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Here are 10 steps to take note:

  1. Receiving the items
    • Inspect the product thoroughly.
    • Avoid keeping the product at room temperatures for a prolonged period of time.
    • Check the packaging and ensure the food has been kept at the proper temperature.
    • Check the product specifications and beware of any abnormality.

  2. Storage and issuing
    • Note the date received, production, and expiry dates.
    • Wrap and label items, and note the quantity.
    • Observe the first in, first out method of stock allocation.
    • Always store cooked food above uncooked food, cover raw or cooked food at all times and cool dishes before placing them in the fridge.
    • Store boxes on raised platforms and not on the floor.
    • Maintain a dry storage temperature of 10°C to 21°C (50°F to 70°F) to prevent pathogens.

  3. Preparing the food
    • Thaw frozen fish, meats and poultry using a microwave oven.
    • Be cautious of leaving frozen food to thaw out in the open, as the risk of contamination is high.

  4. Cooking
    • Cook food thoroughly to kill or reduce microorganisms.
    • Use batch cooking for large quantities, noting that not all foods cook at the same speed.
    • Ensure food is cooked at the required minimum internal temperature.

  5. Holding the food
    • Keep cooked food from reaching room temperature to minimise the risk of pathogens. Simply stated, keep hot food hot and cold food cold.
    • Measure the internal temperature every 2 hours while on display.
    • Don’t mix freshly prepared food with food held on display to prevent contamination.
    • Keep food covered to avoid exposure to food hazards.

  6. Food cooling process
    • Reduce the temperature gradually. Reduce it for the first 2 hours from 57°C to 21°C (135°F to 70°F) and the next 4 hours from 21°C to 5°C (70°F to 41°F) or lower.
    • Divide your food into several portions to speed up cooling.
    • Submerge a container in an ice bath or use a blast chiller for even faster cooling.

  7. Re-heating
    • Reheat food to a minimum internal temperature of 74°C (165°F) for 15 seconds within 2 hours outside storage to help kill pathogens.
    • Inspect cooked food before re-heating to ensure it’s still good to be served.

  8. Serving
    • Ensure all food handlers observe proper hygiene in handling cooked or ready-to-eat food.
    • Always use clean and sanitised utensils.
    • Serve food at the right temperature, based on the recipe.

  9. Managing leftovers
    • Manage your leftovers well to avoid wastage.
    • Untouched leftover food can be reheated for serving or recycled as an ingredient for another dish. For example, recycle bread into croutons or pudding.

  10. Product trace and recall
    • If you suspect the possibility of contamination, investigate the cause from the time the food was served to how it was prepared, stored and received.
    • In any food contamination case, immediately recall the food from storage, the kitchen and even the table.
    • Keep a quick reference list to manage food safety complaints.