Boost Your Hygiene Rating With These Proven Food Hygiene Tips

A good food hygiene rating is essential for any food business.  It shows customers that you take food safety seriously.

In fact, some people will avoid eating at restaurants and takeaways that don't have a 5-star rating.

So, to help you on your way to achieving a 5-star rating, I've compiled a bunch of food hygiene tips. 

These tips come from real people who have undergone food hygiene inspections in the UK.

Let's get to it!

  • Reduce the risk of cross-contamination by using multiple sinks.  The Food Standards Agency requires a minimum of two sinks." One sink for hand-washing, the other for food washing/washing up.  If you only have two sinks, you need to first clean down your washing up sink. Then you can wash the fruit/veg etc.  You must then clean down the sink again.  Always prepare any ready-to-eat foods first.  Do this before moving onto washing raw food.  This is something a food hygiene inspector may ask you about if you only have two sinks.
  • Make sure to have a measuring cup for soap and detergents.  This enables you to consistently put the correct amount of soap/detergent in a bucket or sink.
  • Prevent contamination by keeping them cleaning products well away from food and ingredients.
  • Create a cleaning schedule and write down how you prepare the kitchen when you start.  You should also document  how you clean it when you're finished.
  • Clean everything.  This includes (but not limited to) the oven, microwave and descaling kettles.  You should also wipe down doors, door handles, sweep the floor and make sure bins are clean.
  • Empty waste bins as much as possible.  Avoid letting them overflow.
  • Have daily cleaning checklists and deep clean (weekly) checklists.
  • Have a good cleaning rotation of all your cleaning cloths.
  • Have paper towels/blue roll next to the sink so you're not using the same tea towels over and over again.
  • Label all ingredients, especially things that contain nuts.  Label with open date and use by date.  Keep people accountable by asking them to write their name on the label.  Remove old labels before applying new ones.  Also, get some 'use first' labels so staff know which products to use first.  This ensures your oldest stock doesn't get wasted.
  • Keep a rotation sheet if keeping ingredients out of their original packaging.  This helps ensure that food and ingredients with earlier use by dates get consumed first.  Not only does this promote food safety but it also minimises waste.
  • Keep records of waste.  I.e. what waste went to the tip, and when.
  • Check fridge temperatures and write them down morning and night.  Fridge temperatures should be between 5 and 8 degrees celsius.  Ideally, it should be closer to 5 degrees celsius.  If they're wrong, you will have to throw food away as it may have perished.  It's possible for the electricity to have gone off in the night.  As such, it is possible that the fridge kept food at incorrect temperatures.  This can affect food such as cream and other perishable items.
  • Have a thermometer in the fridge and freezer.  This should be alongside any temperature gauges on the outside of the fridge.
  • Check sell by dates on food in the fridge especially for things like butter, eggs and milk.
  • Check fresh items every day.
  • Check your fridge even if you're not using it to check it isn't contaminated.
  • Clean the inside of your fridge walls, ceiling and floor.
  • Have separate shelves in your fridge for stuff that contain nuts and other allergens.  Separate shelves are also essential if you work from your home and only have one fridge.
  • Check food temperatures using a sanitised probe.
  • Clean surfaces before you use them in case someone else has used it.
  • Wash dishcloths every day.
  • Always check delivery van fridge temperatures.  Write these temperatures down.  Don't take delivery of food that isn't at the correct temperature.  Also write down who the courier was and when you receive the stock.
  • Store ingredients correctly.  Ensure that you keep lids closed at all times.
  • Check the quality of your hand wash soap.  Food Inspectors may look at your handwash to see if it foams up.  Also inspect the label to see if it kills bacteria.
  • Use cleaning products with BS EN 1276 or BS EN 13697 markings on them.  This means using British Standard products rather than products produced to European standards.
  • Keep raw food food away from read-to-eat food.  This includes uncooked food and not just raw meat and fish.
  • Never store food on the floor.  Use racks or storage cupboards.
  • Always wear protective clothing and head coverings.  Avoid jewellery and watches and instruct any staff you may have to do the same.

Before you go…

If you haven't already read my article on “How to Earn a 5-Star Food Hygiene Rating”, I highly recommend reading it.

The article is very detailed.  But if you follow the advice written in it, it will go a long way towards helping you achieve a 5-star hygiene rating.

Boost Your Business: How to Earn a 5-Star Food Hygiene Rating