A healthy Plate: Challenges and solutions to food safety for F&B Industry in South east asia

A Healthy Plate

The Challenges and Solutions to Food Safety in South-east Asia

» Unduh Sekarang
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Agustus 2, 2021
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In the dynamic world of Food and Beverage (F&B) businesses, food safety stands as the bedrock of success. It's not only a regulatory requirement but a strategic choice. From contamination prevention to personal hygiene and regulatory compliance, food safety is a fundamental commitment that ensures both public health and your business's reputation. 

This article is tailored to F&B business owners, as we'll be exploring the key aspects of food safety inspection, empowering you to uphold the highest standards of food safety.

A healthy Plate: Challenges and solutions to food safety for F&B Industry in South east asia
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A Healthy Plate: The Challenges and Solutions to Food Safety in South-East Asia

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What is Food Safety for F&B Businesses?

A profitable food and beverage (F&B) business depends on maintaining food safety, which goes beyond simple compliance with regulations. At its core, food safety is about ensuring the food you serve is safe for consumption, free from contaminants, and capable of upholding your business's reputation. For F&B business owners, embracing food safety is not just a legal necessity but a strategic decision that can significantly impact your bottom line and customer loyalty.

The Business Implications of Neglecting Food Safety

Neglecting food safety can have dire consequences for F&B businesses. Foodborne illnesses linked to your establishment can result in severe reputational damage, legal consequences, and financial losses. A single food safety incident can undermine years of hard work and dedication to your business.

To sum it up, food safety is not just a moral responsibility but a business imperative for F&B entrepreneurs. Understanding and implementing the principles of food safety are vital for protecting public health, safeguarding your brand's reputation, and ensuring the long-term success of your business. In the following sections of this article, we'll dive into the key elements of food safety inspection, as well as offer actionable insights for F&B business owners to maintain the highest standards of food safety in their operations.

What is Food Safety Inspection?

All industries and businesses that deal with food and beverages must conduct food safety inspections regularly. It consists of standardized steps to remove health risk factors. Because of the thorough process, this inspection can be time-consuming and still poses risks from human error.

Food safety inspection refers to a thorough inspection process to detect harmful microbes, germs, and other unsafe elements in food. It is a standard procedure for all businesses and industries that deal with foods and drinks.

8 Essential Food Safety Inspection Rules for F&B Businesses

Let's delve into these critical food safety initiatives that every F&B business owner should implement:

1. Personal Hygiene
2. Cleaning and Sanitization
3. Safe Food Handling
4. Temperature Control
5. Allergen Management
6. Regulatory Compliance
7. Regular Monitoring and Record-Keeping
8. Using Raw Ingredients and Water Safely

1. Prioritize Personal Hygiene:
Personal hygiene stands is a non-negotiable commitment. It necessitates the perpetual maintenance of personal cleanliness for all personnel.

Enforce stringent handwashing protocols, inclusive of both before and after food handling, restroom use, and contact with potentially contaminated surfaces.

Mandate the use of pristine uniforms and instate regular health assessments for staff to preempt the transmission of illnesses.

2. Cleaning and Sanitization:
The ritual of thorough cleansing and sanitization should be a top priority, as it is a big factor in preventing cross-contamination of harmful microbes or toxins.

Dangerous microorganisms from water, soil, people, and animals can stick to ingredients, utensils, equipment, and hands. You can transfer them from one surface to the other, even with the smallest contact. 

Here are some steps you can implement: 

  • Washing hands and utensils before and after food preparation
  • Washing hands after using the toilet or handling trash and raw meat
  • Sanitizing all surfaces used for working and cooking
  • Protecting the cooking area from sand, dust, animals, and pests

3. Safe Food Handling:
The foundation of safe food handling begins with staff training. Show and educate your employees on the importance of pre-washing all ingredients, and also the implications of cross-contamination. This way, all of your employees know the benefits and detriments of handling food. 

Additionally, you should also educate your employees about specific cooking durations and temperatures, as some ingredients require a specific way of cooking to ensure that it is safe to eat. 

3.1 Raw ingredients like meat, poultry, and raw vegetables contain microorganisms. If you do not separate them from cooked ingredients, dangerous microorganisms can find their way to food and make everyone sick. This is known as “cross-contamination.”

Here are some steps you can take to prevent cross-contamination: 

  • Separating raw ingredients from other products when shopping 
  • Using separate utensils and working surfaces when handling raw ingredients
  • Storing foods within airtight containers and lids

3.2 Thorough cooking, especially with a minimum temperature of 70°C, can eliminate most of the dangerous microorganisms. This applies to ingredients like poultry and meat, especially the ones cooked in large batches.

Important steps to take include:

  • Bringing water and broth to a boiling point and letting the heat on for an additional minute.
  • Always use a thermometer to check the temperature of meat or poultry. 
  • Reheating food and evenly.
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4. Temperature Control:
Keeping a close eye over the temperature of stored food is important. Freezer and refrigeration units must be monitored at all times to ensure that they are at adequate temperature to prevent the spread of bacteria. 

Stick to the "two-hour rule" for perishable foods, and avoid keeping perishable goods out in room temperature for too long. Ideally, food should be stored at a temperature above 60 or below 5 degrees Celsius. When storing various food items in containers, label them with the food names and the dates of storing them - it’ll help you keep track of your inventory. Important steps to take include:

  • Refrigerating perishable foods at the recommended low temperature
  • Serving food at a hot temperature
  • Not storing leftovers for more than three days in the fridge
  • Letting the hot food cool down before storing it in the fridge

5. Keep an eye out for allergens:
Customers are different from one another, and some may have allergies. It would be wise to keep note of popular allergies, as well as label your products diligently so you can serve your customers as best as you can. 

Alongside this, don’t forget to educate your staff on how to handle allergen-related queries. 

6. Regulatory Compliance:

Keep updated on your country’s food safety regulations and requirements, and make sure to follow their guidelines. Your restaurant should conform and comply with these regulations to ensure that the food you serve is healthy and clean to eat. 

7. Utilize Checklists for Freque:

Start using daily online checklists to ensure that your SOPs are being complied with and that food safety is ensured in your restaurant. 

With the Digital Routines, you’re able to create comprehensive checklists that will cover food safety, preparation, and handling. Also, don’t forget to train your employees regularly so that they know the significance of food safety. 

8. Using Raw Ingredients and Water Safely

Water, ice cubes, and raw ingredients may contain toxic chemicals and microorganisms. To avoid the spread of these microorganisms, you can enforce proper food handling, and prepare and handle food properly to avoid the spread of foodborne illnesses. 

Important steps to take include:

  • Only using treated/safe water for cooking
  • Bringing water to boil before making beverages or ice cubes
  • Washing fruits and vegetables before consuming
  • Using clean, filtered water to wash utensils and clean cooking station

By embracing these food safety practices, F&B business owners like you can cultivate a culture of safety mitigating risks and championing the well-being of their customers. 

Digital Checklist and Food Safety

Digital checklists like Nimbly makes food inspection easier. You can adjust the indicator and apply it in every quality control step. This way, you will not miss a single important step. If there are steps that you miss, there will be notifications to remind you.

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