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Sanitation Principles and Food Handling Practices



The primary rule of sanitation in Bakery is to pay strict attention to food safety. With this in mind, all functions and operations must be included in a sanitation program. All food products must be protected from contamination. Sanitation is a dynamic and ongoing function and cannot be sporadic or something that can be turned on once a day, once a week, etc

Hygiene and Personnel Practices

Regardless of type of processing or food handling operation, the number one consideration in food sanitation is people. It is people who set the rules, follow the rules, and also break the rules of sanitation. A sanitation program is as good as the attitude, willingness, and efforts of people. That is why the most important aspect of a sanitation program is ongoing personnel training.

It is essential that the full meaning of sanitation and its wide economic scope be accepted by everyone concerned in the food system-including management.

Personnel training should include appropriate sanitation principles and food handling practices, manufacturing controls, and personal hygiene practices.

Sanitation Principles and Food Safety Practices

It is pertinent that Bakery comply with the requirements of food safety (General Food Hygiene regulations 1995 Act) to maintain good hygiene practice in their operations. Personnel training should instil and nurture an understanding of the processing steps and technologies for each product manufactured or handled and where potential problems exist, as well as create a keen desire to satisfy and guard the consumers' interests. Thus, all staff working within food handling areas in the bakery must observe the following personal hygiene and conduct:

  • Not to smoke or spit, eat while handling food. It is acceptable to taste product during preparation.
  • Food premises must be kept clean at all times.
  • The production of bakery products will inevitably lead to flour dust entering the atmosphere and settling on the surfaces, therefore, use of nose covering is strongly recommended.
  • All food waste and spillage must be removed daily
  • In flour stores and lofts, depending on the buildup of floor dust, walls should be cleaned at least weekly; while ceilings, rafters and roofs at least monthly.
  • Food premises must be maintained to standards that will facilitate cleaning, minor wears and tear such as small areas of worn or clipped paint work, cracked floors and wall tiles, must be attended to on a regular basis.
  • They should be regular inspection of the premises, preferably documented, to identify areas requiring repairs.
  • The size of the bakery and the equipment layout must allow access for cleaning around the equipment
  • There must be an adequate supply of portable water
  • Keep food containers in separate shelves away from raw materials
  • Every person working in a food handling area shall maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness and wear PPEs where necessary
  • Talking during food production and food handling should be discouraged. This may include; laughter (resulting in saliva spills), anger resulting from unpleasant remarks, verbal discussions should therefore be restricted.
  • Sanitary protective clothing, hair covering, and footwear must be worn and maintained in a clean, sanitary manner.
  • The use of white cylindrical headwear prevents food contamination by hair falls.
  • Use of white apron is recommended. A white apron is an indicator of the cleanliness of the wearer. It prompts the steward on when to change, wash his/her hands and check his/her work environment.
  • Hand gloves worn must be kept clean.
  • All food-handling personnel must remove objects (i.e. watches, jewellery) from their person which may fall into or contaminate the food product.
  • Tobacco, gum, and food are not permitted in food-handling areas.


   Communicable Diseases/Injuries

Persons known to be suffering from, or known to be carriers of a disease likely to be transmitted through food, must be restricted from any food-handling area. Likewise, persons afflicted with infected wounds, skin infections, sores, etc., must also be restricted from these areas. Any persons with open cuts or wounds should not handle food unless the injury is completely protected by a secure, waterproof covering.

Hand-washing Facilities with hot water for hand-washing must be provided and must be convenient to food handling areas. All personnel involved in food handling must thoroughly wash hands with soap under warm-running, potable water. Hands must also be washed after handling contaminated materials and after using toilet facilities. Where required, employees must use disinfectant hand dips.

   Premises and Surroundings

Outside surroundings should be evaluated for sources of contamination such as vermin, bird harbourage areas, drainage problems, odour problems, debris, refuse, and pollution-smoke, dust, other contaminants. Appropriate steps must be taken to contain and control any potential sources of contamination.

    Buildings and Facilities

The two most important overall elements of any food-processing and handling facility is that it should be cleanable, and so designed and constructed that it prevents entrance or harbourage of pests or other sources of contamination.

Design and construction

  • The facility should have floors, walls, and ceilings constructed of suitable, approved materials which are durable, smooth, impervious and easily cleaned.
  • Walls should be light coloured and well-joined, and floors should be adequately sloped for drainage to trapped outlets.
  • Openings to outside and/or non-food-processing or -handling rooms or facilities must be sealed.
  • Instrument panels should be appropriately locked and sealed to prevent harbourage of insects.
  • Windows and doors must be tight and close-fitting. Doors in food-processing areas self-closing.

Overhead Structures and Lighting

Overhead structures should be situated and constructed to prevent contamination of the food products, and lighting should be adequate with properly sealed, safety type overhead fixtures.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

  • Systems must be designed and installed to prevent build-up of heat, steam, condensation, or dust, and to remove contaminated air.
  • Positive air pressure is required in microbiologically sensitive areas.
  • HVAC systems should be designed to be cleanable, and air intakes located to prevent intake of contaminated air.

Drainage and Sewage Systems 

  • Appropriate traps and vents are to be used throughout.
  • There should be no potential of cross connections existing between human waste effluent and other wastes in the plant.
  • Appropriate vacuum breakers or air breaks must be used.

Waste Facilities

Facilities designed to prevent contamination should provide for the sanitary storage of waste and inedible material prior to their removal from plant or surroundings. Waste containers are to be clearly identified.

Sanitary Facilities

Washrooms, Lunchrooms, Change Rooms

  • Self-closing doors must be provided for all washroom facilities.
  • Washrooms, lunchrooms, and change rooms must be separate from-and not directly entered from-food-processing and -handling areas. Such facilities are to be properly ventilated and maintained.

Hand Washing Facilities

  • Sufficient numbers of hand-washing sinks, with hot and cold potable water, soap, sanitary hand drying supplies or devices, must be provided in washrooms.
  • Adequate suitably located hand-washing sinks are also necessary in food processing and handling areas.
  • Hand-washing sinks should be separate from sinks used for equipment cleaning and other operations.

    Raw Material Receiving

All elements and operations involved with receiving and storage of ingredients, packaging materials, and other incoming materials must be evaluated and monitored to prevent potential contamination of the food product manufactured.

Incoming materials must be received into an area which is separated from processing areas. Packaging materials used must be kept clean and safe.


  Temperature and Humidity Controls

Where appropriate and applicable, the temperature and humidity of storage rooms for raw materials, ingredients, packaging materials, and food should be maintained and monitored.

 Returned Bakery Products

Foods returned from retail outlets must be clearly identified and stored in a designated area for appropriate disposition. Storage conditions need be such that the safety of the returned products is not compromised.

  Non-bakery Chemicals

  • Detergents, sanitizers, or other chemicals must be properly labelled, stored and used in a manner to prevent contamination of bakery products, packaging materials, and food contact surfaces.
  • Chemicals must be stored in a dry, well-ventilated area which is separate from food handling areas.

        Equipment Maintenance

  • It does little good to have equipment which is designed to be cleanable, but which is installed in such a manner or location as to preclude its cleanliness.
  • Adequate space must be provided within and around equipment, and equipment must be accessible for cleaning, sanitizing, maintenance, and inspection.

Preventive Maintenance

A sanitary operations facility has a preventive maintenance program which monitors equipment maintenance procedures. Such a program specifies necessary servicing intervals, replacement parts, etc.

Cleaning and Sanitizing Equipment

  • Thoroughly evaluate the effectiveness of cleaning and sanitizing programs.
  • Consult a reputable cleaning and sanitizing supplier and follow recommended procedures for cleaning and sanitizing both food- product contact and non-product contact surfaces in specific operations.

          Refrigeration sanitization

Ensure compliance with the storing specifications of all food products.Fridges should be cleaned as recommended hereunder.Fridge containing unprocessed food should be cleaned and evacuated weekly.

Fridge containing prepared food should be cleared and evacuated twice weekly. Fridges containing drinks and other bottled and canned products should be cleaned and evacuated forthnightly. All bottles, cans and plastics should be cleaned before stacking into the fridge.

   Recall Program

An important part of food sanitation program is having a working product-recall system in place. The recall program establishes procedures to be implemented in the event of a product recall. Written recall procedures should be established and tested for validity.

  Use of Toilets

Adequate number of modern toilet facilities must be available and connected to an effective drainage system. An effective way to keeping toilets clean is to ensure constant water supply to the toilet system. Use of toilet instructions should be displayed in the toilet.  Routine checkup and cleaning of not less than three times during sales hour should be carried out. Staff toilet should be washed, disinfected daily and all staff trained on proper use of the toilet.

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