Food Service Sanitation Report Biology Essay

Published:

By submitting this work, we are declaring that we are the originator of this work and that all other original sources used in this work has been appropriately acknowledged. We understand that plagiarism is the act of taking and using the whole or any part of another person's work and presenting it as our own without proper acknowledgement. We also understand that plagiarism is an academic offence and that disciplinary action will be taken for plagiarism.

The Gallerie previously known as the The Food Loft, is a sub-brand operated under the well-known local food court chain, Koufu Pte Ltd. It is located at Marina Square Level 4 (refer to Appendix A), comprising of approximately 27 stalls. It has a combination of some hawker operators, offering not just Singaporeans favourite local fare, but also regional Asian fares. Besides, it comprises small casual-dining restaurant cluster of very established, nostalgic operators - Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice, Ah Lam Abalone Noodles and last but not least, The Corner Place - Korean BBQ. Above all, The Gallerie is a feast of a magnificent full glass view of the beautiful Marina Bay skyline.

Objectives

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet

Professional

Essay Writers

Lady Using Tablet

Get your grade
or your money back

using our Essay Writing Service!

Essay Writing Service

Being appointed by The Ministry of Health (MOH) as Mystery Inspectors, we had to conduct an observation and evaluation on the overall food service hygiene practices and cleanliness of the food retail industry. The team had decided to split into 2 groups, Group A and B to visit the food court during the peak hours and the non-peak hours respectively on selected days. This is to ensure a fair and unbiased observation on the selected stalls - Korean Cuisine, Indonesia BBQ and Desserts Stall. We also want to check if the level of hygiene practices has been compromised especially handling large crowds during the peak hours. In addition, the Mystery Team has come out with a 'General Checklist' (refer to Appendix B) on the various aspects (i.e. Personal Hygiene Practices, Food Hygiene Practices, as well as the Cleanliness of Food Stall Premises) that we need to look out for during the observation based on the following guideline outlined by the National Environment Agency (NEA).

The report highlighted the positive and negative practices of the selected stalls, as well as providing an analysis on how their negative and positive practices can pose an adverse impact on the consumers or be an advantage for the vendors. Furthermore, we have given suggestions that these stalls could adopt to correct these undesirable practices and review on the good practices that these stalls can learn from each other.

Korean Cuisine

Located right at the centre of The Gallerie, it offers a range of Korean foods such as bulgogi (Barbeque) meat, samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken Soup), kimchi jjiggae (stew), and dolsot bibimbap (hot stone rice). There is a griddle where they fry the bulgogi meat when it is being ordered.

Personal Hygiene Practices (Good Practices Observed)

3.1.1 Work Attire & Hairs

The kitchen assistants were all dressed in clean uniform with their head gears and apron on. They had their hair well tied, with bangs kept neatly and covered completely under the headgears. By doing so, it helps to reduce the possibility of physical contamination of hair falling into the food. Besides, we had observed that none of the staff was wearing accessories/jewellery (i.e. watches, rings) that may drop into the food during preparation. Such articles may also trap food debris that can contaminate food during preparation.

3.1.1 Washing of hands and Fingernails

All the staff had kept their fingernails short and clean and was not wearing any nail polish or fake fingernails. This helps to prevent any dirt or harmful bacteria that stay beneath the fingernails, which may contaminate the food during the preparation process. Apart from that, water droplets were evident on the staffs hands, clearly shows that they washed their hands after touching something that may contaminate their hands (i.e. after going to the toilet), thus reducing the opportunity for bacteria to be brought back.

Personal Hygiene Practices (Bad Practices Observed)

3.2.1 Work Attire & Washing of hands

The cashier was wearing jewellery such as rings, jade bangle and necklace. Although she had washed her hands after handling money, her hands were not dried before wearing the gloves. Wearing gloves with wet hands could possibly cause the gloves to tear during the process, and thus allowing the hand to get in contact with the food. Moreover, she did not sanitize her hands after touching her attire and face. Failure to sanitize her hands, the likelihood of the staff contracting a virus is very high as bacteria from our face and uniform can be transferred onto the hands, and eventually onto the food. Her jewellery will also hide dirt/bacteria or trap food debris which could contaminate the food.

3.2.2 Recommendation

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet

Comprehensive

Writing Services

Lady Using Tablet

Plagiarism-free
Always on Time

Marked to Standard

Order Now

The duty supervisor should carry out a routine check to ensure that the staffs are properly groomed with clean uniform, including head gears and apron. All accessories/jewellery must be removed while working. The stall should have kept a nail cutter and a few sets of clean uniform to lend it to the staff if the need arises. In addition, a tissue box and a hand sanitizer should be place near to the basin area, or preferably a place within their sight so as to remind the staff to dry their hands after washing. It would then be easier for them to wear their gloves and minimize the likelihood for the gloves to tear. The staff could also disinfect their hands wherever they come in contact with something that may contaminate their hands (i.e. after handling rubbish).

Food Hygiene Practices (Good Practices Observed)

3.3.1 Storage of food

The fridge was kept clean, and well-organize. A clean fridge decreases the opportunity for bacteria growth and minimizes contamination. Moreover, an organized fridge allows the staff to find the required ingredients easily, and keep track of the inventory level. Raw meat was placed below ready-to-cook food so that liquid from raw meat would not drip into ready-to-cook food and contaminate it.

Food Hygiene Practices (Bad Practices Observed)

3.4.1 Storage of food and Food handling

During peak hours, we observed that the kimchi and marinated raw meat was left uncovered (refer to Appendix C - fig 1), with flies hovering above. Flies carry bacteria such as E.Coli and Salmonella. Hence, they would transfer them onto the food, which may result in cross-contamination. Being exposed in the open air also means that these ingredients would fall within the temperature danger zone of 4 to 60 degree Celsius. Food-borne illness may therefore occur. Special attention should be paid to the Kimchi, as it was not discarded despite being left in the open air for more than four hours.

Also, since the vegetables were washed in the sink where detergents were in close proximity (refer to Appendix C - fig 2), it may result in foodborne intoxications due to the toxin found in the detergents. The vegetables were later kept in the original plastic bag, which was not a good idea as well because it may be dirty and may result in cross-contamination. As for the raw minced meat, since it was left uncovered, micro-organisms may grow. Besides, used kitchen equipment was not washed immediately after use. As a result, bacteria could multiply over time and then transfer onto the food on subsequent cooking.

Two uncovered tubs of fried onions and ikan bilis were placed next to the cashier counter. This may lead to physical contamination where foreign objects, such as dirt from handling money or even coins might drop into the garnishes. In addition, while kneading the dough, the chef folded back the small particles of dough that fell over the dirty ledge. Foreign objects such as hair and dirt may come in contact and added into the dough. 

3.4.2 Recommendation

Ingredients were probably left uncover to ease the human traffic during peak hours. However, during off-peak times, these ingredients could be preserved in the refrigerator with raw ingredients kept below, prepared and ready-to-eat ingredient such as fruits and vegetables above. Foods that are exposed for more than 4 hours should be discarded. At the minimum, all the ingredients should be covered at all times to prevent pest from infesting. The Korean cuisine stall could perform daily checks for flies evident in their stall premises and maintain their stall cleanliness at all times. If problems persist, Fly Screen or Insect Electrocuters could be installed in the premises to reduce the problem. 

Kitchen equipment should be washed immediately after use. Sink should be kept clean and detergents should be stored away from the basin. After washing the ingredients, they should be placed in a clean basket to prevent contamination. Alternatively, ingredients that are washed could be taken out from the fridge only when needed. This would minimize additional contact point that may also result in contamination.

The two tubs of garnishes should be covered with a fitting lid and should not be placed near the cashier. This prevents contamination and reduces oxygen exposure, which may affect the quality of the garnishes. 

Food Stall Premises (Good Practices Observed)

3.5.1 Stall utensils & equipment

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet

This Essay is

a Student's Work

Lady Using Tablet

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Examples of our work

The utensils were in good condition, neither chipped nor stained. Proper maintenance of utensils can decrease the likelihood of customers being injured by the broken utensils during the food consuming process and the opportunity for bacteria to grow in these areas.

3.5.2 Air Ventilation System

Excess smoke and odors were well controlled due to the efficient canopy ventilation system, sucking the fumes upwards. Also, there were no layers of dust on the ventilation system. This displayed good effort in cleaning off the grime and dust that might have accumulated, which could have posed a threat of physical contamination.

3.5.3 Glass panel & waste disposal

Glass panels were free from dust particles and food stains which show that they were cleaned constantly. This helps to prevent physical contamination of food, as well as help the stall maintain a positive image. Covered pedal dustbin was used, with garbage bag placed in it. Bins are the best place for breeding germs, so it is a must to wash hands after touching a trash. Hence, with the use of foot pedal dustbin, the hands would never come in contact with the trash and bin.

Food Stall Premises (Bad Practices Observed)

3.6.1 Floors

The floors of the stalls were greasy and wet. This could result in workplace accidents such as staff slipped and fell. Oil stains were also evident on the kitchen shelves where serving utensils (e.g. stone bowls) were kept. Kitchen surfaces and basin areas were wet and condiment spills could be seen on the serving counter as well. Wet surfaces could be an inviting place for bacteria growth, especially with the presence of food scraps. Moreover, boxes of goods placed around the kitchen could cause obstruction to movement of the staff when they walked around, especially during the busy period. Besides, these boxes pose a serious fire hazard and could likely be a source of chemical contamination during the process of cleaning the kitchen (i.e. mopping of floors). Stacking of boxes in the kitchen may be inevitable, but the chemical contaminants could be transferred from one goods to another.

3.6.2 Recommendation

The floors can be kept clean and dry whenever possible. Kitchen should be clean thoroughly every day at the end of the operation, so that utensils can be kept on clean and dry shelves and establish a hygienic image of the store. Kitchen surfaces and sink areas should be wiped dry whenever there is an opportunity to do so, and sanitize at the end of the operation. Goods can be kept organized and preferably 30cm above the ground.

Indonesian BBQ

It is located at the left hand side of The Gallerie. It sells a variety of food, ranging from barbequed poultry meat to seafood as well as fried chicken which is also known as Ayam Penyet. It managed to attract a relatively long queue during the lunch peak hour as compared to its neighbouring stalls.

Personal Hygiene Practices (Good Practices Observed)

4.1.1 Work Attire, Hairs and Fingernails

All the staffs were properly dressed in clean and tidy uniforms and had their hair well tied, with bangs kept neatly and covered completely under the headgears (refer to Appendix C - fig 3). By doing so, it helps to reduce the possibility of physical contamination of hair falling into the food. Apart from that, they kept their fingernails short and clean without nail polish or fake nails attached. These good grooming habits help to prevent any dirt or harmful bacteria that stay beneath the fingernails, which may contaminate the food during the preparation process.

Personal Hygiene Practices (Bad Practices Observed)

4.2.1 Work Attire and Washing of hands

The kitchen assistant was wearing accessories/jewellery (i.e. watches, rings) that may drop into the food during preparation (refer to Appendix C - fig 4). Such articles may also trap food debris that can contaminate food during preparation. On top of that, one of the staff did not remove his apron before leaving the kitchen while disposing the rubbish (refer to Appendix C - fig 5). This may dirty the apron as in the process of disposing, it may have physical contact with the garbage or rubbish bin. A dirty apron could be a potential hygiene hazard because of the visible dirt and possibility of invisible germs on it.

The staffs did not wash his hands before moving on to the next tasks. After collecting the money, he roughly rinsed his hands, cooked for the next customer and continued to change the trash bin, mop the floor and clean the work station. In the interval of the above tasks, he attended customers, handled money and cooked food. The bad habit of not washing hands before moving to the next task will increase chances of cross contamination. The staffs were also not wearing gloves when handling raw food (refer to Appendix C - fig 6). By not washing hands thoroughly and not wearing gloves, there is a high possibility that germs will be transferred to the foods.

4.2.3 Recommendation

Before every single shift, the duty supervisor should conduct a check on the staffs' grooming; ensuring that all staffs are well groomed and dressed. All staffs fingernails must be cut short, long hair bun up using hair nets, accessories are removed and uniforms are free from stains. A point system can be implemented whereby all staffs are graded according to their grooming and hygiene practices. Demerit points will be given to staffs serving as warning, while staffs that practise good hygiene and food service sanitation shall be rewarded accordingly either monthly or annually

Close supervision is also needed to advocate the importance of personal hygiene among staff. A strong work culture should be instilled to create good habits in the workplace, in this context, personal hygiene practices.

Food Hygiene Practices (Good Practices Observed)

4.3.1 Storage of food

The raw meat was stored in containers while cooked food was kept distant away from the raw food to prevent mixture of the food especially during the busy period (refer to Appendix C - fig 7). Cooked foods, such as fried eggs, were covered with cling-wrapped leaving a small hole to take what is needed and this reduces the chance of food contamination.

4.3.2 Food handling (Utensils & equipment)

The cooked food was properly handled using tongs, ladles and other utensils. In addition, the utensils used have handles that are extended above the equipment's rim to prevent them from sliding into the pot which keeps the food safe for consumption upon serving (refer to Appendix C - fig 8).

Food Hygiene Practices (Bad Practices Observed)

4.4.1 Storage of food

Even though the raw food was stored in containers but it was not covered with a lid (refer to Appendix C - fig 9). The raw food that was being exposed can cause bacteria to multiply rapidly as it falls within the temperature danger zone of 4 to 60 Degree Celsius. Food-borne illnesses may therefore occur.

4.4.2 Recommendation

The containers used to store raw food must be covered at all times or at the minimum, cling- wrapped and kept it inside the fridge. If the chef intends to prepare the food in advance, he can take an adequate amount of raw chicken wings, placed it in a new container and properly cling-wrapped it. This reduces the number of contact points the raw food may encounter with and will help to prevent dirt particles or other unknown microorganisms to enter/grow.

4.4.3 Food handling (Utensils & equipment)

Staff barbecuing the food was found using the same pair of tongs for three different tasks. She used the tongs to grill the raw chicken on the barbecue grill (refer to Appendix C - fig 10), and then proceeded to dip the cooked chicken into a pot of sauce (refer to Appendix C - fig 11). She also used the same pair of tongs to take out the piece of chicken and placed it on the serving plate (refer to Appendix C - fig 12). The entire process had been repeated for few times. Instead of washing the tongs thoroughly, she rinsed it in a small container of water that was changed every few hours (refer to Appendix C - fig 13). The raw food that carries bacteria would therefore, be passed on to the tongs and then transfer the bacteria directly to the cooked food. Also, the water in the container was also contaminated by the sauce and the tongs. As such, there would be a high risk of cross contamination.

Cleaning cloths appear to have been used over long periods of time on many different surfaces, such as tables, trays and even service countertops (refer to Appendix C - fig 14). This may induce cross contamination as the staff reused the same cleaning cloths for many different purposes. For example, trays are supposed to be clean as they are used to serve food and utensils. However, when the staff used the same dirty cloth after wiping tables to clean the trays, germs could be transmitted from the tables to the trays and ultimately, to the utensils. Apart from that, cloth is naturally absorbent, so it retains moisture and the fibre traps dust and dirt, thus making it a potent breeding ground for germs and bacteria.

4.4.4 Recommendation

A course training, which includes the importance of using different tongs for different purpose should be conducted by the duty supervisor. Using the same pair of tongs to handle raw and cooked food would lead to higher risk of food poisoning and even death. All equipment should therefore be washed immediately with hot water and detergent after each usage, so as to prevent cross-contamination. Different colour codes or designs for the tongs, cleaning cloth and chopping boards can be introduced to the staff in the kitchen. This is a good way to distinguish them for the different tasks

Food Stall Premises (Good Practices Observed)

4.5.1 Basins & Sinks

The hand washing stations were conveniently located near the dishwashing and kitchen areas (refer to Appendix C - fig 15). This will remind the staff to wash their hands after each encounter with something that may contaminate their hands.

4.5.2 Waste disposal

Throughout the entire observations, the kitchen staffs were seen empting the filled rubbish bins twice from the food preparation areas and this had not been compromised even during peak hours. Bins are the best place for breeding germs. With such good practices in place, it will help to prevent the infestation of pest such as cockroaches and flies which thus, could reduce the damages to foodstuff and transmission of diseases.

4.5.3 Pest Control (Maintaining a clean environment & protecting food from pest)

Food spillages were cleaned up immediately with a cloth which helps to prevent the attraction of pests and this leaves the customers a good impression of the stall. Besides, all their food items were stored at least 30 cm above the ground to protect it from ground pests such as rats and cockroaches which were commonly seen around the kitchens.

Food Stall Premises (Bad Practices Observed)

4.6.1 Glass Panels

The glass panel at the counter and barbeque area was dirty and greasy due to the smoke and oil produced during the process of barbequing (refer to Appendix C - fig 16). The ledge of the barbeque area were stained and filled with bits and pieces of meat. The messy appearance can be a turn-off for customers and affect their level of hygiene. When more dirt and oil start to accumulate at the same area, it will ultimately become an unsuitable area to prepare the food and worst still, it welcome pests.

4.6.2 Recommendation

The staffs must keep the glass panels and ledges clean and well-maintained as and when it deem necessary. This will reflect upon the stall cleanliness and hygiene practice. A clean looking stall front will be more appealing for customers. In addition, they can install a stove exhaust slightly lower at the barbeque cooking area to absorb the oil and smoke and thus, reduce the stains formed on the glass panels.

Desserts Stall

Located near the entrance of The Gallerie, the dessert stall offers a wide range of local hot and cold sweet delights such as the much renowned ice-kachang and bubur chacha.

Personal Hygiene Practices (Good Practices Observed)

5.1.1 Work Attire, Hairs & Fingernails

The kitchen assistants were all dressed in clean uniform with their head gears and apron on. Their hairs were covered completely under the headgears. By doing so, it helps to reduce the possibility of physical contamination of hair falling into the food. Apart from that, they kept their fingernails short and clean without nail polish or fake nails attached. These good grooming habits help to prevent any dirt or harmful bacteria that stay beneath the fingernails, which may contaminate the food during the preparation process.

Personal Hygiene Practices (Bad Practices Observed)

5.2.1 Work Attire & Hairs

Two female staffs failed to tuck in their fringes into the headgear. Strand of hairs may fall into the food without noticing it during the food preparation process. Moreover, one of the staff wore a ring outside of the glove. It may drop into the food and may also trap food debris that can contaminate food during preparation. Gloves should be changed into a new pair upon returning to the stall premises.

5.2.2 Recommendation

The duty supervisor should ensure that all the staff hair is completely tucked under the headgears. All accessories/jewellery must be removed while working. Also, when leaving the food preparation parameter, apron and gloves must be removed.

Food Hygiene Practices (Good Practices Observed)

5.3.1 Storage of Food

Ice meant for cold desserts were kept in the freezer with doors closed at all times to ensure that the freezer temperatures are well-maintained and kept at their required temperatures. Ingredients were well organized and kept properly with no spillage in the refrigerator to decrease the opportunity for bacteria growth and minimize contamination. It would also be easier for the staff to find the required ingredients and allow them to have an overview of which ingredient is running low, so that they would be able to replenish the ingredients quickly, especially during peak hours. 

5.3.2 Food Handling (Utensils & equipment)

Gloves were used when handling ice from the freezer and operating the ice blending machine. Different ingredients were stored in different containers, each assigned with separate scoops. Ice scoops were also used when taking the ice. In this way, the scoops helped to minimise hand contact with both the ingredients and ice. Utensils were also washed and sanitized after each task and this reduces the risk of bacterial contamination.

Food Hygiene Practices (Bad Practices Observed)

5.4.1 Washing of hands

During peak hours, the cashier helped the assistant to take the ice using her bare hands, without sanitize her hands first after her cashiering duties. Bacteria from the money will be transferred onto the ice, thus contaminate the final product. Perhaps due to the liquid nature of the desserts, the assistant hands, uncovered with gloves, got into contact with the desserts unintentionally during the serving process. Bacteria on the hands might be transferred into the desserts.

5.4.2 Food Handling (Utensils & equipment)

Ladles allocated to each container that was filled near to the brim often got the handles covered with syrup. This maximizes the possibility that bare hands would come in contact with the syrup and thus indirectly introducing bacteria into them. Gloves were not removed when washing the equipment (refer to Appendix C - Fig. 17) and the same pair of gloves were used to perform other task for the next consecutive hours. This would then result in cross-contamination, especially if the residue from the washing detergent or food were not washed off completely from the gloves. Besides, we noticed that the staff stacked up the unused cans on the display rack behind the preparation table according to their expiry date. The cans with the earlier expiry date would therefore be used first. This shows that the dessert stall is practicing the First-in-First-out (FIFO) stock rotation system to ensure that the food is safe for consumption.

5.4.3 Recommendation

Gloves should be worn when handling the food ingredients. A bowl of dessert could be placed onto a serving dish to minimize the contact point between the hand and desserts. Syrup should be topped up to an adequate level so that the handle of the ladle would not be fully "submerged" into the syrup. Moreover, new pairs of gloves should be made easily accessible for the staff to change when the need arises.

Food Stall Premises (Good Practices Observed)

5.5.1 Floors

The floors of the stalls were clean and dry. This helps to minimize workplace accidents such as staff slipped and fell. Moreover, it will help to prevent the infestation of pest which thus, could reduce the transmission of diseases. The syrup was placed below the serving tray to prevent any spillage on the table top while using it for making desserts. Besides, the stall was well organized (refer to appendix - fig 17) and this makes tracking of goods, especially expired goods much easier.

5.5.2 Basins & Sinks

There are two sinks, one located in the kitchen with detergent and another at the service counter. This brought a lot of convenience to the staff because very often while they were preparing the desserts, ants would be attracted. Therefore, the staff should wash the used equipment quickly after each usage to prevent the attraction of ants. However, if the staffs need to walk some distance to wash the equipment after each usage, they would find it very troublesome and hence, compromise with the hygiene practice.

5.5.3 Waste disposal

The kitchen staffs were seen empting the filled rubbish bins twice in every two hours from the food preparation areas and this had not been compromised even during peak hours. Covered pedal dustbin was used, with garbage bag placed in it. Bins are the best place for breeding germs, so it is a must to wash hands after touching a trash. Hence, with the use of foot pedal dustbin, the hands would never come in contact with the trash and bin. Moreover, it will help to prevent the infestation of pest such as cockroaches and flies which thus, could reduce the transmission of diseases.

Food Stall Premises (Bad Practices Observed)

5.6.1 Basins & sinks

The sink was filthy with remnants of food in it. This shows poor sanitation performance of the stall as food remnants could host multiple microscopic contaminants and the staffs had been cutting fruits and opening canned food near the sink. This could cause the food to be contaminated.

5.6.2 Recommendation

Occasionally, the staffs should check if there are remnants of food in the sink and dispose them (if any) into the waste bin. The basins must be washed with chlorine regularly to ensure that harmful microorganisms are killed.

Conclusion

Upon closer scrutiny, our group noticed human errors, arising from complacency that could lead to contamination of food. Strict dress code, grooming, personal hygiene, workplace hygiene, the proper way of handling food should be strongly emphasis to the staff as the slightest negligence might lead to customer(s) having food poisoning (Refer to articles).

Staff may find it a hassle to follow the strict code of conduct when handling food. Thus, it is the responsibility of the duty supervisor to reiterate the importance of and rational behind this. Other than the duty supervisor, fellow colleagues should also remind each other about their personal hygiene and grooming. Staff should also be mindful that The Gallerie - Korea Cuisine, Indonesian BBQ and Desserts stalls are regularly patronised by the grey population, young kids and young school goers. These demographic segments are more susceptible to infection and diseases from food borne sources as their immune systems tend to be weaker. Hence, the staff should pay greater attention to their hygiene and sanitation practices to ensure that the food is safe for consumption.

With the right attitude and proper hygiene and food service sanitation practices, cross contamination can be minimise from the staff to the food. This helps to prevent the spread of germs that might lead to a foodborne illness or even foodborne outbreak.

Appendixes