Hotels Chef’s Views on “Safer food, better health”
World Food Safety Day 2022 Follow HCCAP System Public Health is a Priority Food Safety, for us starts right from sourcing and receiving the best quality ingredients. We pay premium to ensure that our vendors maintain consistency
World Food Safety Day 2022
Follow HCCAP System
Public Health is a Priority
Food Safety, for us starts right from sourcing and receiving the best quality ingredients. We pay premium to ensure that our vendors maintain consistency and set standards for all ingredients coming in. We design our kitchens and storage areas to ensure there is no chance of contamination. We have extremely stringent SOPs of food handling, food storage, food segregation, food cooking, food holding and food serving. We maintain traceability for our food from farm to table so that we can get to the root cause in case of any eventuality. Our QA team continuously check the risk and based on their findings develop and upgrade our sustainable, integrated food safety systems. We follow the HACCP system and train our team continuously on their responsibility towards the Public health., says Vineet Manocha, Senior Vice President – Culinary at Lite Bite Foods
The 3s – Secure, Safe and Serve
Change in perception after Pandemic
Food safety is fundamental to healthy and hygienic food systems, and it is fundamental to achieving a sustainable livelihood. “Using safe water systems, cleaning of all kitchen areas, not leaving food at room temperature more than two hours, also the microbiology team ensures hygienic standards being followed across restaurants and checking all food procurement dates.” says Chef Gautam Mehrishi Executive Chef ,Mayouchi, The Westin Mumbai Powai Lake
Safer food focuses on not only hygiene but on your health. “The five keys to safer food are – Keep Surroundings clean (Kitchens are maintained every hour with moping and sanitizing it), · Separate raw and cooked (Raw and Cooked food is segregated and stored separately), · Cook thoroughly (Food is cooked completely above 100* C), · Keep food at safe temperatures ( Danger zone is maintained from 8*C to 63* C), · Use safe water and raw materials ( All inlets and outlets of waters are checked on a monthly basis from NABL certified Microbiological Lab.” says Sheriyar Rustom Dotivala, Executive Chef , Della Resorts.
The Chef’s Manifesto
Emphasis on hygiene, safety protocols and compliance
‘Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’, a quote often attributed to Hippocrates, and which so concisely emphasized the importance of safe food as being essential to health and wellness.
Food safety considerations form the constituents of food handling and food preparation, food storage and delivery, and food-service operations, and adherence to food safety processes and practices ensures that food stays safe at every stage of the food chain. Considering the surge of food allergens among several guests’ segments, food borne illnesses and contaminated risks; the onus of food safety is on all professionals to develop a culture of food safety. The Chef’s Manifesto should always be: repurposing food waste, advocating personal hygiene, championing local and indigenous ingredients, through menus, encouraging people to eat a diversity of colorful foods, eating with the seasons for healthy diets, and safeguarding food security says Jerson Fernandes, Executive Chef, Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach.
Quality of Raw Ingredients
Checking the quality and maintenance of Raw material
The health of every individual is directly connected with the food. “After the pandemic the health aspect has become even more important. Chefs are concentrating on using ingredients which improve the immunity besides being tasty. The concept of safer food starts from the time a chef decides what he is going to prepare for the guests. The first parameter is the quality of raw ingredients. One has to ensure that the vegetables or meat is absolutely fresh. After that comes other things like the quality of spices and other dry stuff. However, the most important aspect is the hygiene standards in the kitchen. It is imperative that the kitchen is kept absolutely clean with no insects etc. As I emphasized earlier as well, if a person consumes safe clean food he would surely lead a healthy life.” says Chef Parimal Sawant Director Culinary, Meluha, The Fern an Ecotel Hotel, Mumbai.
Maintenance of raw material is a big task as sanitizing at the time of receiving and then maintaining it in less than 5 degree centigrade in the refrigerator. “For live kitchens, we ensure that we keep all our food surfaces very clean. We wash all our utensils, plates, platters, and cutlery as soon as they are used. The raw food is separated from the cooked food. Food is always cooked thoroughly to the appropriate temperature. Food is also kept at safe temperatures, both for serving and storage. We always ensure that we use safe water for washing our raw materials.” says Amit Kocharekar Executive Chef, The Resort, Mumbai.
Unbreakable Kitchen Rules
Stringent rules in the kitchen
Giving top priority to safety and Hygiene standards, some rules which should be followed in the kitchen are setting an hourly timer for washing hands. All employees are clearly instructed to wash their hands with soap and water and return to work as soon as the timer is set on, No one is allowed to work without proper safety gear in the kitchen, We have a separate area for butchery, Proper thermal scanning of staff is done before they enter the kitchen, All the equipment and kitchen area are sanitized properly with the WHO recommended chemicals, Food Handler Test is conducted for all the staff of the kitchen says Chef Shailendra Singh, Regional Executive Chef, Pride Plaza Aerocity.
Kitchen is the heart of any hotel and it is extremely important to keep it clean. There are certain SOPs which are properly in place at The Ambassador hotel to ensure that the kitchen is always kept spic and span. The biggest problem in the kitchen normally is cockroaches and rats. To eliminate the pests, periodic pest control is carried out. All kinds of people stay with us and the restaurants have a lot of walk-in guests as well. To ensure that all of them stay healthy it is paramount for the hotel to serve safe food to all the guests as well as staff, says Chef Charuhas Kishor Raut, Executive Chef,THE AMBASSADOR HOTEL , Mumbai.
Fresh Organic & Chemical Free food
Serving the food in the most organic and natural way
Nowadays when we see so much contamination and chemicals in the food that is produced, our constant attempt is to present the food in front of our guests which is fresh, organic and at the same time delights their taste buds. “Some measures that need to be used in the kitchen are Pesticide free Vegetables and fruits are used in the kitchen. We try to buy vegetables from local vendors who use organic methods to cultivate fruits and vegetables in small farms. This way we are also able to support local farmers, The chefs have over a period of time implemented microgreens culture into the kitchen by using our own produced biplant waste, I believe in minimum storage and we use FIFO (First in First Out) system in the hotel, We use fresh vegetables for food preparation instead of freezing the cut vegetables or the paste, I also believe to serve the guest the food in the most organic and natural way. We do not reheat or use the microwave, instead the focus always remains on serving piping hot food to the guest which is freshly prepared with slow cooking techniques.” says Chef Sunil Jajoria, Executive Chef, Crowne Plaza Hotel Ahmedabad.
This theme will not only create awareness, but will also prevent various fatal diseases or health complications that can be caused by contaminated / unsafe harvesting / growing, handling, preparation or serving of food. Safe food not only is essential for improved Nutrition but I believe must be complied in our day to day lives. “I just can’t stand the thought of Unsafe food. I have Zero-tolerance towards unsafe food may it be food adulteration. I suggest go for organic and local food Ingredients, know the source of the produce, receiving and storing at appropriate temperate , all food related protocols to be followed . Your food storing and preparing area should be completely sanitized. Personal Hygiene , Food grade disposable gloves, sanitized chopping boards and masks are a MUST. I ensure that I upgrade and update myself and not only that but follow what I have learnt in various Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) conducted courses / programmes/ seminars / conferences. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) Training and certifications to be taken with absolute resoluteness, says Chef Reetu Uday Kugaji Chef Consultant , Food Blogger and Culinary Academician.
I strongly believe in providing healthy, organic and nutritious food and never compromise in quality and texture. We have a practice to educate our consumers about the nutrition value of the food they are consuming in the hotel. We specify the calorie count and nutrition value of each dish which helps our guest to make an informed choice. Being a professional from the F&B industry, the message I would like to pass on to everybody is to always go for fresh, organic and healthy products and skip preserved and processed products, says Chef Anil Chabuksawar, Executive Chef, Novotel Pune.
Food Procurement and production supply chain
Food procurement and production supply chain take active interest in ensuring the safety of our consumers
After the pandemic food borne diseases have increased and can impact consumer health. “Hence, we have incorporated an end to end mechanism that sees each of the participants in our food procurement as well as production supply chain take active interest in ensuring the safety of our consumers. All our suppliers are vetted to ensure that they have all authentic health and food safety certifications in place. Not only that, we keep a keen eye on their good manufacturing and supply practices as well as the health of the staff of our suppliers. Once we receive the raw materials, we maintain a detailed inventory record with all the particulars so that tracing in case of untoward outcomes, becomes easier. Once the inbound material is received, the materials are checked for quality, cleaned as necessary and stored in a sterile temperature controlled environment. Staff movement is restricted and only those with necessary clearance are allowed to such high risk areas. Apart from mandatory health checks, we ensure the food is cooked in an extremely hygienic environment and similarly garbage is segregated, and held in a remote location until disposal as per government issued standards” says Somasekhar Gedi, Executive Chef, Ironhill India.