Hygiene Food Safety
Newsletter October 2019

This month we focus on the hygiene risks in the bar as well as the risks during food storage.

Hygiene Risks In The Bar

For many, the bar is a safe zone. Free from risks of bacterial contamination and general food safety. Unfortunately, this is simply not the case. Although limited and to a lesser degree than the kitchen. The risks in the bar are much the same as the kitchen.

What do we know about preventing food safety risks?

Cleaning & Sanitising

  • The first step in creating a food safety system is the fundamental aspect of cleaning and sanitising.

Personal Hygiene

  • The second pillar is probably the most important in terms of eliminating cross-contamination. Hand washing and clean hands awareness are critical to food safety.
Food Storage
  • The third pillar can be categorised into two areas 
  • Perishable foods (Cold storage)
  • Dry goods
Temperature Control
  • The fourth pillar of food safety is a fundamental principle in preventing the growth of bacteria and ensuring the quality of food is maintained.
Food Handling
  • The fifth and final pillar of food safety related to how food is handled during storage and preparation. Food Handling carries the greatest risk when dealing with cross-contamination.

What are the hygiene risks in the bar?

The bar handles dairy in the form of milk and cream. Water in the form of ice and the bar is also popular for cocktails.

In itself, the mix that goes into making cocktails has a high sugar content and obviously alcohol. These, through the manufacturing process, are not high-risk items and very rarely show bacterial contamination.

However, the percentage of alcohol as well as the sugar content is not high enough to kill bacteria that have resulted from cross-contamination.

The bar gets sticky and dirty surprisingly quickly and easily transfers to the hands of the staff. So although staff in the bar are not dealing with high bacterial load foods such as raw meats, they are exposed to the regular risks of personal hygiene.

The basic idea of scooping ice and where and how the ice scoop itself is stored is also a concern.

Remember that ice does not necessarily kill bacteria, and only slows or stops its growth. As soon as the germs in the ice are placed in a favourable condition, they can grow and cause contamination.


We all realise that the bar does need to be cleaned, mostly to prevent and minimize stale alcohol odours. However, there is high-risk equipment in the bar.

Equipment such as:

  • Blenders
  • Milkshake mixers
  • Juice dispensers
  • Draught taps
  • Ice scoops and basins

These are all items that come into direct contact with dairy, water and juices. All items that can be considered open to contamination.

Considering the above, it would make sense then that these are should be treated with care. This means that these areas need to be hygienically cleaned and disinfected. This would follow the basic principle of cleaning and sanitising.

Personal Hygiene

As mentioned, although bar staff are not exposed to dangerous bacteria in the normal course of their job. There is a need for clean hands. Exposure to the refuse bin, dirty cloths and countertops are areas that encourage the growth of germs. At the very least, a hand sanitiser is needed in the bar for staff to sterilise their hands during service.


In general, we find that milk, cream and juices are often left uncovered in the fridge and therefore exposed to the open environment. This means that these beverages expire a lot faster, and allow the opportunity for cross-contamination. There are also a number of syrups are often left out after opening, and as per the supplier labels actually need to be refrigerated.


Read more

Food storage in the fridge is one of the most important principles of food safety. Perishable foods by its very nature do not last as long as we would like. This is why we need to keep foods in the fridge. To prolong the time it takes for food to go off.

But keeping foods in the fridge is not just about temperature and keeping to the cold chain. It is also about storing foods in a way that prevents contamination and food poisoning. One of the biggest problems in the kitchen is storage space in fridges.

The fridge is probably one of the most cramped spaces you’ll find. Everything from ready to eat meals, raw meats and veg to dairy and sauces all need to be stored in a fridge to ensure that foods do not expire before the use-by date.

That leaves us with a large group of foods that need refrigeration and very little space to store them. The most ideal case would be to separate the food groups into their own fridges. That means raw meats should have their own fridge. Fruits and vegetables should be stored separately from dairy products. And ready to eat meals should be separated from each of the above.

The reality is, that most kitchens don’t have the luxury of separating their foods in this manner. One of the biggest mistakes kitchens still make today is that they store raw foods with ready to eat foods. Usually due to restricted space.  

So what is the safest alternative?

Food storage in the fridge according to the risks

The most efficient way to use your space effectively is to understand the risks of causing food poisoning. This means knowing what the risks of the various food groups are.

We know that raw meats and vegetables are risky because they have a high amount of bacteria that are naturally present in these foods. These foods are considered to have a high bacterial load. Collectively we will consider these uncooked foods.

Notice that I didn’t mention fruits. Although fruits should be washed before use, they are not considered raw products because they are ready to eat. Meaning no further processing needs to happen before you can eat these foods.

Read More

Food Safety For The Kitchen Online Training

Watch the introduction lesson here
Need Food Safety Training? Check out our book on "Food Safety For The Kitchen" on This book covers the Bacteria Basics, The Food Safety Pillars and a bonus chapter on the Listeriosis Outbreak in South Africa. Known as as the largest Outbreak in Recorded History. 
Found Out More
Copyright © 2019 Hygiene Food Safety, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp