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What is Hazard Analysis?
Hazard Analysis comes from a system that was developed in the early 1960s as part of the NASA space programme. It was introduced to make sure that astronauts did not get food poisoning whilst in space. As you can imagine, the symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea would be highly undesirable at zero gravity! In simple terms, Hazard Analysis is a common-sense approach to food safety, which if applied correctly, will result in safe food at all times. In practice it involves the following: • Firstly understanding the various stages involved within your food business; Knowing what dangers exist at each of these stages; Applying good working practices to stop these dangers happening; and Regularly checking to ensure that the dangers really have been stopped.
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This is all very Interesting, but Why Do I Need to Know About it?
Food poisoning is unpredictable. It could occur at any time and usually when you are least expecting it. Hazard Analysis aims to help you to sensibly plan and manage food safety, guarding against poor hygiene and practices that can result in food poisoning at ALL times. That way, you can be confident that food poisoning won’t become a reality for your business. And if that’s not a good enough reason in itself, you also need to apply Hazard Analysis because it is a legal requirement! Failure to do so can result in formal action taken by your Local Authority resulting in a fine of up to £5,000, not to mention the adverse publicity for your business.
involving a large and wide range of food ingredients. you can reduce overheads and deal with disrepair etc. quite simply. DON’T PANIC! Let’s start with a simple example. If you can demonstrate that you have taken all reasonable precautions in your business to prevent an incident occurring. it is unlikely that you will be prosecuted. each representing a separate task or activity. . dishes. such as: • • Safe and efficient food handling and preparation Cost effectiveness – in planning your business properly. you have NOTHING TO LOSE AND EVERYTHING TO GAIN! • • Understanding the Stages of Your Business Food businesses are often very complicated. Another important consideration is that there would be no need to pay out compensation to customers. So. staff and customer requirements. as the food you have prepared is safe to eat. To simplify all of this. like boiling an egg. The flow diagram is built up of boxes. a flow diagram can be constructed to provide a “picture” of the various tasks you regularly perform when preparing a particular type of food. menus. your business also benefits in other ways too.The good news is that by applying Hazard Analysis. If that sounds complicated. linked together by arrows. before they become too costly. Less wastage and loss Compliance with the law & a “due diligence” defence. which show the order in which these are performed.
When you are ready to cook them. Other typical stages may include “STORAGE”. but it is exactly the same! Take a look at the example on the following page and then have a go yourself.Example Your eggs are bought at the local supermarket and placed in the fridge to store them on your return home. you place the egg in a pan of boiling water. we get: Buy Eggs Store in Fridge Boil Eat Hot Alternatively if we had chosen to cool the egg down and slice it up for a sandwich. for about 5-8 minutes. putting these stages together to construct a flow diagram for a boiled egg. “COOLING”.this is commonly referred to as “PURCHASE”. “REHEATING” and “HOT HOLDING”. A blank flow chart is provided for you to fill out using one of the foods that you regularly prepare. “PREPARATION”. just because it allows more space. rather than eating it themselves. the flow diagram would look like this: Buy eggs Store in Fridge Boil Cool Down Slice & Eat Cold in Sandwich The first stage in any flow diagram will always involve buying food or its ingredients . The last stage will always relate to the food being eaten . . So. Finally you eat the boiled egg whilst it is still hot. And that’s our flow diagram! You will usually see a flow diagram running down the page and not across it.in a restaurant or take-away this is commonly referred to as “SERVICE” because the person who prepared it usually serves it to a customer. “COOKING”.
The sandwich is cut and wrapped in cling film and then placed into the chilled display cabinet until sold. 1. CHILLED STORAGE 3. To prepare the sandwich. the tuna mixed with mayonnaise and then spread onto the bread. CHILLED DISPLAY 6. PURCHASE 2. WRAPPING 5. SERVICE . the bread is buttered. PREPARATION 4.FLOW DIAGRAM Premises: Food Type: High street sandwich bar Tuna mayonnaise sandwich The sandwich ingredients are purchased from a local supermarket and stored within the fridge until ready for use.
If something is likely to harm you.What are the Dangers? Just think about dangers in the same way as you do in your everyday life. may fall into food. chips of wood. flakes of paint. and food handlers who are sick with an infectious disease. So. a passing car is a danger because it could knock you down and harm you. such as stones. for example. dirt and dust from the environment. . nuts & bolts. or who simply have not bothered to wash their hands before preparing food! CHEMICALS Chemicals (such as bleach) stored near open food or harmful residues left on surfaces and equipment after cleaning may end up contaminating food. For example: BACTERIA Harmful bacteria may be present in foods or their ingredients and. can grow to dangerous numbers. when you think about dangers to food. then it is a danger. when crossing the road. if given adequate time and temperature. PHYSICAL OBJECTS Foreign bodies/materials. Other sources of harmful bacteria include pests such as mice. In much the same way. pieces of plastic. try to think about all of the things that may be present within that food or those things that could contaminate food to make it harmful. fragments of glass etc. flies or cockroaches.
there will always be dangers with bacteria growing and/or surviving. . • • • Look at the following chart where the dangers have been included for your tuna mayonnaise sandwich. there will always be a danger of them contaminating food. Are FOOD HANDLERS involved? If so there will always be a danger of them contaminating food by poor personal hygiene or if they handle food when ill. Ask yourself the simple question “What Can Go Wrong?” and remember to consider the following: • Are there likely to be BACTERIA in the various foods that you handle? If so.Go back to the stages of your flow diagram and think about the possible dangers involved during each of these tasks. Are there bits of FOREIGN MATERIAL close to food? If so. Then use the blank chart to repeat your flow diagram and then record the dangers alongside each stage. Are CHEMICALS used to clean food preparation surfaces & equipment? If so. there will always be a danger of them contaminating food.
SERVICE i. iii. PURCHASE i. 4. ii. Bacteria or foreign bodies may be introduced into the food from packaging materials or dirty hands Bacteria may grow on food if it is held at too high a temperature. i. Bacteria may grow to unacceptable levels if food is kept past its expiry date or left out for too long. e. iii. Poor quality ingredients. PREPARATION i.g. 6. WRAPPING i. ii. mouldy bread Out of date foods Presence of bacteria on raw foods Growth of bacteria if fridge temperature is too high Cross contamination from raw foods Moulding/rotting in fridge if left too long Contamination by foreign bodies if left uncovered Bacteria may be introduced from poorly prepared ingredients.FLOW DIAGRAM & DANGERS Premises Food Type High street sandwich bar Tuna mayonnaise sandwich What are the Dangers? 1. 5. Contamination of food by Service from person with unwashed hands 2. Bacteria may grow on the food if it is left out of the fridge at room temperature for too long. 3. i. Food may become contaminated by other foods stored. CHILLED STORAGE ii. iii. dirty equipment and/or food handlers. CHILLED DISPLAY ii. . iv.
perhaps. you will need to take action to control them so as to prevent food from becoming unsafe and. There are different options available to you. but the main aim is to put good working practices into place and to regularly check that they are working. making someone ill.STOPPING THE DANGERS The next bit is simple. Wherever you have spotted dangers. follow these simple rules: PURCHASE • • Use reputable suppliers Check all incoming deliveries for dates. For each of the stages that you have identified. STORAGE • Ensure that your fridges and chilled display cabinets are working AT OR BELOW 8oC by checking regularly using an independent thermometer Prevent cross contamination by storing cooked and ready-to-eat food below raw food and keeping all food covered Practice good stock rotation and dispose of any out of date food Keep shelf life of prepared foods to a maximum of 3 days Regularly check dry stores to check for pest infestation • • • • . damage and temperature.
PREPARATION • • Make sure food handlers WASH THEIR HANDS regularly Watch how food handlers are preparing foods in the kitchen .are they following good practices? Check that equipment and cleaning cloths are clean and disinfected Ensure adequate SEPARATION BETWEEN RAW AND COOKED foods through the use of dedicated/colour-coded equipment • • COOKING AND REHEATING • COOK ALL FOOD THOROUGHLY to AT LEAST 75ºC. transfer food IMMEDIATELY INTO CHILLED STORAGE • • . as these take too long to cool – MAXIMUM JOINT SIZE SHOULD BE 2 KG (4. ideally within 1½ hours TRANSFER HOT FOODS from cooking vessels into cold shallow trays and split bulk cooked foods into lots of SMALLER PORTIONS for faster cooling Do not cook large joints of meat.5LB) – if you need more. cook two or more smaller joints instead Once cooled to room temperature. checking the temperature with a probe thermometer Cook meat/poultry until all JUICES RUN CLEAR and no blood is visible STIR soups / gravies / stews / custard and other liquid based foods to distribute the heat throughout Make sure that frozen food is FULLY DEFROSTED before you cook it • • • COOLING • • COOL FOOD AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
To be sure that this is actually the case. you must check that the danger is no longer present. can avoid this danger. Going back to the boiled egg. to keep heat evenly distributed Limit the hot holding of food to A MAXIMUM OF 2 HOURS • • CHECKING FOR DANGERS Provided you follow all of these rules.HOT HOLDING • • Make sure that all hot food is kept at 63ºC OR ABOVE Always PRE-HEAT your hot holding unit well in advance of use and place food into it IMMEDIATELY after cooking or reheating Where possible. In principle there are two main checks that you can do. and checking that the centre is solid before either eating it or using it in your sandwich. one of the dangers in this example was not cooking the egg enough to kill off the dangerous bacteria present when it is raw. Cooking the egg thoroughly. STIR FOODS. TEMPERATURE CHECKS Using a thermometer to check that the temperature of a hot or cold food is sufficient to keep it safe. for example. These are: 1. Just remember the following temperatures: Chilled food Cooked & reheated food Holding food hot 8oC or below 75oC or above 63oC or above . your food should be safe to eat.
In this situation you will need to react to the danger by cooking the chicken further. it is very important that you react quickly to situations where dangers are still present. have a look at the completed flow diagram overleaf with both the dangers and ways of avoiding dangers added. Then have a go at doing your own using the blank form provided. These will also help you. VISUAL CHECKS Looking to see that things are as they should be. Note at the bottom of the chart the types of check that the high street sandwich bar will need to carry out to ensure that their food is safe. Visual checks will include seeing whether: Raw food is below cooked food in the fridge Food is kept covered to protect it from contamination Equipment and utensils are being cleaned properly Food handlers are washing their hands frequently The electric fly killer is working and turned on Stock rotation is adequate All out of date foods have been thrown away Signs of rodent or insect activity are present Whatever type of check you do. Finally. if you check a piece of chicken with a thermometer to see that it is thoroughly cooked and it gives a reading of only 59oC. These do not involve actually taking measurements. RECORDS To help with your regular checking and to stay “on the ball”. you know immediately that the food is not safe to eat. but are still important for ensuring food safety. At this point you now know that the danger has been removed. until your checks gives a reading of 75oC. as a manager. . Records are also of major importance if you ever need to defend yourself and your business in court. it is essential that you start to keep records. to know that your staff have done all of the necessary checks. they may help to prove that you have been checking to ensure that food is safe to eat.2. Quite simply. For example.
Premises: High Street Sandwich Bar Date: 01/01/03 Food Type: Tuna Mayonnaise Sandwich Flow Diagram 1. iv. CHILLED DISPLAY i. iii. above raw foods and keep covered.g. Ensure maximum shelf life of 3 days. 2. MONITORING METHOD Delivery checks – visual and temperature Fridge temperature checks Visual checks Visual checks Fridge temperature checks – time and temperature . Ensure good rotation and stock control. ii. How can I stop them? Use good suppliers. i. iii. iii. Use only clean equipment e. mouldy bread Out of date foods Presence of bacteria on raw foods i. Thoroughly wash your hands and stick to the rules of good personal hygiene. ii. ii. Reject products above 8°C. ii. PREPARATION i. iii. i. dirty equipment and/or food handlers. Store fillings in separate area of fridge. 3. chopping boards and knives & keep them clean. WRAPPING i. Poor quality ingredients. iv. iii. iv. Prepare all food quickly & return it to the fridge immediately it is finished. Food may become contaminated by other foods stored. Thoroughly wash all salads before use.g. iv. Bacteria may be introduced from poorly prepared ingredients. ii. PURCHASE What are the Dangers? i. 1 2 3 4 5 STAGE NAME Purchase Storage Preparation Wrapping Chilled display Ensure chilled foods kept at 8°C or below ii. Growth of bacteria if fridge temperature is too high Cross contamination from raw foods Moulding/rotting in fridge if left too long Contamination by foreign bodies if left uncovered Chilled foods must be stored at 8°C or below ii. iii. Keep only for a maximum shelf life of 3 days. Keep packaging material clean and covered over before use. Bacteria may grow on the food if it is left out of the fridge at room temperature for too long. i. Bacteria or foreign bodies may be introduced into the food from packaging materials or dirty hands Bacteria may grow on food if it is held at too high a temperature. above raw foods and keep them covered. i. Temperature check on delivery to ensure chilled products kept at safe temperature. v. Thoroughly wash your hands. Store in separate area of fridge. ii. Summary of Checks: STAGE NO. CHILLED STORAGE i. 5. Bacteria may grow to unacceptable levels if food is kept past its expiry date or left out for too long. Ensure within use by dates & not damaged. e. Follow storage instructions on products. iii. 4. iv. Ensure good rotation and stock control. ii.
DO NOT FEAR. The day itself is fun. Need more details or information on the next available course? 01753 875255 or e-mail: email@example.com Please call Don’t worry about it – act now and pick up the phone! . as Slough Borough Council have come up with a solution. They are running most months and are designed to present hazard analysis in an easy to understand way. The course is available FREE OF CHARGE to any small. informal and relaxed.I’M STILL LOST – HELP! If you have found that tough going.gov. It is called “Food Safety – The Answer” and is a one-day training course to help you to construct and complete flow diagrams and ultimately produce a Hazard Analysis system for your business. independent food business in Slough.
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