How to correctly label food!

For Food Business Owners (FBOs) and those working with food in restaurants, cafes, canteens, pubs, care homes and hotels you need to ensure your staff are correctly labelling the food they use and prepare.

If you are using food purchased from your suppliers always follow the instructions on their packaging to label and date your food correctly.

When you prepare food in your own premises, you need to ensure you label all prepared foods with a ‘USE BY’ date.

Your policy and procedures for this must be written down in your Safer Food Better Business book. Any problems with date labelling either by the supplier or by mistake should be recorded in the Daily Diary, and if problems occur it’s really good practise to record this on the 4 Week Review sheet as well as what you do to correct the problem.

The main information required is: -

1. The name of the food eg Beef Bolognese sauce

2. The date it was prepared, or the packet/tinned opened

3. A ‘USE BY’ date and time it should be used by, no later than midnight of the ‘Use By’ date.

a. If chilled, it is 3 days. Remember the day of preparation is day 1.

b. If frozen, a ‘Use By’ date of up to 6 months.

4. Initial of who prepared the food.

And don’t forget to identify any allergens too!

Always avoid having out of date food left in your fridges, freezers and dry stores. Make it a rule that after the last shift, staff check each of the areas to dispose of any expiring food.

Remember, if food is mislabelled deliberately, either by incorrectly describing the food, not including all the allergens or extending the USE BY date, it is criminal fraud.

Are you compliant with the food labelling laws? Our Level 2 HCCAP course (£35) covers it all and throughout May you can enjoy 50% discount on all of our online courses. Simply use code: May50

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