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Serving Take Away Food? 3 Overlooked Places Germs Hide

In years of travel, I've eaten unusual and unidentified things in some very "rustic" places. However, my one experience of food poisoning was unexpected - the buffet of a magnificent 5-star venue. Germs don't discriminate and so in Australia, we have some strict guidelines on preparation, serving and storage of takeaway and prepared foods. Business generally do an excellent job keeping spaces hygienic and clean. There's a few less obvious places that can go unnoticed though. Here's three hiding spots to remember.


The Kitchen Light Switches

Your food handling team walk in every day and immediately wash their hands. But what's the thing that gets touched by the first person in the store every day? Often, it's the light switch. The germ left on the surface today may flourish, waiting for a moment it can cross-contaminate. Make sure light and power switches are on the list of items to sanitise regularly.

The Cleaning Products

It's almost ironic that the very items you use for cleaning and sanitising can be carriers of bacteria themselves. Mixing up cleaning cloths can be a trap. Ensure your cleaning products are used and stored correctly so that they don't cause contamination. Clear and simple procedures will keep this under control.

Price Tickets and Holders

Along with all other fixtures and fittings, display accessories must be: (1) designed so that they will not absorb grease, food particles and water; and (2) cleaned regularly. Ticket holders should be of such a design that they can be easily cleaned, with no "nooks and crannies" that will trap particles. The tickets themselves should be easy to clean. Both these items should also be sturdy in their construction, so that small pieces of plastic aren't breaking off and falling into food. We work with many food servers to provide a display that is easy to maintain while also looking attractive.

Food Buffet Ticketing

Further Resources

Some additional cleaning tips are available in this article at the Australian Institute of Food Safety's website, and the Food Standards Code section on Food Premises and Equipment is available from the Australian Government's Register of Legislation.

Author profile

Steve Nelson believes in incredible retail spaces that sustain communities. Steve is a Retail Display and Operations specialist and has worked with iconic retailers across the globe. As leader of Euroswift Retail Creations in Australia, his focus is delivering solutions and techniques that assist retail hubs in growing and protecting their investment. Connect with Steve on LinkedIn

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