Hygiene and food safety regulations
Today, distribution of meals in hospitals, establishments offering accommodation and specialised establishments is a genuine problem with ever increasing constraints: compliance of legislation aimed at protecting consumer health, user safety, sustainable development approach, etc.
The meal distribution solutions and equipment designed and produced by ELECTRO CALORIQUE satisfy all the requirements with which its customers are faced.
Meal trolleys are one of the main factors guaranteeing Hygiene of the food distributed in hospitals.
The rules defined in Regulation EC no. 852/2004 of the European Parliament of 29 April 2004 aim at guaranteeing hygiene of food from the source (production) through to the end-consumer (the patient in the hospital).
The main obligations of this Regulation are:
- Implementation of procedures on the HACCP principle,
- Training of at least one person in HACCP (or in the good hygiene practices guide of the sector concerned)
Plus recourse to the good hygiene practices guide drafted by professionals and validated by the administration.
The HACCP System or Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point
Unlike what is often said, HACCP is not a standard but rather a working method. It is a system that identifies, assesses and controls significant risks to foodstuff safety.
We talk of chemical, physical and biological risks.
This method is based on the following principles:
- Carry out a risk analysis
- Determine critical points to ensure their control (CCP)
- Determine the thresholds considered to be critical
- Set up a monitoring system to control the CCPs
- Define the corrective actions to be applied when it is identified that a CCP is not controlled
- Define and apply checking procedures to confirm efficient functioning of the HACCP system
- Compile a file containing all the procedures and all the readings concerning these principles and their application.
This step perfectly fits into the HACCP approach.
This operation is used to eliminate or kill the micro-organisms present at the time of disinfection. Disinfection does not prevent re-contamination and thus must be renewed at a defined, controlled frequency.
This is a principle for organisation of work in kitchens that determines design of the rooms in question, from reception through to consumption of foodstuffs.
The basic rules are:
- The clean circuit must never cross the dirty circuit
- Products entering the clean zone must never return to the dirty storage zone
The various shuttle types
The shuttle is the operating procedure required to guarantee control of product hygiene between the end of its production and its distribution: we talk of cook & serve, cook & chill and deep-frozen.
The main difference between cook & serve and cook & chill is once the food has been cooked.
- Either food is not cooled after it has been prepared: we then talk of cook & serve. The dishes served and consumed hot are maintained at a temperature of at least 63°C, between the time they are prepared and the time they are served.
- Or food, once prepared, is chilled: they then talk of cook & chill. Food is kept at a temperature of between 0 and 3°C, and can be kept for several days according to the quality of the cold chain. Food must be reheated to a core temperature higher than 65°C in 1 hour at most.
The advantage of cook & chill is the ability to disconnect production from distribution in time and in space.
The deep frozen mode is used to increase product use by date by up to 21 days. Deep frozen products can be reheated directly in the meal trolleys.