Food processing businesses

Production hygiene

To produce food safely, it is essential to ensure good production hygiene. Information on this topic is provided here.

Raw materials, processing areas and processing steps can be divided into "clean" and "unclean". "Clean" means that the potential incoming source of general contamination is reduced.
This may be:

  • Cattle slaughtering: Skinning the carcass → as soon as the skin has been removed, the carcass is classified as "clean" food, as the "unclean" skin has been removed

Contamination may be direct or indirect.

In keeping with good production hygiene practices, make sure that there are if possible no contact points between clean and unclean areas in your business. This will reduce the risk of contamination.

Observe the following principles:

  • As far as possible, design the flows of goods such that clean products, unclean products and waste products do not cross each other (Chart showing possible flows of goods)
  • Always store raw goods, semi-finished products and finished products separately from each other.
  • Clean and where necessary disinfect equipment, tools and work surfaces between the processing and handling of different products and processing steps.

To ensure that you receive raw materials in perfect condition, it is necessary to inspect the goods on delivery or purchase. In the case of delivered goods, the inspection should also be documented.

The following points should generally be observed:

  • Freshness: The goods / raw materials should not smell bad, and there should be no visible discolouration or signs of decay.
  • Loose frozen / chilled products display the corresponding product temperatures. With frozen / chilled prepacked foodstuffs that have been packed by the manufacturer must be kept at the temperatures specified on the packaging.
  • Temperatures are taken on delivery of the goods, by checking random samples. It is recommended that you use an infrared thermometer.
  • If using a thermometer probe, make sure that you clean and disinfect it before and after use. Goods that have been pierced must be used directly, or where applicable, re-packed.
  • There are no signs of pest infestation, the goods are clean and free of contamination and decay.
    The best-before date is indicated and has not been exceeded. If the date has been exceeded, it is recommended that you reject the delivery.
  • If shelf life is indicated and exceeded, you may not make any further use of the goods. It is recommended that you reject the delivered goods.
  • There are also foodstuffs that do not have any best-before dates, e.g.
    • Fresh fruit, vegetables and potatoes that have not yet been processed (not applicable for sprouting pulses and seeds)
    • Wine, liqueurs, sparkling wines, aromatised wines and similar products from other fruits.
    • Drinks with an alcohol content of 10% by volume or more.
    • Baked goods that are normally consumed within 24 hours.
    • Vinegar.
    • Table salt.
    • Sugar and confectionery products.
    • Chewing gum and similar products for chewing.
  • Packaging and/or containers are clean and undamaged.
  • Delivery vehicle and driver look clean and hygienic

When storing food, observe the following points and the specified temperatures (see table below):

  • Store raw foodstuffs and prepared meals separately. If, for space reasons, it is not possible to store them separately, make sure that they are adequately packed and/or wrapped.
  • Do not store goods directly on the floor.
  • Store loose goods in boxes, and do not store these boxes on the floor.
  • Cover / seal goods as a matter of course.
  • Store food in glass containers in the lower sections.
  • Do not store cleaning and disinfecting products together with foodstuffs or packaging materials.
  • Your storage rooms should generally be dry and well ventilated, while ensuring that pests are prevented from entering them.
  • Avoid direct sunlight and other heat sources in storage places.
  • Stack and store goods in such a way that the first goods to expire (shelf life, best-before date) are used first.
  • Regularly check and document the temperatures in refrigeration and freezer facilities.
  • Keep storage rooms clean and tidy, and clean and disinfect them regularly or as required

 

Product Storage at core temperatureComment
Product group
With packed goods, always follow the instructions on the packaging.
Meat Refrigerated fresh meat Max. +7°C  
Refrigerated offal Max. +3°C  
Refrigerated poultry Max. +4°C  
Frozen meat Max. -18°C  
Meat products Max. +7°C  
Minced meat Max. +4°C  
Milk / dairy products Butter Max. +10°C Recommended
Cream cheese Max. +10°C Recommended
Soft cheese and sliced cheese Max. +10°C Recommended
Dairy products Max. +10°C Recommended
Milk in production business  Max. +8°C For daily supply
Max. +6°C Not for daily supply
Milk at destination after transportation Max. +10°C It must be cooled down straight away
Milk after delivery to the establishment must be cooled straight away Max. +6°C Storage and processing
Fish / fish products Fresh fish iIn melting ice or max. +2°C  
Fresh fish products In melting ice or max. +2°C  
Processed fish products Max. +7°C Recommended
Eggs Liquid egg after breaking Max. +4°C Maximum 24 hours
Max. -18°C  

Source: DEHOGA Federal Association

Warenausgang Transport

When supplying your products to catering businesses, retailers or establishments for further processing, you should check the following points and document them:

  • Are the goods complete?
  • Is the labelling of the goods complete, correct and clearly legible?
  • Are the prescribed product temperatures maintained at the time of supply and during transportation?
  • Is there no visible contamination and are the packaging materials undamaged?
  • Are the vehicles used for transporting the goods clean?
  • Does the driver meet the requirements for personal hygiene?

When handling perishable foods, additional training is required in accordance with section 4 of the German Food Hygiene Regulations (LMHV). You are required to take this training if you produce or process any of the food listed in this section, or place it on the market. Click here to find a training course near you.

Ei kaputt Eier normal

When eggs are delivered to you, make sure that they are not damaged. Make sure that the best-before date (28 days after the date on which the eggs are laid) and the date after which the eggs are to be refrigerated (18 days after the date on which the eggs are laid) are specified. Eggs requiring refrigeration should be stored at a temperature of 5°C to max. 8°C.

It is recommended that you remove the eggs from their outer packaging and store the egg boxes in an easy-to-clean container.

Eier Karton

Cardboard boxes are often contaminated with germs. You should therefore avoid them coming into contact with other raw materials.

Spiegelei

The processing of raw eggs, e.g. breaking them into a container, should be carried out separately from other food processes. Clean and disinfect the work surfaces used when processing the raw eggs. Discard the egg shells directly into the waste. Break fresh eggs just before they are to be used, and consume without delay, but no later than within two hours, if they are intended for hot food (section 20a of the German Food Hygiene Regulations governing Foodstuffs of Animal Origin (Tier-LMVO)).

Mayo 24hours

Mayonnaise for further processing or direct supply should be freshly produced. Refrigerate the mayonnaise and preparations made from it at max. 7°C. Consume preparations within 24 hours, otherwise you must dispose of them.

Salmonellen

Invisible germs, such as salmonella, can accumulate on the shell or inside of the eggs. These germs can then be transferred to the kitchen, and therefore to other food and meals, via hands and equipment, such as dishes, whisks or mixers. It is therefore important to make sure that you wash and disinfect your hands before and after handling eggs. Clean and disinfect (including by heat) all utensils and equipment that have come into contact with eggs. Carry out all work steps, such as washing, chopping or preparing, separately or at different times from the processing of other raw materials.

Specifications on handling foodstuffs of animal origin are set out in the German Food Hygiene Regulations and in the German Food Hygiene Regulations governing Foodstuffs of Animal Origin.

Fisch Kuehleinrichtungen

Make sure that fresh fish has a temperature of 2°C or that it is packed in ice when delivered. Clear, bulging eyes with black pupils, red gills, scales tightly attached to the body, shiny surface, firm consistency and an intact layer of slime are all indicators of fresh fish.

Immediately after delivery, store fish and fish products in cold-storage rooms / refrigerators, to maintain the cold chain.

Store different types of fish separately from each other. Make sure that fresh fish is stored in clean containers with a lid on, to product against any contamination.
Maintain the permissible storage temperature of max. 2°C. If the fish is stored in melting ice, make sure that the melted ice water can drain away.

There are many different microorganisms present on the surface of fish. To prevent these microorganisms from spreading to other foodstuffs and multiplying there, wash and disinfect your hands before and after touching fish. Handle and process fish separately from other foodstuffs, and afterwards wash and disinfect any utensils and equipment used, as well as any work surfaces.

Colour-code your equipment by product group. For example, only use blue boards and knives for fish.

Brett 02

Defrost frozen fish in a cold-storage room at a temperature of max. 7°C. Make sure that the defrosting water can drain away and does not come in contact with other food.

Specifications on handling foodstuffs of animal origin are set out in the German Food Hygiene Regulations and in the German Food Hygiene Regulations governing Foodstuffs of Animal Origin.

Fleischwaren Hackfleisch Fleisch

On delivery, the temperature of fresh meat may not exceed 7°C. Bear in mind that minced meat is a particularly sensitive product, and must not exceed a temperature of 2°C. For meat preparations, a maximum temperature of 4°C must be adhered to.

Immediately after delivery, store meat and meat products in cold-storage rooms / refrigerators, to maintain the cold chain.
The storage temperature for fresh meat is max. 7°C, and for minced meat is max. 4°C. Only keep meat and meat products in clean containers, open goods should be covered with film or a lid. Make sure meat and poultry are stored separately.

If frequent deliveries are received, make sure that the goods are adequately marked, so that the origin and best-before date can be ascertained at any time.

Only touch meat after washing your hands. Carry out all work steps, such as washing, chopping or preparing, separately or at different times from the processing of other raw materials. After touching fresh or defrosted meat, clean your hands thoroughly. Thoroughly wash and, if need be, disinfect all equipment used, such as knives, boards and machines after use, using hot water and detergent.

There are many different microorganisms present on the surface of meat, which can be spread via the hands or via contact with equipment. Colour-code your equipment by product group. For example, only use red boards and knives for cutting and handling meat and meat products.

Brett 03

Specifications on handling foodstuffs of animal origin are set out in the German Food Hygiene Regulations and in the German Food Hygiene Regulations governing Foodstuffs of Animal Origin.

Auftauen

Defrost frozen meat in a cold-storage room at a temperature of max. 7°C. Make sure that the defrosting water can drain away and does not come in contact with other food.

Fleischwolf

Minced meat and minced meat products are a particularly sensitive product group. When meat is minced or ground, its surface area is increased. This means that germs are given a larger area to attack. As a result, particularly stringent hygiene measures should be taken when handling minced meat and minced meat products. In addition to the points listed above relating to hygiene while working and product temperature, you should also take note of the following points:

  • Consume minced meat immediately. The minced meat should have been completely processed or cooked through by the end of the work shift or close of business.
  • Produce your minced meat as soon as possible after the time of supply and/or processing.
  • Purchase your minced meat from a specialist processing business, and follow the producer's instructions as regards shelf life and temperature.
  • When handling and processing minced meat, pay particular attention to the cleanliness of equipment and work surfaces (cleaning and disinfecting)

As the specifications regarding the storage temperature of minced meat are based on business-specific production and processing procedures, please contact the relevant authority. They will be able to clarify which temperatures are applicable for your business.

Wild

As game and game products have a high level of contamination with germs, it is important to strictly comply with the points listed above on hygiene while working.

Specifications on handling foodstuffs of animal origin are set out in the German Food Hygiene Regulations and in the German Food Hygiene Regulations governing Foodstuffs of Animal Origin.

On delivery, the temperature of fresh poultry and poultry products may not exceed 4°C. Immediately after delivery, store poultry and poultry products in cold-storage rooms / refrigerators, to maintain the cold chain.

The storage temperature for poultry and poultry products is max. 4°C. Only keep poultry in clean containers, open goods should be covered with film or a lid. Make sure poultry and meat are stored separately.

Salmonellen

Bacteria such as salmonella may accumulate on the surface of fresh or defrosted poultry. To prevent this bacteria from spreading to other foodstuffs and multiplying there, wash and disinfect your hands before and after touching poultry. Handle and process poultry separately from other foodstuffs, and afterwards wash and disinfect any equipment and work surfaces used.

Colour-code your equipment by product group. For example, only use yellow boards and knives for cutting and handling poultry and poultry products.

Brett 01

Specifications on handling foodstuffs of animal origin are set out in the German Food Hygiene Regulations and in the German Food Hygiene Regulations governing Foodstuffs of Animal Origin.

Milch 2 Kuehleinrichtungen

Bear in mind that fresh, liquid cream must not exceed a temperature of 7°C on delivery. For other milk and dairy products, an upper limit of 10°C is applicable. Milk and dairy products must be stored in cold-storage rooms / refrigerators immediately after delivery. Immediately after delivery, store cream, milk and other dairy products in your refrigeration facilities, to maintain the cold chain.

24hours

The delivery temperatures must not be exceeded for the rest of the time for which the products are stored. Products that contain freshly whipped cream or cream mixture, such as cakes or cream-containing fillings, must be consumed as soon as possible, and no later than 24 hours after they have been prepared.

Milk and dairy products contain many different microorganisms. To prevent these microorganisms from spreading to other foodstuffs and multiplying there, wash and disinfect your hands before and after touching milk and dairy products. Handle and process milk and dairy products separately from other foodstuffs, and afterwards wash and disinfect any equipment and work surfaces used.

Do not whip cream until just before you use it. It is recommended that you colour-code your equipment by product group. For example, use white boards and knives for cutting and handling firm dairy products, such as cheese or ricotta.

Specifications on handling foodstuffs of animal origin are set out in the German Food Hygiene Regulations and in the German Food Hygiene Regulations governing Foodstuffs of Animal Origin.

In keeping with good production hygiene practices, it is important not to promote the spread of germs from one product to another. This also involves washing and disinfecting your hands between individual work steps, as well as equipment and machines. Bear in mind that food that has not been kept at its prescribed temperature for a length of time must no longer be processed. If a refrigeration system stops working for a longer period of time, the food stored in it must be disposed of.

Erhitzung Dok

Boiling, pasteurising, grilling, frying, baking, blanching or simmering are examples of heating processes. Depending on the product being prepared, the food being processed and the type of heating being carried out, you should observe the specified temperatures and duration of heating and document them. Bear in mind that heating processes can generally be classified as critical control points within the scope of your in-house auto-control system.

When refrigerating or freezing food that has been heated, observe the following points:

  • The product temperature must have cooled down from 65°C to at least 10°C within a maximum of 3 hours.
  • You can then keep the products refrigerated at a max. temperature of 7°C.
  • Flat containers increase the surface area, which in turn speeds up the cooling process.
  • Cover the products to protect them from any negative effects.

Hand Schmutz Arbeitskleidung

It is important that you observe good hygiene practices. This includes:

  • Washing and disinfecting your hands before touching fresh goods, such as raw meat.
  • Wearing clean work wear and where necessary hair-covering nets or hats.
  • Always wash your hands after touching money and before touching food.
  • If you have a display cabinet above refrigerating equipment -> see Refrigeration facilities

Service counters equipped with a chiller cabinet must also have checks carried out to ensure that refrigeration temperatures are observed, and this must be documented.

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