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The Sunshine Wok: Food Hygiene Inspection Essay

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Updated: May 9th, 2022

Summary

Being Environmental Health Practitioner for Downtown City Council, I made a visit to the Sunshine Wok Chinese Take Away. Notwithstanding my announcement that I was there regarding a food complaint, I went ahead to do a thorough food hygiene inspection. The premises had a very poorly organized and unhygienic store. The walls of the store had black mold that had grown in parts. A number of items in the store such as prawn crackers, white rolls, and soy sauce were out of date and fresh bean sprouts had passed their use-by date. There was both cooked and raw meat that filled the chest freezer. Like the store, the kitchen was equally unhygienic. The food handler was not aware of the requirement to maintain high-risk food at a suitable temperature. The chef had no hat while cooking food whereas one food handler wore outdoor clothing (jeans and a top) and another food handler had earrings. The premise was rated category E and thorough inspection will be carried out in a period of every three years. Particularly, infected food handlers cause a surprisingly high risk for the increase of infection to consumers while contaminated hands handle ready foods. Owing to the probability of food handlers propagating infections through foodstuff, prohibition, control, and compulsions ought to be introduced to guarantee food safety. There is a range of listed intervention strategies that are efficient in guaranteeing food safety.

Background

Being Environmental Health Practitioner for Downtown City Council, I made a visit to the Sunshine Wok Chinese Take Away. In spite of my announcement that I was there regarding a food complaint, I went ahead to do a thorough food hygiene inspection. The premises had a very poorly organized store where food was strewn all over the floor. The walls of the store had black mold, which had grown in some parts and at high levels in the store; and, in addition, cobwebs were everywhere. A number of items in the store such as prawn crackers, white rolls, and soy sauce were out of date and fresh bean sprouts had passed their use-by date. There was both cooked and raw meat that filled the chest freezer. The frozen food was not dated and of all foodstuffs in the fridge, there was inadequate stock rotation as well as date marking. The area in the store was badly lit making it hard to see the goods in the store clearly. Opening of the back door to the premises was done at the time of this visit and a no-fly screen was in place. There was an accumulation of rubbish in the bins outside.

At the kitchen, the food handler was not aware of the requirement to maintain high-risk food at a temperature of not above 8ºC and was at 9.4oC. Food boxes in the refrigerators were piled with the bottom of one container on top of open food in containers underneath. Open carrier bags with cooked meat were in the upright freezer. Both green and red chopping boards were stored over each other, while the green and brown boards were poorly scored and thus they required replacement. There were empty paper towel dispensers with the wash hand basin having no soap. Food debris built up between the wok range and the chip fryer and the fly killer contained loads of fly carcasses showing that a lot of flies had entered the premises as it lacked fly screens to stop dirt and flying insects from getting into the premises. The chef had no hat while cooking food whereas one food handler wore outdoor clothing (jeans and a top) and another food handler had earrings. Opening checks had been marked but the closing checks that indicate that food had been discarded after going beyond the ‘use by’ date were not done. Temporary employees, who lacked training in food safety, had signed several entries in the diary. Many parts of the SFBB pack were not completed and in the course of the hour I stayed at the kitchen, just a single person washed their hands.

Impact on food safety

The majority of food poisoning cases, which include symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, and nausea occur if hygiene is not well maintained at food premises (Röhr, Lüddecke, Drusch, Müller, & Alvensleben 2005). Food handlers come into direct contact or get food ready. Therefore, food handlers have an important undertaking to guarantee safe preparation and handling manner to keep off food poisoning. Even though food handlers are at lesser danger of food poisoning, when compared to other food consumers, they are at greater risk of spreading out pathogens (Hagenmeyer 2009). In particular, infected food handlers lead to a remarkably high risk for the spread of infection to consumers while contaminated hands touch-ready foods. Due to the likelihood of food handlers to cause infections through food, prohibition, restraint, and compulsions should be introduced to ensure food safety (Hagenmeyer 2009). At Sunshine Wok Chinese Take Away, the chef had no hat while cooking food, one food handler wore outdoor clothing, and another food handler had earrings. This scenario gives very high chances of food poisoning as it has a negative impact on food safety.

It is as well recognized that bacteria (like Salmonella) may be passed from infected raw meat to uninfected cooked meat when they come into contact (Ko 2012). Even if meat (such as chicken) with Salmonella is appropriately cooked, it could be contaminated during preparation on the condition that situations, as well as utensils for its preparation, are unhygienic in a scenario known as cross contamination (Juanjuan 2012). Sunshine Wok Chinese Take Away thus puts the consumers of its food at high risk of infection through cross-contamination as they keep containers having cooked meat in contact with those having raw meat and both green and red chopping boards were stored over each other. With regard to cross-contamination, there was also both cooked and raw meat that filled the chest freezer.

In addition, a number of situations at Sunshine Wok Chinese Take Away compromise the safety of food. These include failure to ensure that all foods are sold prior to the ‘sell by date’. Additionally, they do not ensure that all foods are consumed before their ‘use by’ date. The food kept in the fridge at Sunshine Wok Chinese Take Away are not in sanitary, closed containers that are clearly labeled as it ought to be and this element further increases the chances of infection. In circumstances where the kept food is not completely consumed, the residual has to be discarded at the end of every day (Röhr, Lüddecke, Drusch, Müller, & Alvensleben 2005). The correct food storage is crucial to guarantee food safety conditions all through. Failure to certify suitable conditions of temperature, and the dependability of storage might result in problems of harmful or spoiled food.

Intervention rating

With respect to The Food Law Code of Practice, the intervention rating ought to be altered merely at the end of inspection, part inspection, or review. Therefore, a health officer could not be supposed to risk rate any premise on grounds of a confirmation visit to prove situations at a premise subsequent to a food alert, arranged confirmation visit, or inspection. Since I conducted a thorough inspection of the premises, it was thus applicable to rate the premises. In relation to the Code of Practice, Annex 5, and the Food Law, Sunshine Wok Chinese Take Away Premises can be rated Category E will be disposed to an Alternative Enforcement Policy or intervention at least one time in a period of three years. Food authorities having the responsibility of deciding to put premises to optional enforcement policies have to set out policies for upholding surveillance of premises like that in Enforcement Strategy or Food Service Plan. This rating is necessary so that it works toward pushing the management of Sunshine Wok Chinese Take Away to put measures of ensuring food safety and hygienic conditions in fear of the risk of business closure (Grunert 2005).

Intervention strategies

Presently, it is not adequate to observe care only with raw meat; cooked foods and unhygienic conditions could as well be a means of infection. There exists a range of intervention strategies that are efficient in ensuring food safety (Abbot et al. 2009). A number of the existing intervention strategies comprise the following.

  • The officials at health departments ought to teach the public on methods of evading cross-contamination, which demands that one should be very cautious of the surfaces (mainly chopping boards) as well as the utensils utilized in preparing food and that have met uncooked meat (Ray 2004). This aspect as well means that utensils employed in transporting raw meat should not be the ones later utilized to hold the meat (other foods) when ready for consumption.
  • Sensitizing all workers at food premises to practice thorough personal hygiene: it will not only assist customers but everyone consuming the food. There is a need to take into consideration that some bacteria are outstandingly hardy (survives even on open grounds) and only a few are sufficient to lead to severe illness (Sitek 2011). It is essential to verify with regional health departments the approaches of guaranteeing food safety on the condition that there is no reasonable way of checking the hygiene of food handlers. Issuing hygiene cards for a display to food dealers by health departments is additionally a shift in the right path.
  • Officers have the task of making sure that meat and other foodstuffs are safe, healthy, and correctly labeled. Food dealers who sell contaminated, unsafe, deceitfully labeled food, and in unhygienic conditions should have strict measures imposed against them. Officers must make certain that food suppliers satisfy every set obligation.
  • The management of Sunshine Wok Chinese Take Away should take up the following procedures.
    • Certify that every worker is fully aware of all likely food hazards
    • Certify that proper standards of the individual, as well as environmental hygiene, are observed at each stage to warrant food safety
    • Fulfill existing legal requirements
    • Lessen the risk of client complaints
      • In situations where the suitable temperature is not maintained, the officers of the Environmental Health Department (EHD) have to certify that the foodstuff is not sold if the readings on the packaging do not assert that it is risk-free to do so (Grunert, Bredahl & Brunsø 2004). Foodstuffs have to show a date on which they should be used before. The officials and team of EHD have to certify that every foodstuff is sold earlier than the ‘sell by date’. Furthermore, they have to make certain that all foodstuffs are used prior to their ‘use by’ date.
      • The officials of EHD have to see to it that cold food stored in the refrigerator is in clean, closed containers that are well labeled. In cases where the kept food is not completely consumed, the residual has to be discarded daily. The appropriate food storage should be observed to guarantee suitable provision throughout the year (Holdsworth & Simpson 2007). If appropriate conditions of humidity, temperature, and the trustworthiness of wrapping are not ensured, they could cause difficulties of harmful or spoilt foodstuff without leading to a considerable decline in shelf life.

Conclusion

Being in the position of Environmental Health Practitioner for Downtown City Council, I made a visit to the Sunshine Wok Chinese Take Away. Regardless of my announcement that I was there concerning a food complaint, I went ahead to do a thorough food hygiene inspection. The store, the kitchen, and employees of the premises were in unhygienic conditions. Additionally, food safety was not ensured and this scenario could lead to serious infections to food consumers at the premises (Montville & Matthews 2008). This element necessitated serious actions against the premises and it was my suggestion that a thorough inspection should be carried out in a period of every three years. Constant failure to ensure food safety by the premises would ultimately lead to its unfortunate closure.

References

Abbot, J, Byrd-Bredbenner, C, Schaffner, D, Bruhn, C & Blalock, L 2009, ‘Comparison of food safety cognitions and self-reported food-handling behaviors with observed food safety behaviors of young adults’, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 63 no. 4, pp. 572-579.

Grunert, K 2005, ‘Food quality and safety: consumer perception and demand’, European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 32 no. 3, pp. 369-391.

Grunert, K, Bredahl, L & Brunsø, K 2004, ‘Consumer perception of meat quality and implications for product development in the meat sector—a review’, Meat Science, vol. 66 no. 2, pp. 259-272.

Hagenmeyer, M 2009, ‘Legal Requirements for the Production of Safe Food: A Brief Outline of the Most Important Legal Provisions to be observed by Food Business Operators in Order to Achieve Food Safety’, European Food & Feed Law Review, vol. 4 no. 5, pp. 356-361.

Holdsworth, S & Simpson, R 2007, Thermal processing of packaged foods, Springer, Berlin.

Juanjuan, S, 2012, ‘The Evolving Appreciation of Food Safety’, European Food & Feed Law Review, vol. 7 no. 2, pp. 84-90.

Ko, W 2012, ‘The relationship among food safety knowledge, attitudes, and self-reported HACCP practices in restaurant employees’, Food Control, vol. 29 no. 1, pp. 192-197.

Montville, T & Matthews, K 2008, Food microbiology: an introduction, Amer Society for Microbiology Press, Washington, DC.

Ray, B 2004, Fundamental food microbiology, CRC Press Llc., Florida.

Röhr, A, Lüddecke, K, Drusch, S, Müller, M & Alvensleben, R 2005, ‘Food quality and safety––consumer perception and public health concern’, Food Control, vol. 16 no. 8, pp. 649-655.

Sitek, M, 2011, ‘The tasks of European food safety authority in the process of guaranteeing the regional safety’, Human Resources: The Main Factor of Regional Development, vol. 1 no. 5, pp. 255-263.

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