wash hands thoroughly when switching from the preparation of non-vegetarian items to other items or other food preparation activity.
- Cook non-veg. items fully so that heat penetrates into the deepest part of the product.
- Wash used surfaces with antibacterial cleaning agent, rinse properly with water and sanitise surfaces after preparing raw meat, fish or poultry.
- Thaw frozen products well in time so they are ready for cooking in a way that heat penetrates to the core.
- Electric grinding equipment and even chopping, cutting produce heat and so non-vegetarian products must either be immediately cooked or placed in temperatures that do not allow microorganisms to grow.