Many people have an occasional need to prepare food at home for
events such as parties and wedding receptions. Some also prepare
food regularly at home as a small business. This second group must
notify the Environmental Health Department by completing and
returning an application
form for registration of a food business, and an Officer will
be pleased to visit and give advice.
In order to minimise the risks associated with the contamination of
food, and the potential for food poisoning, people involved in
these activities are advised to take the following advice:
- Take special care over the storage, handling
and preparation of high risk foods: poultry, eggs, meat and meat
products, fish, shellfish, creamy sauces and desserts. Don’t use
raw eggs in uncooked food.
- Ensure that all these foods are either stored
at below 8oC, or cooked and held above
- Ensure that there are sufficient cold storage
facilities for all of these foods and the final dishes.
- Ensure that hot food is thoroughly
- Take steps to avoid cross contamination –
separate food which will not undergo further preparation before
- Buy and use good quality ingredients and
clean salads and vegetables.
- Ensure that raw meat and defrosting food
cannot drip on to other foods. Store on the lower shelves of the
- Clean the kitchen, preparation and storage
areas before starting, and remove pets and dirty washing from the
- Ensure that all fridge temperatures are below
5oC and that fridges are not overloaded.
- Where necessary, chill cooked foods as
quickly as possible – but do not put straight in the fridge.
- Cook meats and joints in small portions if
- Transport perishable and high risk foods in
- Ensure that food is taken from its
temperature controlled storage at the last moment.
- Do not leave left-overs standing around –
remove within two hours
- Prepare raw and cooked food using separate
utensils and chopping boards.
- Thoroughly clean preparation areas after each
use, using hot water and detergent. CLEAN AS YOU GO.
- Wash hands regularly – particularly before
touching food, after using the toilet and often during food
- Do not prepare food if you have been ill with
diarrhoea or vomiting.
- Take extra care when preparing food for young
children, pregnant women, the elderly or those who are sick.