What is HACCP:

H: Hazard

A: Analysis

C: Critical

C: Control

P: Points

Chefs and kitchen helpers:

Personal hygiene: (It all starts with YOU)

  • Before starting work, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water
  • Wash your hands after visiting the lavatory. Use the washbasin for that purpose
  • Never wash hands in a sink used in the preparation of food or washing up water
  • Hang out clothes in the place designated or provided (outside the kitchen)
  • Put on a clean apron or uniform before you start work
  • Wear clean rubber gloves for direct food handling. Be sure that finger nails are cut short and kept clean
  • Even the smallest speck of dirt under the nail could be a hazard
  • Keep the head covered. Chef’s hat or cups should be worn and also hairnets or clean scarves can be used by people with long hair
  • Don’t comb your hair or powder your nose in the kitchen
  • Always use a cloakroom
  • Don’t handle or pick your nose
  • Don’t taste food with a lick of your fingers
  • Don’t smoke in the kitchen
  • Don’t spit
  • Don’t sneeze over food
  • If you hurt yourself, cut your finger, burn yourself, or have a small mishap, make sure the wound is immediately covered with a waterproof dressing.
  • The wearing of any jewellery is discouraged. However, the only exception is a plain wedding ring.

  • Hand-washing should be carried out:

  • Before commencing work and/or before entering the production area
  • After handling raw food and before handling cooked food and vice-versa
  • After toilet usage
  • After eating, smoking and nose blowing
  • After handling chemicals 
  • After handling garbage.

  • Defrosting

Raw, microbiologically high-risk food must be defrosted in a controlled environment that does not exceed 15°C, preferably in assigned thawing rooms. If defrosting by running water is necessary, the packaging must be sealed in a leak-proof pack and the temperature of the water must not exceed  10°C. Temperature checks should be made to ensure defrosting to the core of the food has been effective. 

 Food preparation & production

  • The segregation of raw and cooked food must take place. Cleaning and sanitizing must take place between the production of raw and cooked foods in units where it is impossible to segregate.
  • Don’t expose unnecessary food products at ambient temperature.
  • Make use of colour-coded chopping boards.
  • Green – for fruits and vegetables.
  • Red – for raw meat.
  • Blue – for raw fish.
  • Yellow – for chicken.
  • Brown – for cooked meat.
  • White – for neutral products or bread.
  • Stainless steel knives and utensils.
  • Clean duster for handling hot utensils.

  • Usage of paper tissues/rolls for cleaning and wiping surfaces.
  • Disposable piping bags.
  • Usage of pedal driven garbage containers with lids, segregation of paper, cans/metal, organic waste, bottles and other waste.
  • If disposable gloves are worn in production, these must be changed regularly and between each task.
  • Sauces must be cooked to +70°C (core temperature) for a minimum of 2 hours.
  • Commercially purchased mayonnaise is highly recommended.
  • Aspic to be made fresh for every task, spray application is preferred. Chicken and poultry should be cooked to a core temperature of 70-75°C due to high risk. Meat, fish and shellfish should be cooked to a core temperature of +65°C, unless the specification states ,,Sealing only.
  • Regular temperature probing of food must be made and records maintained accordingly.
  • Food must be date marked or color-coded.

  • Vacuum cooked food production:

Cold Preparation:

  • Preferably separate room, air-conditioned to a minimum temperature of 15°C; inclusive hand-wash basin, work tables, sink, bins, vacuum machine, bags, scales, different sizes of spatulas, plastic gloves, special perforated paper, magnet rail for knives.

Hot Cooking Preparation:

  • Steamer or combi oven with low temperature control steam at 70°C/80°C/90°C/100°C or Bain Marie.
  • Blast chiller.
  • Thermometer (Digital Needle type).
  • Labeler for production date and contante.


  • Fridge with minimum temperature of +2°C – 4°C.
  • Maximum shelf life of 7 days is recommended depending on the food product.

Cold Room / Refrigerator:

  • Temperature should be maintained at 5°C or below (appropriate to type of food) and logged regularly during each shift. Records should be available for inspection at any time. Alarm system should sound when the temperature rises above the safe level.
  • Positioning and height of trolleys must not impede air circulation. Fans and evaporators should be kept clear and clean, and the doors must be kept closed at all times. Raw and cooked foods must be kept in different cold rooms.
  • Stock rotation must take place on a ,,First In – First Out´´ basis.
  • Date or color codes must be used.
  • The content of each cold room should be checked each day to ensure compliance.
    Cold Room / Refrigerator:
  • The contents of open cans must be stored in a decanted state. Do open cans are used as a means of storage.
  • Ladles and other cooking equipment must not be left in contact with food in the cold room.
  • All food must be suitably covered, either with lids, plastic film or tray, as appropriate.

Batches of food kept out of the refrigerator for immediate setting should be kept to a workable minimum. The setting/dressing area should be air conditioned so that at no stage does the food core temperature exceed 10°C.

  • During staff breaks all food must be returned to cold storage areas.
  • The area should be clean and tidy at all times. Empty containers should be disposed of and food spillage cleared immediately.
  • Once prepared on carts/trolley with covers stored at 5°C. Cold food on Jack stack with plastic cover/slim film and function sheet
  • Hot food (regeneration system) with blanket, function sheet.
  • Normal service food items in designated food container covered, dated.
  • Hot Food Holding.
  • Keep hot food at 65°C – 85°C.
  • In hot cabinets – maximum of 30–40 minutes
  • Under regeneration blanket – maximum of 15 minutes.

  • Reheating of food:

  • Reach a minimum +75°C for about 2 minutes, especially for poultry, soups and stews.
  • Hot food which is kept in chafing dishes, temperatures should be taken on a daily basis and recorded.
  • Date, product, temperature, location, signature – this is recommended for buffet restaurants.
  • For large banquet and conference events, it is recommended to conduct dish sampling. One dish which is served should be kept for two days and recorded.
    Vacuum cooked food:
  • Can be re-heated in Bain Marie or microwave and combi steamer in the plastic bag, according to cooking temperatures.


  • Cold food being served immediately after taken out of the cold room

A cleaning schedule must be established and available for inspection. This will list each area, all equipment, frequency of attention and responsibility. The type of cleaning materials should be specified. The building should be designated with hygiene and cleanliness levels in mind.

  • All work surfaces must be rapidly cleanable. Where possible, they should be easy to move to ensure satisfactory deep cleaning.
  • Only chemicals that are proven and safe in the food environment are to be used. Staff must be trained in the use of chemical cleaning. 
  • It is necessary to ensure that the cleaning program includes disinfection. Microbiological swab tests should be an integral part of microbiological testing as a means of self-monitoring cleaning standards. These reports should be available for inspection. 
  • Drains and grates must be well maintained and cleaned – regularly with a Bactericidal solution.

    All cleaning material should be stored safely in a well ventilated, enclosed store, away from all food production and food storage areas.

  • A truck cleaning program is highly recommended. Schedule should be available for inspection.
  • A specialist external contractor should be employed to design and main suitable pest control procedures. A detailed pest control schedule should be available for inspection
  • There should be a regular collection of waste material from production rooms whenever processing takes place. Waste which has been removed from the production area and is awaiting collection and removal must be kept in suitable containers. Waste storage areas must be kept clean by regular de-infection and hosing down, and preferably should be air-conditioned
  • Our chemical supplier can be consulted for cleaning schedules, chemical, and training guidelines.
About Author

Abhi Chauhan

The Restaurant Academy Professor. My studies in hospitality and experience of working in locations such as the USA, Switzerland, India and Iceland has equipped me with extensive knowledge concerning the restaurant industry and provision of the very best customer service. I have over 12 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *