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How to handle cash and take-away food

How to handle cash and take-away food

Author: Liz Wells 

Source: talkingretail.com 

With retailers growing their food-to-go offer, many are now having to juggle serving food with handling cash and card readers. To address this issue, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has updated the Food Safety & Hygiene section of its Assured Advice guides to help stores stay on top of the legal requirements and avoid problems with local environmental health officers.

With retailers growing their food-to-go offer, many are now having to juggle serving food with handling cash and card readers. To address this issue, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has updated the Food Safety & Hygiene section of its Assured Advice guides to help stores stay on top of the legal requirements and avoid problems with local environmental health officers.

Also included in the updated advice are guidelines on allergen labelling, an area that has received extensive media attention this year and is highly important for retailers offering food-to-go.

What are the guidelines on handling cash and food-to-go?

In practice, the risk of transferring pathogenic bacteria from handling foods and cash is very slim, but it is a common complaint and good practice to separate these activities. Where possible, separate staff should handle open high-risk foods and cash and card readers. If this is not possible, staff must wash their hands between handling cash/card readers and open foods, or separate the two activities using gloves or utensils such as tongs, spoons or food wrapping to handle food.

How do I make sure hot foods are the right temperature?

If you are cooking on-site, make sure food is cooked to a core temperature of 75°C for at least 30 seconds. A probe thermometer should be used to check temperatures and results recorded.

What about displaying hot food?

Hot foods must be stored or displayed at temperatures above 63°C. A probe thermometer should be used and records of these checks maintained. If the hot food is displayed at temperatures below 63°C, then it must be disposed of within two hours.

What steps should I take to avoid cross-contamination?

Raw food such as uncooked sausages and ready-to-eat foods such as sandwiches and pies must be stored and handled separately. Members of staff should wash their hands with anti-bacterial soap between handling raw food and ready-to-eat food. When using chopping boards and knives, make sure these are separated between raw and ready-to-eat foods.

What are my obligations when it comes to allergens in food-to-go?

You must protect those customers that suffer from allergic reactions to food. There are 14 allergens covered by the law. They are: celery, cereals containing gluten, crustaceans (crab, lobster, prawns, scampi), eggs, fish, lupin (sometimes found in bread, pasta and pastries), milk, molluscs (mussels, snails, squid, whelks), mustard, nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, soya, and sulphur dioxide – also known as sulphites and often contained in dried fruits, wine and other alcohol.

What is my responsibility and what is down to the supplier?

If you are sourcing food such as sandwiches, bread, cakes and savoury products locally, then the suppliers of these foods are responsible for putting the required information on a label on the food. If the food is not packaged (and therefore does not have a label attached), the supplier must provide this information separately along with the food. You must then display this information in an obvious place so customers are aware of what allergens are contained in the food.

If you are preparing food yourself to sell in the store – sandwiches, for example – you must either: package the food and put a label on it showing which allergens are present, or signpost the consumer to the fact that allergens are present, using a notice, menu, chalkboard or information pack.

Further information
This information was extracted from Food Safety & Hygiene, one of a series of guides produced by the ACS under its Assured Advice scheme.

By signing up to the scheme, which is open to all direct members of the ACS, retailers are guaranteed that procedures followed in their stores will be respected by all local enforcement officers.

 

 

 



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