All restaurants are required to follow food safety regulations. These include proper hand-washing, ensuring that foods come from a safe source and are stored in the right place at the correct temperature. Food must also be cooked properly and properly handled to prevent cross-contamination.

Food safety

Bacteria grows best between 7°C / 45°C and 60°C / 140°F, which is why there is strict regulation about the temperatures used in cooking of meats and the storage temperatures of all food groups. The cooling of hot food to be stored in the cooler must be completed within 4 hours. Shallow containers aid quick cooling in the refrigerator when covered loosely. Stirring with a clean spoon occasionally will help it cool and when cooled should be covered tightly.

Food that is to be kept hot should be kept at 60°C / 140°F and food being reheated must reach an internal temperature of 74°C / 165 °F. Restaurant refrigerators should store food at a temperature of 4.4°C / 40 °F or less. Food in the freezer should be stored at -18°C / 0 °F. Use a refrigerator/freezer thermometer to verify the correct temperature.Food that is to be kept hot should be kept at 60°C / 140°F


The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) system was developed to ensure the safety of food and has proven to be highly effective as it deals with food from the time it is delivered in the restaurant to the time it is served to diners.


When food arrives at the restaurant it must be checked. Frozen food must arrive at a temperature of -18°C / 0 °F and there should be no indicators that the product has started to thaw. Produce should read 4.4°C / 40 °F. Dry goods should be in packaging that is intact and canned goods should not have bulges, dents, leaks or rust. The goods should also be within the printed expiry date. If these standards are not met, refuse the goods.When food arrives at the restaurant it must be checked


Your storage area should be considered as far as you start planning the whole restaurant layout. Date all the boxes you put away for storage, particularly items that perish fast such as pre-sliced meats or produce and make sure you use the first box that came in. Allow room for air to circulate around the product, which means you never store boxes on the floor of a freezer or refrigerator. Keep canned and dry goods off the floor to stop contamination from floor cleaning and keep cleaning supplies away from the food store to stop any contamination from possible leaks from these chemicals.Date all the boxes you put away for storage

Restaurant tips

Here are some tips to help you improve your chances of being one of the restaurants that floats rather than sinks

Food Prep

Frozen food is to be thawed in the refrigerator and kept cold until you use them. Hot foods should be prepared fast to reach the right temperature (-73.9°C / 165 F) and be held at the correct temperature. Do not mix old produce with new and only prepare food for one day. All food that has been prepped must be dated. All staff must abide by the hygiene rules including proper hand washing.Hot foods should be prepared fast to reach the right temperature

Calibrating thermometers

Measuring temperature is vital to ensure food products are safe at delivery, throughout the cooking process and when being stored. All thermometers used for these purposes must, by law, be calibrated. Thermometers should be sanitised between uses, either in a food-safe solution or with an alcohol swab. Thermometers will need to be recalibrated after then have been dropped, before first use and when going from one temperature extreme to another. Keeping a thermometer calibration log is recommended and digital logs are available.

Health inspections

When you own a restaurant, inspections for cleanliness and quality should happen daily either by you or the manager, or both. Public health inspections take place once or twice a year, with the potential for unannounced visits in between to take samples. If the restaurant does not meet requirements, the inspectors will intensify the inspections, issue warnings, fines and if no improvements are recorded, can shut the premises with immediate effect. The results are made public and published on local news media in print and online.

Pest control at restaurants

If you have a pest problem in your restaurant, you will have to call in the experts by contacting a professional service. Pest controllers eradicate pests from the root of their growth so that you can be sure they have gone from your establishment. To stop pests entering the restaurant, check deliveries for pests, seal cracks and keep screens closed. Food should be covered and food spills immediately cleaned up.

If you want to use poisons and chemicals to keep pests away, use only those approved by the health inspectorate. Dry food products such as flour and sugar can be made rodent proof by placing them in approved, sealed food containers. Dispose of all waste carefully into easily washable containers that have tight fitting lids. Use plastic liners or newspaper in the waste containers. Wash the collection bins daily with hot, soapy waterIf you have a pest problem in your restaurant, you will have to call in the experts