Every Food Business Operator is required to follow the guidelines defined under Schedule 4 as per Foods Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) regulations, 2011, to serve the safe, clean & wholesome food to the consumers. FBOs should use the best designed food grade & safe utensils, equipment & materials; all those should be properly cleaned, dried & sanitized. It has to be ensured that no bacteria can breed because of residue remains to cause food borne diseases.
All equipment and containers that come in contact with food or are used for preparation, processing, packaging, serving and storage of food should be made of good quality such as stainless steel / non-corrosive materials. Remember that the disposable items such as straws, paper towels, disposable cups, cleaning cloths and plates must never be reused as they are only single use items.
We are sharing here the general guidelines however there are industry specific requirements as have been mentioned under FSSAI regulations, which we will discuss later.
Requirements & Precautions for equipment and containers
- Only use non-absorbent, food grade quality containers made of corrosive free materials so food does not become toxic
- All equipment/containers should be of the design that will allow easy to cleaning
- There should be a proper arrangement for cleaning of containers, equipment & machinery parts
- Equipment should be placed away from the walls for inspection purposes
- Provide well fitted covers for utensils and containers being used for raw materials & finished food products like for storing, cooking & selling items to protect from dust, dirt, flies & insects etc
- Keep equipment, containers & machinery in good order in a clean and sanitary condition and in good repair
- No container/equipment should be employed for the preparation, packing or storage of food which may cause metallic contamination
- Equipment & containers being used for food purposes shall not be used for any other purpose like storing/keeping non-food materials.
- Use separate equipment and utensils for raw food and for prepared food and clean/sanitize before each use
- Colour code containers and utensils like red for non vegetarian and green for vegetarian foods so foods are never mixed
- Only use those stainless steel / aluminum / glass containers, mugs, jugs, trays etc. which are suitable for cooking and storing
- Properly mark and store the cleaning & dangerous substances away from food containers to prevent accidental contamination
Requirements & Precautions for food serving utensils etc
- Keep crockery, cutlery and serving utensils clean, hygienic, dry and away from toxic and hazardous elements.
- Use potable water and recommended cleaning agents for washing utensils, cutlery
- Air dry serving utensils or use sanitized cloth for wiping dry
- Instruct serving staff to hold knives, spoons and forks and serving spoons by the handles only
- Discard all chipped, cracked serving dishes, glasses and crockeryDo
- Do not use chipped enameled containers