It is very important to address food safety in the retail food sector because it is the last point in the food chain before the food reaches the consumer. As a food retailer you must ensure that you provide your customers with hazard free, safe and wholesome food. One of the ways to ensure food safety it to make sure that the food sold in your premises is fresh and has been supplied by licensed wholesalers. Food safety for retail means that you will not store and sell from your premises any foods that you think could be contaminated or adulterated.
Clean inside and out
Food safety requires that your surroundings are always clean and there is no accumulation of garbage or stagnant water. Have the retail store cleaned regularly with safe cleaners so there is no pest infestation pest and there is no chance to bite into packaged foods. Food safety also requires that your storerooms and service areas are always clean and orderly and all foods stored neatly in shelves. You must make sure that the floor surfaces are not uneven as these then tend to collect dirt which can cause contamination. Also you must stock all storage materials off the floor in proper storage shelves which are above the floor so that the area below the shelves can be cleaned on a regular basis.
Damaged packaging and shelf life
As a food retailer you can ensure food safety by following proper procedures so stocked foods are used in the correct order and within the allocated shelf life. One of the most important food safety safeguards is to regularly check the expiry dates and quality of food in your shop. Storing foods that are out-dated is not only a food safety risk but will dent the reputation of your store as well. All foods in your store must be fit for human consumption and must be well within their sell-by-date. All helpers in the store must be trained and aware of expiry, best before and use by dates so there is no food that can cause a health hazard. To ensure food safety make sure that the stocked foods are clean and that packaged foods are not damaged. Any packs that are punctured, swollen or cans that are badly dented must be discarded. The bottled foods must be checked for cracks, open tops and seals must be intact. Any damaged packaging means that the food is not safe and so must not be sold.
If you are also selling frozen items in your store then make sure that they are transported and stored at the appropriate temperature. Along with temperature, proper sanitation also limits the growth of harmful bacteria and so frozen food handlers must comply with personal hygiene good practices and wash their hands before handling foods from store freezers. Not maintaining personal hygiene while handling foods can lead to a food safety risk as it can lead to cross-contamination.