Media Release: Environmental Health Practitioners focus on restaurants about safe food handling
For Immediate Release
1 June 2022
Five (5) keys to safer food training is a key focus area for Garden Route District Municipality’s Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) to educate the public about. EHPs focus mainly on formal and informal food traders about food safety. Recently, the Mossel Bay EHP team visited food handlers and management of Delfinos, Piza ē Vino, Kingfisher, Big Blu, Patricks and Kaai 4 for exactly this.
Neo-Lay Britz, an EHP from the Mossel Bay sub-office, explained: “Safe food handling is of utmost importance to ensure that quality food is sold to the public. Dangerous bacteria can contaminate food and cause food poisoning if the five keys to safer food are not adhered to”.
The GRDM EHPs, in their educational sessions, focus on the following 5 keys: keeping clean, the importance of separating raw and cooked food, cooking thoroughly, keeping food at safe temperatures; and using safe water and raw materials.
Here are the details of all the keys and their respective tips:
- Hands should be washed before and during the food preparation process.
- Premises should be kept clean, which includes the equipment used, in order to ensure that pests such as cockroaches, mice and rats do not gain access due to the availability of food (food spills, refuse bins and dirty dishes).
SEPARATE RAW AND COOKED FOOD
- Use separate equipment and utensils for the different types of raw and cooked food.
- Raw and cooked food should be stored in separate containers.
- Proper cooking kills most dangerous bacteria, studies have shown that cooking food up to a temperature of 70˚C can help ensure food is safe for consumption.
KEEP FOOD AT SAFE TEMPERATURES
- Bacteria can multiply very quickly if food is stored/ kept at room temperature, it should either be kept below 5˚C or above 60˚.
- Food products should be defrosted/ thawed at the correct temperature and not be kept on the table in the hot kitchen during the course of the day.
USE SAFE WATER AND RAW MATERIALS
- Safe water and raw materials such as fruit and vegetables should be used.
- Only meat bought from an approved butchery/ abattoir should be used.
- Choose safely processed foods such as pasteurized milk.
The GRDM EHPs are the first point of contact in ensuring that workplaces are safe, hygienic, and healthy places to work in.
If you become aware of non-compliance, please report it to 082 804 5161.
Feature Image: Environmental Health Practitioners from Garden Route District Municipality in Mossel Bay with employees from a local restaurant.