Food handling is regulated by law. Always follow these rules to keep yourself and others safe.

Basic Food Hygiene


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An E.H.O. is an Environmental Health Officer. If you are caught breaking the rules your fine can be up to £20000 or imprisonment.

By Law, food handlers with skin, nose, throat, sickness or bowel trouble should inform their supervisor and must not handle food until medical clearance is obtained.

Cuts, burns and sores should be covered with a blue waterproof dressing. These are ideal because they can be seen in food.

Personal Hygiene requirements when working:

  • Tie back long hair
  • Bath or shower daily
  • Wear a clean uniform
  • Avoid wearing jewellery
  • Fingernails should be kept clean and short, and nail varnish should not be used.

All food handlers must wear suitable protective clothing and head covering.
Protective clothing protects the food from you. Outdoor clothing should not be worn.

Smoking and spitting in food rooms is illegal.


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On entering a food room, all food handlers should wash their hands.
Hands should also be thoroughly washed after visiting the toilet, after having your break, handling raw food, blowing your nose, putting something in the rubbish bin, eating, smoking, and at frequent intervals during the work period.

The mouth, nose and hair should not be touched during food preparation.
Sneezing or coughing over food must be avoided.
If you can, use tongs or gloves to prevent your hands from touching the food.

Raw food must always be kept separate from cooked food at all stages or storage and preparation.
Separate equipment, working surfaces, and clothes should be used in order to avoid cross contamination.

Food should not be removed from the fridge until required for serving or preparation.
Fridge’s must be kept at a temperature of 1°to 4° Celsius.
Freezers must be kept at a temperature of-18° to -23° Celsius.

Food must be served on 63 Celsius or above.
Danger zones are between 4-63 Celsius.

Food must be kept out no more than 1.5 hours after being cooked.
Should be refrigerated after that.
Chilled and high risk food cannot stay at room temperature for more than 4 hours.
Frozen food cannot be left out of the freezer for more than 30 minutes.

Chemicals must be kept away from food
Use different equipment like knife and chopping board for different foods like raw meat or cooked meat!
Always clean the equipment before using
Display trolleys and buffets should be refrigerated and covered to prevent contamination.

Stored food should be rotated to prevent spoilage and avoid waste.
Remember FIFO (First In, First Out).
Use oldest foods first.
Look at use by dates on the package

Dirty pans, cutlery, crockery and other equipment should be cleaned and sterilised without undue delay.
Dirty wiping cloths must not be used.
Spillage’s should be cleaned up promptly and food debris should not be allowed to accumulate.
Polythene sacks or suitable impervious containers fitted with lids, should be used for the disposal of waste in food rooms.

Animals should not be allowed in food rooms.
Infestations of insects or rodents must be reported immediately.
If you see anything suspicious, like droppings, inform the manager immediately.

If u become ill like diarrhoea, flu or cold you must not continue working and must report it to the supervisor.
Food poisoning can cause illness and death to human beings
The symptoms of food poisoning are nausea, vomiting,diarrhoea, headache, and stomach pain.

Causes of food poisoning:

  • Pathogenic Bacteria ( pl.Salmonella,e-coli)
  • Viruses
  • Food poisoning bacteria may come from the following:
  • Raw food, Pets and animals, Rodents, insects, pigeons, People, Dirt
  • Bacteria multiply by a process called Binary Fission (one cell divides into two).

The 4 conditions that bacteria needs in order to multiply:

  • TIME (from 10 to 20 minutes)
  • TEMPERATURE (5 – 63°C, also known as Danger zone). Fridge’s temperatures should be at 0-5°C temperature and freezers below – 18°C
  • HIGH RISK FOOD.Food high in protein such as cooked meat, eggs, fish and dairy products.
  • MOISTURE (Particles of water). Bacteria need a tiny quantity of water to be able to start the multiplication process.

Cross Contamination is the transfer of bacteria from contaminated food
Examples of cross contamination:

  • Direct contamination = raw meat touches cooked meat.
  • Indirect contamination = not washing hands after handling chemicals, smoking, toilet and before handling food.
  • Physical contamination (foreign bodies) = anything present in food that shouldn’t there: hair, tooth, nails, and insects, glass