The Australian Government has a list of standard food practices that should be adhered to keep food safe for your customers. We’ve collected a few key points from their website which you can visit by clicking here.
How to store potentially hazardous foods
Firstly foods that are particularly susceptible to bacteria need to be kept at certain temperatures to minimise these dangerous side effects. These potentially hazardous foods include items such as meat, dairy, cooked pasta or rice, seafood and foods containing these items such as pizza and sandwiches.
Legally these foods need to be stored in either very cold (5℃) or very hot (60℃ or hotter) environments. This is because, between these temperatures, bacteria begins to grow and multiply leaving people at risk of food poisoning.
You also need to be aware of the storage of frozen goods. Foods that are frozen- and that you want to keep frozen should be in that state when they are delivered to you. They should then be kept frozen up until the time you want to use them.
What to do when preparing food
Foods can also be at risk to bacteria growth during food preparation. Although there is not a specified temperature at which food should be prepared, the time that the food is kept between either of the cut-off limits (5℃ and 60℃) should be kept to an absolute minimum, which in turn, will minimise the time that bacteria have to grow.
Cooking and cooling food
Once you cook food, there are different sets of rules you need to follow. As per usual, you need to ensure the time that food is kept at room temperature is minimal. Furthermore, when you cook food to be stored and used later, you need to return it to 5℃ or below as fast as possible. The less time spent between 5℃ and 60℃ the better- this is because some bacteria can survive the heat from cooking and contaminate the food after cooking.
The guidelines for cooling food after cooking, state that the food should cool from 60℃ to 21℃ in a maximum of two hours. And then from 21℃ to 5℃ in a maximum of four hours.
This means, you may leave your food to cool at room temperature until it cools to 21℃. As a guide, food should be left to stand for 20-30 minutes for it to cool and then placed in the refrigerator. Note that you should not put extremely hot food in the refrigerator- you should wait until steam has stopped rising from the food.
Please note that all of the information on this page is a reference guide only. For more information visit Food Standards Australia New Zealand here.