How to combat food poisoning in your takeaway

Food poisoning is not just a problem for the eater – it’s also a risk for the restaurant. Takeaways seemingly suffer from a poor reputation when it comes to hygiene standards, so following the proper hygiene practices will help you protect your customers and set you apart from the rest. Failure to follow the legal guidelines for hygiene in a takeaway establishment can result in large fines and closure of the business.

There are a range of hygiene guidelines takeaway managers must adhere to. In this blog post, we’ll be providing a basic overview of hygiene practices you should be following both inside the takeaway and when delivering food.


Inside the takeaway

Training for food handling and safety is paramount in the business of a takeaway, but it’s not just about having trained staff and hygiene standards ultimately fall on the manager to enforce. Leading by example is a key way to influence your staff to do the same. Takeaway managers should partake in an online food hygiene level 3 course, designed for senior food managers, to ensure they have the confidence and knowledge to establish and enforce hygiene standards.

Firstly, make sure that you are operating in a clean kitchen and all staff are following standard hygiene practices. It is important to keep all worktops, utensils, chopping boards clean, washing and sanitising them before any food preparation takes place and after they have been used to prepare food.

Make sure worktops and utensils that have been touched by raw meat and poultry are washed immediately after use and don’t come into contact with any ready-to-eat foods. This will help prevent cross-contamination.

Staff members must also adhere to strict personal hygiene standards to prevent the spread of bacteria and disease. They must undertake proper handwashing practices, washing hands before preparing food, after touching raw food, after touching or emptying a waste bin and after going to the toilet. They must also wear clean attire everyday and avoiding work if they are suffering from any form of illness.

Food must be properly cooked to kill off any harmful bacteria. This is particularly important when cooking meats which must be cooked properly for the appropriate amount of time. Food is deemed safe to serve when it reaches a core temperature of 70C for 2 minutes or 75C for seconds. You can use a probe thermometer to determine the internal temperature of the food, just ensure it is cleaned and disinfected after each use.

Proper food storage is an important step in preventing the spread of bacteria.

Food that has been left at room temperature for more than 2 hours or is past its use-by date should be disposed of immediately.


Food delivery process

For takeaways that deliver food to customers, there are more factors to consider when trying to prevent the spread of food poisoning. Food delivery involves more touchpoints where the food can come into contact with harmful bacteria. Making sure that every stage of the delivery process is clean and sanitary is paramount when it comes to customer safety.

Your delivery drivers are an extension of your delivery and service staff and follow the same personal hygiene guidelines. They must thoroughly wash and sanitise their hands before handling any food as well as clean their food transportation containers with food-safe sanitiser before and after each delivery.

Finally, in order to prevent bacteria from spreading during food transportation…

  • Hot and cool boxes should be used during transportation to help control the temperature of the food.
  • Hot food leaving the kitchen must be held at 63C. If it falls below this temperature, it should be deemed unsafe for consumption.
  • Cold food leaving the kitchen must be kept below 8C. Keep a fridge thermometer in the cool box to check the box is at a safe temperature upon delivery.
  • All food should be deemed unsafe for consumption two hours after leaving the kitchen.
  • Food packaging should be purchased from a reputable company and stored in a clean, dry location on the takeaway premises.