A high food hygiene rating makes perfect business sense and this is backed up by evidence. The Food Standards Agency’s recent survey found that over 85% of the public placed hygiene standards above location or price. Why wouldn’t they? Everyone wants to feel reassured when they dine out and a high rating does just that. How do you improve your rating? Here’s 3 top tips to help you.

Reduce cross contamination

One of the most effective ways to ensure a high standard of hygiene is to reduce the risk of cross contamination. There are a few straightforward steps you can take.

Divide your kitchen into separate sections for cooked and raw food. If possible, have separate sinks for each type of food. If space means this isn’t feasible, then allocate different time slots to prepare raw or cooked food, including dishwashing. Sanitising the area between activities and after use is a must!

Train your staff

Is everyone that works for you aware of what the Food Hygiene Rating means? Are they all trained in how to achieve the necessary standards of cleanliness required? Make clear guidelines and transparent work policies to help staff to understand the importance. For example, hair should always be tied back, watches and other jewellery removed, nails trimmed and unpainted and hands washed frequently. Set time aside to train your staff. It makes business sense!

Organise your food storage

Management of your food storage is essential to ensure a high rating. Raw food and cooked food need to be kept apart. Totally separate food storage areas are essential. This protects against cross contamination and bacteria such as E. coli. Food should be kept on racks, off the floor to minimise the risk of pest infestation. Delivery areas also need your attention especially if deliveries are made prior to staff being on the premises.