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The role of refrigeration in food hygiene & preservation at sea

The role of refrigeration in food hygiene & preservation at sea

Particularly when at sea – miles away from the facilities and services we often take for granted when on land – it’s imperative that best practices surrounding food hygiene & preservation are strictly adhered to, not only to ensure the safety and good health of your passengers, but also your staff, and adequate refrigeration plays a key role in this.

With many members of the team here at Wathen Marine Catering Equipment Services former Kempsafe staff – possessing decades of experience in high quality marine catering equipment between us – we understand the importance of things like refrigeration on board your ship, and ensuring you can always rely on your equipment.

Keeping your food refrigerated helps to fight against things like:

  • Spreading bacteria
  • Food poisoning
  • Cross contamination

Yes, the role of refrigeration in food hygiene & preservation at sea is huge and, since new regulations were brought in in 2006 regarding food hazards, is now far more strict than ever before.

However, this isn’t as complicated as it may first seem, and there are some basic rules and activities you can easily follow to keep your food fresh at sea.

The role of refrigeration in food hygiene & preservation at sea

When keeping your food clean and well preserved at sea, you must first consider the following:

Personal Hygiene for you and your staff: yes, we talk about this a lot, but it’s really important that your staff keep themselves clean; ensuring their uniforms are clean, their hair is tied back and/or protected by a net, and their hands are washed regularly. Without clean hands, no matter how well you store and prepare your meals, any bacteria your staff carry on their hands or clothes will be transferred between a food.

Identify potential hazards and ensure safety controls are in place: when handling any food, in any type of environment – whether in a restaurant or out at sea – you must identify and control any potential food hazards at every stage of preparation, storage, and selling; identifying all steps in activity which are critical to food safety and putting adequate safety controls in place.

Once these measures have been put in place, you can then start to look at things like temperature control and storage; i.e. the role of refrigeration in food hygiene & preservation at sea, such as:

Always store food at the correct temperature: whilst this may sound like we’re teaching you to suck eggs (!), a blog about refrigeration in food hygiene & preservation wouldn’t be complete without talking about storing food at the correct temperature, which can be more challenging than a lot of people think, as different types of food need to be stored at different temperatures, like this:

  • Dairy +1c – +4c
  • Fruit & veg +6c – +8c
  • Cooked and prepared goods 0c – -2c
  • Fish and seafood +1c – -1c
  • Raw meat 0c – -2c
  • Cooked meat +1c – +4c
  • Frozen foods -18c – -21c

Don’t be afraid to reject food: when taking a new delivery of food, always be sure to check the temperature of the items before they make their way on board your ship and anywhere near your galley! If any item does not feel or look like it’s been stored at the right temperature or is not at the right temperature upon delivery, don’t be afraid to reject it. Incorrectly stored food, at any point in the process, can cause no-end of issues later down the line.

Keep different refrigerators for different foods: one way to ensure all food types are kept at the optimum temperature is to have a different fridge for each type; i.e. one for dairy and cooked meat, and one for raw meat and prepared meals. This way, not only will you ensure everything is stored at the right temperature, but you will also lessen the risks of cross contamination. Perfect!

In short, the role of refrigeration in food hygiene & preservation at sea is vital; for avoiding cross-contamination, in lessening the risk of spreading nasty bacteria, and therefore avoiding things like food poisoning, both for your passengers and your staff.

You can rest assured that all advice and guidance here – and throughout our blog – is provided and approved by former Kempsafe employees with many years of experience in creating and supplying high quality & bespoke marine catering equipment.

To discuss anything mentioned above or talk to us about marine catering equipment, contact us today.

Written by , June 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

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