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Here comes summer

On hot summer days what’s better than eating outside?

Thursday 25 May 2017

Get the barbecue going, make some delicious salads and add some ice-cold beers – heaven.


Barbecues and alfresco dining

If you are planning summer barbecues you need to be prepared.  Carry out health and safety risk assessments on the equipment, access and egress to the barbecue and assess the dangers to your guests. 

You will also need to carry out HACCP risk assessments to ensure you maintain the highest food safety standards.  We know there is nothing worse than serving a piece of undercooked chicken, but how safe are your salads? 

Wash your salad vegetables, keep the finished salads chilled.  Warm salad dressings are potentially as risky as undercooked food.  Not everyone has the luxury of a chilled display unit, if not you could display salads on an ice bath.  If you don’t have a large capacity ice machine, commercial packaged ice is relatively cheap. 

Hay fever can cause people to sneeze, so you need to protect your display from contamination.  If guests are helping themselves to the salads then display small amounts and change the display regularly.

Your team will need to wash equipment as well as their hands.  So, make sure you have an adequate supply of clean water, hand sanitiser, towels and cloths to wipe down.

The pressure of a fast turnover could lead to corners being cut, it is best to pre-cook food to reduce risk of serving uncooked items. 


Food deliveries

Kitchens are busy places, and on occasion deliveries are not always checked in.  Summer heat increases the risk and it becomes even more important to ensure your deliveries are safe, check the temperatures of deliveries to make sure that they are at the correct temperature and don’t be afraid to turn a delivery away if it isn’t.

High risk chilled and frozen food deliveries must be put away upon delivery to reduce the risk of bacterial growth or spoilage.


Consider your chefs and kitchen team

Chefs often suffer over the summer; the kitchen is normally hot but if the ventilation isn’t adequate the temperature can rise and the working conditions become unbearable.  Check your ventilation system and if you can afford to upgrade it.

Cooling the kitchen can be achieved by simply opening the doors and windows.  You will need to make sure there are suitable screens to stop flying insects entering the premises though. 


Check your temperature(s)

Constantly opening and closing doors to fridges and freezers raises the internal temperature leading to motors having to work harder.  With the additional problem of high external air temperatures, the problem gets worse.

It is recommended that you service all fridges and freezers before the summer to avoid breakdowns.  A serviced unit will operate far more effectively in higher temperatures.  Reducing energy costs, food wastage and food safety risks.

When putting food in the fridge don’t place bulky hot items in the fridge, breakdown to smaller units where possible and make sure the temperature is as low as possible.  The use of ice baths mentioned in the first section is a good idea to chill food quickly. 

It is advisable to check the fridge and freezer temperatures more regularly than twice daily.  Check the temperatures of products stored in the cabinets as well as the internal air temperature of the cabinet.  Keep the doors shut as much as possible.