Hygiene and safety guidelines
As a chef, you obviously want to prepare and cook your meal hygienically and safely. According to NVWA, here are the common regulations for the chef to prepare a healthy and safe meal:
- Buy only ingredients which the expiration date has not yet passed yet.
- See if the product you buy looks good and fresh. Check that the packages are not damaged.
- Pay attention if you purchase fresh and/or frozen food. Place refrigerated or frozen food in a cooler and freezer bag.
- Prevent chilled and deep-frozen products from being in the shopping cart for a long time: buy dry food and non-perishable products first, then fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and fish and only at the end the frozen food. Put them directly in the insulating bag or in the cool box.
- Bring chilled or frozen food home as quickly as possible, locate your groceries away from the sun exposure during transport.
- Place refrigerated and frozen products right away. Proper refrigerator temperature is 7 ° C, in the freezer best to keep -18 ° C. Open and use the fridge wisely so that you do not have to open and close refrigerator too often.
Storage of food
- Always pay attention to the expiration date of a product.
- You can not use products with a “use-by date” if the date is passed.
- Products with “best before” or “preferably to be used for” are in principle safe and will be in good quality until the indicated date. If the date is exceeded, you can still use the products on condition that they are stored in good conditions and that the packaging is still intact. More information can be found on the website of the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority ( https://www.vwa.nl)
- Remember that the expiry date is no longer valid as soon as a package is opened (eg. UHT milk)
- Adjust the temperature of the refrigerator correctly and pay attention: Regularly check the temperature at the least favourable place in the refrigerator. Use a readable thermometer, accurate to one degree. You can also place a thermometer in a glass of water in the refrigerator so that the temperature of the water is measured instead of the more varying temperature of the air.
- The temperature in the refrigerator is not the same everywhere. In all places the temperature in your refrigerator should be between 0 and 7 degrees (average 4 to 5 degrees). Meat and fish belong in the coldest places (2 ° C), dairy products where it is 4-5 ° C.
- Prevent cross-contamination: The refrigerator must be cleaned regularly with (hot) water and soap and disinfected if necessary.
- place uncleaned goods such as fruit and vegetables lower than clean food. If you keep unclean products above clean food, contamination may occur.
- store food in closed containers. Raw and prepared food must not come into contact with each other.
- Make sure your kitchen is clean. Do not just think of the counter, appliances and kitchen equipment, but also the vascular, tea and towel. Replace your kitchen towel regularly.
- Wash your hands with hand soap before you start preparing and cooking and after each toilet visit.
- If you have long hair, it is useful to tie this together. Hair in the food is not that tasty, of course. You better not wear jewelry during cooking. They are an ideal place for the development of bacteria.
- Always cover wounds well, preferably with a striking bandage / patch.
- Do not prepare dishes if you have stomach and / or intestinal complaints.
- Check your pantry now and then. Sometimes ingredients have been around for a while and the expiration date may happen to have already passed. Apply the FIFO principle: First in, First out. What you have purchased first must be used first.
- Defrosting is best done in the refrigerator. If you want to defrost quickly, use the microwave oven. Hermetically packaged products can also be dipped in warm water. Do not defrost at room temperature.
During the preparation of the meal
- Use separate cutting boards and kitchen equipment for the preparation of meat and vegetables, but also for raw and cooked products or clean your material thoroughly after each use. Keep raw meat, raw chicken and raw fish separate from other food. This way you prevent cross-contamination.
- Wash used items immediately after use with detergent or put them immediately in the dishwasher.
- Wash ingredients before you use them with water, especially the vegetables and fruits that are eaten raw. Do not forget to wash the pre-packaged and pre-cut raw vegetables.
- Food must be at least 75 ° C or warmer if you bake it or cook it (with the exception of rosé dishes such as steak). If you want to know this, you can buy a kitchen thermometer.
- Make sure that minced meat, roulades and chicken are well cooked.
- Bring soups to the boil
- Make sure the meat juices of prepared chicken and meat are clear and not pink anymore
Meal directly or later?
- Always give food in a well-closed (reusable) container or in a sealed package. Only use clean packages that are intended to come into contact with food. When you reclaim packaging such as butter dishes, ice cream boxes, etc., use it for the same purpose and the same type of food as the originally packaged products. Do not, for example, use butter dishes with a portion of soup and do not place plastic ice cream boxes in the microwave oven.
- If the food is only given later in the day or the next day, cool the food down to 10 ° C or colder within 2 hours and then as quickly as possible to less than 7 ° C. To speed up the cooling, you can use a bath with cold water (certainly recommended for large quantities). Cool the meal to about 5 ° C above the ambient temperature and then place it well covered in the refrigerator for further cooling.
- Let your dispatcher know that you made the meal the day before. It is then for the collector to keep it shorter.
- Dispose of waste in designated containers. Try to separate waste as much as possible.
- Clean your counter again. So you can start cooking on a clean surface the next day.
- Do not just keep away insects and other pests from your kitchen and your storage place, but also avoid contaminating pet foods.
It is possible that the Eater has a food allergy and therefore asks for information about the allergens that you used to prepare your dish. Consumers with intolerance or allergies must avoid the substances that lead to allergies or intolerance. The European legislation lists 14 substances most involved in an intolerance / allergic reaction:
– grains containing gluten (wheat (such as spelled and khorasan wheat), rye, barley, oats or crosses of these species)
– groundnuts (peanuts)
– milk (including lactose)
– nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios)
– sesame seeds
Since the presence of traces of an allergen can be sufficient to trigger a reaction, it is very important that you know which allergens are present in your dish. Therefore always read the labels of the products you use. Also be aware that there may be cross-contamination! For example, if you use hazelnuts in your kitchen and then prepare a dish, traces of the hazelnuts may end up in your dish if you do not clean them in between.