The inspection: discussions with staff

You have a discussion with a number of the staff present in the kitchen and then you meet with Mr Truscott, the food business operator, and have a conversation with him. Click on the tabs below to read the discussions or download the record of discussions as a pdf.

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Kevin – Kitchen hand

Officer: How do you clean and disinfect worksurfaces and what materials do you use?

Kevin: I brush off any loose bits and then wash the surface with hot soapy water. I then rinse with hot water and then apply the sanitizer and wipe the surface with a tea towel until it is dry. The detergent and sanitizer are supplied by Mr Truscott. I put one cap full of detergent in a bucket of hot water and use the sanitizer straight from the bottle.

Officer: How long should the sanitizer be in contact with the surface for before you wipe it dry?

Kevin: It says on the label that it can be wiped straight away.

Denise – Sous chef

Officer: You are preparing ready to eat desserts on the same worksurface that Carlos used to cut up raw meat a moment ago. How do you ensure that this is a safe practice?

Denise: Carlos chopped the meat on a chopping board and then took it to the other side of the kitchen. Before I used the worktop I asked Kevin to clean and disinfect the surface and then I used a different chopping board to prepare the fruit.

Officer: How do you know that this is okay to do?

Denise: It is the way we have been told to work by Mr Truscott and it is written in our safety manual.

Carlos – Chef

Officer: I just saw you cut up some raw meat on the chopping board but one of the knives that you were using fell onto the worksurface. I saw Denise work in that area shortly afterwards preparing fresh fruit, do you think that was a safe thing to do?

Carlos: I hear what you’re saying but the worktop was cleaned down by Kevin before Denise worked there and she used her own chopping board so there was no risk of cross contamination was there?

Officer: Do you think that it is a safe practice to use the same worktop even if you are using different boards and there is cleaning and disinfection in between?

Carlos: Yes.

Mr Serge Truscott

Officer: I’ve read through your “Safer Food Better Business” pack and all of your safe methods appear to have been properly completed which is nice to see.

Serge: Thank you, we spent a lot of time on that.

Officer: I see that you serve crayfish, are they supplied ready prepared or do you do that yourself.

Serge: We prepare the crayfish ourselves. Both of my chefs, Carlos and Francis are very experienced and each has been working in this area for over 10 years. I am also a qualified chef although I rarely cook these days but I am always around to check that they are doing the right thing and to help if required.

Officer: I notice that not all of the diary sheets have been signed off at the end of the day: One wasn’t signed last week and two the week before. Then another three weeks ago.

Serge: We always complete the opening and closing checks but I must admit that I sometimes forget to sign off the sheets.

Officer: I notice that you have an alarm on the fridge door, what temperature is it set at?

Serge: I have set it at 12ºC so that it alerts us if the fridge door isn’t closed properly.

Officer: I notice that you are using chopping boards for preparing raw meat cuts. What else do you use that worktop for?

Serge: Once we have prepped the raw meat and fish on that worksurface, we place the food into the fridge and then we place it on the cutting boards on the other side of the table ready for use. We then clean and disinfect the worksurface and we prepare our desserts there. We use different coloured chopping boards for the desserts.

Officer: I noticed that whilst your member of staff was cutting up the raw meat, a knife was placed in direct contact with the work surface.

Serge: That should not have happened, we always take great care to prevent cross contamination. I will speak to the staff and make sure that they take more care in the future.

Officer: Why don’t you have separate areas for raw and ready to eat foods?

Serge: We have tried in the past but it is very difficult to manage and supervise. We find it more convenient to use these large chopping boards to prepare foods on and then they can easily and safely be moved around the kitchen as required. All of the staff know that they must clean and sanitise as they go and Kevin is available to help them do that if required.

Officer: Have any of your staff been trained in food hygiene, if so can I see their certificates?

Serge: I train all of my staff myself. I provide new staff with an induction briefing before they start and run an annual food hygiene update session with everyone using the SFBB pack and resources on the Food Standards Agency’s website. I don’t give out any certificates to them but I do write down who has attended to ensure that I don’t miss anyone out.