A Complete Guide to Food Safety and Hygenic Norms


HospiBuz Desk

The preparation of food in food businesses in the hospitality sector involve hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, sandwich shops and alike businesses that make food for customers to eat on site or for takeaway. A key requisite for these businesses is to show that food handling and arrangement processes are safe to keep documentation to show this.

Good food hygiene fortifies that food prepared for customers is safe to eat. It avoids harmful microorganisms that can effect serious illness from contaminating food, limits cross-contamination, enables businesses to obey the law and protects the reliability of the business.

Under the WHO (World Health Organization), it must include these five key Food safety principles –

1. Prevent contamination of food with pathogens

2. Prevent contamination of cooked food from discrete raw and cooked foods.

3. Kill pathogens by cooking food for the appropriate length of time and at the appropriate temperature.

4. Shortage of food at proper temperatures as per the scientific requirement.

5. Use of potable waters and safe raw materials.

The epidemiological data on food poisoning found five major risk factors occur repeatedly-

1. Improve food holding temperatures

2. Inadequate cooking

3. Contaminated equipment

4. Food from unsafe sources 

5. Poor personal hygiene

The Legislation is intended to ensure premises are neat and well maintained, they are designed to allow adequate cleaning, have enough area for working, allow preservation of good hygiene, food preparation methods prevent contaminating eg from dirt, disease-causing organisms and pets, and food can be deposited safely and cross-contamination is prevented. 

Food Safety Requirements

As per the status of license under FSS (Licensing & Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations 2011, each food business operator (FBO) applying for licensing necessity have a documented FSMS plan and comply with schedule 4 of this law. Schedule 4 consolidates the concept of FSMS based on the implementation of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Hygiene Practices (GHP) by food businesses and is divided into five parts as under:

  • General hygienic and sanitary practices to be accompanied by food business operators applying for registration - Petty food operators and Street food vendors.
  • General hygienic and sanitary practices to be obeyed by food business operators applying for license- Manufacturing/ processing/ packaging/storage/distribution.
  • General hygienic and sanitary practices to be followed by food business operators petitioning for a license- Milk and milk products.
  • General hygienic and sanitary practices to be followed by food business operators appealing for a license- Slaughterhouse and meat processing.
  • General hygienic and sanitary practices to be served by food business operators applying for a license- Catering.


Food businesses must implement an effective Food Safety Management System (FSMS) based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and suitable pre-requisite programmes by actively controlling hazards throughout the food chain beginning from food production till final consumption.

HACCP is a systematic approach to identifying, evaluating and controlling food safety hazards, a food safety hazard is anything that could food dangerous to eat and can be:

1. Microbiological: bacteria, viruses, tapeworms, fungi from contamination from hands, pests or poor storage conditions allowing the growth of microorganisms

2. Chemical: any sort of non-food chemicals, such as cleaning products, pesticides, non-food-safe colourings and non-food safe preservatives

3. Physical: objects such as broken glass, pieces of stone or concrete, machinery parts, plastic, sand, hair, fingernails, jewellery, buttons.


Premises accommodate the buildings and rooms required in food preparation and storage. They must be kept clean and in good condition and the design must provide suitable space for working and maintaining hygienic practices, prevent the build-up of dirt and mould, and provide suitable conditions for handling and shortage of food. 

The premises should provide adequate:

  • Handwashing facilities and toilets for staff, separated from food preparation areas, with soap, hot and cold running water and hygienic drying
  • Ventilation in kitchens and toilets: it should control condensation, temperature, odours, humidity or air-borne particles and prevent contamination in food preparation areas
  • Lighting
  • Drainage for kitchens and toilets and designed and constructed to prevent contamination
  • Facilities for staff to change clothes, where needed
  • Storage of cleaning chemicals, disinfectants and other chemicals to prevent contamination of food

Personal Hygiene

Staff serving in food handling areas must keep regular personal hygiene and be conscious of practices and factors that can cause contamination of food and cross contamination. There may be a legal imperative for staff training. Personal hygiene factors to counter the contamination of food with bacteria, viruses or practices passed on by staff include:

• Wear proper hygienic clothing, including gloves, hair covering, footwear, where necessary

• Obviate contamination of ready-to-eat foods from cutting boards, utensils, clothing, raw meat or eggs

• Do not touch ready-to-eat foods with bare hands

• Cover hair

• Do not wear watches or jewellery

• Do not smoke, spit, sneeze, touch face or hair, or eat food, while managing food

• Wash hands, particularly after handling raw meat, before and after wearing gloves, going to the toilet, handling waste, after cleaning, blowing your nose, and after touching phones, light switches, door handles or money

• Dry hands using a disposable towel

• Do not work in a food handling area if ill with diarrhoea, vomiting, infectious disease or have open wounds or skin infections