When venturing into the food business, apart from the very important factors professionals dictate like creating a sound business plan, studying market trends and implementing key tactical actions, other things that entrepreneurs need to consider include social media, safety and security issues, corporate social responsibilities and a lot more.
Even when starting out a small business–whether it’s a seasonal home based venture selling lemonade, such as everythinglemon.com or baked goods during summer or even roast turkeys and holiday hams during Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is vital to have some sound food hygiene practices in place. These basically ensure that the foods produced and sold have been prepared in a safe and hygienic manner. Whether the products are healthy or not, is another story!
Though practices such as washing of hands after using the rest room and wearing hair nets and gloves sounds like common sense, consistent implementation and a holistic approach is the differentiating factor that sets businesses apart from others. Professionally run companies take food safety very seriously and invest in time, financial and human resources to ensure this.
Small Business needs
For smaller business, it is worthwhile simplifying things and identifying key areas when it comes to the safety of food. These include the selection, purchase and storage of raw materials (consider the shelf life, storage space and temperature requirements, etc.), processing these into finished products (use of gloves, hair nets, color coded cutting boards and implements, frequent washing of hands) and the serving or selling of the finished products (packaging materials, storage instruction and shelf life of products). In disposing of waste materials, it is important to be environmentally sound so as to be socially responsible in this aspect as well. See here for more information on recycling.
When the company grows
Now when the money starts rolling in, when the small home business needs to become a full-fledged company selling products by the volume, it’s time to ramp up and consider employing a professional team member who is dedicated to food safety and hygiene. This person or persons are on top of what is known in the food industry as HACCP which stands for hazard analysis and critical control points. They consider a lot of factors and do periodic tests to assess that foods are safe.
For a company that’s new to professionalizing this part of its operations. It may be wise to employ someone who’s already attended food safety and food hygiene training courses accredited by local and internationally recognized bodies. Franchise holders of large food chains oftentimes include training modules on food safety as part of their operations manual.
The bottom line
As with any other facet of running a business, consistent implementation of plans set out is key in making a profit. Periodic reviews keep the business in line. Though the benefits of maintaining good food hygiene practices may not seem apparent in the bottom line, it certainly supports the moral responsibility of a dining establishment in providing foods that are safe to eat.