Unit 31 Food Safety Management

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This unit will enable learners to gain understanding of the systems and processes required to produce safe food, and the management activities and controls required to achieve this.

Unit abstract

Customers have a right to expect safe and wholesome food from all the industries within hospitality. Whether from a five-star hotel, an outside event or a sandwich bar, safe food should be the norm. This unit starts by defining food safety and its importance to hospitality industries and their customers. The science and principles of food hygiene are then explored, together with the main causes of food poisoning, contamination and spoilage. This knowledge is applied to the study of the systems and processes to produce safe food. The practical application of food hygiene principles, and their monitoring and control, provide an important focus within this unit. The unit concludes by considering the responsibilities of management and the controls necessary to produce consistently safe food within the relevant legal framework. Learners will develop an understanding of food safety and hygiene principles. They will recognise the importance of them to the hygiene systems and processes that are needed to produce safe food. Their learning will be underpinned by analysis of the importance of risk assessment and quality control systems. Learners will be able to construct systems and apply them, and their understanding of food hygiene, to different situations within the hospitality industry. They will also consider the role and responsibilities of managers in the production of safe food within the requirements of the current framework of food safety legislation. Through this unit, learners will develop a clear understanding of the work managers need to do to ensure that they exercise the ‘duty of care’ they have to their customers for ensuring food is safe to eat. The development of analytical and problem-solving skills is an important feature of the unit.

Learning outcomes

1 Understand the agents that cause food-borne illness and the contamination of food

Bacteriology: main bacteria of concern – salmonella, clostridia, listeria, E. coli, campylobacter, staphylococcus; toxins; growth conditions; characteristics; incubation and onset times of illness
Physical contamination: explanation of physical contaminants; prevention of physical contamination; methods of control
Chemical contamination: types of chemical contaminants; prevention of chemical contamination; methods of control
Food poisoning: causes; symptoms; duration Food-borne infections: difference between food-borne infection and food poisoning; agentsof food-borne disease; sources of contamination; prevention measures
High-risk foods:foods that are most likely to cause food poisoning

2 Understand the processes that can prevent food spoilage and preserve food quality

Food spoilage agents: bacteria; yeasts; moulds; enzymatic activity
Food preservation methods: high and low temperatures; chemical; physical
Special processes to prolong shelf life: irradiation; ultra-violet; vacuum-packing; controlled atmospheres

3 Understand the importance of effective prevention systems in the control of food contamination

Temperature control: delivery; storage; preparation; defrosting; cooking; cooling; reheating; service
Storage: methods and types of storage; storage controls eg humidity, cleanliness, labelling, stock rotation, best before and use-by dates, cross-contamination
Personal hygiene: legislation related to personal hygiene; protective clothing; cross contamination; notification of illness; personal hygiene through training
Cleaning and disinfection: definition of detergent, disinfectant, sanitiser, sterilant; storage and use of chemicals; Control of Substances Harmful to Health (COSHH) regulations; modes of action of cleaning materials; design, implementation and monitoring of cleaning schedules
Pests: types of pests in food establishments; methods of entry; signs of infestation; control and monitoring; private contractors
Design and construction of premise and equipment: systems approach to designing premises; importance of barrier control; legislation requirements; cleaning considerations
Training: levels; methods; refresher; how to monitor the systems employed

4 Be able to construct control and food management systems

Control systems: supplier safety assurance; audit trails; risk assessment; good manufacturing practice; compliance and control records
Food management systems: Hazard Analysis and Control of Critical Points (HACCP); system construction; implementation; process flow diagrams; monitoring and evaluation; staff training; Safe Food Better Business (SFBB)
Legislation: Food Safety Act 1990; The Food Regulations 2006, Food Labelling Regulations 1996, Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs; revised or replacement legislation where applicable
Agencies: Food Standards Agency; Health Protection Agency; local Environmental Health departments; role of Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP)


Map the environment in which your organisation operates
Ensure compliance with legal, regulatory, ethical and social requirements
Ensure your own action reduce risks to health and safety
Ensure health and safety requirements are met in your area of responsibility
Ensure an effective organisational approach to health and safety
Improve organisational performance.


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