Food poisoning is a nightmare for everyone in your café – from the Chef to the waiting staff. More importantly, it can be damaging to the reputation of your establishment.

According to the NSW government, food poisoning affects around 5.4m Australians each year. In New Zealand, it affects around 500 people per day!

Now we know most of that may have been caused by people eating Sunday’s leftovers on Friday, but food poisoning does happen when eating out.

So what do you do if it happens in your café? It’s a scary thought, but it pays to be prepared. 

The first thing to remember is that you need to act fast. Follow these steps for your own product trace and recall programme:

  1. Secure the food or product in question and collect details about the customer and meal service.
  2. Ask your customer to trace all food eaten in the previous 24 hours.
  3. Provide assistance, and if necessary take them to a hospital.
  4. Recall the food in question from storage, the kitchen and even restaurant tables. Stop service until you can trace the cause of the problem. Remember, it's easiest to work back from service to storage.
  5. Create a crisis management team and select a spokesperson to handle any media enquiries or questions from the public.
  6. Once you've identified the problem, correct it and find ways to ensure it doesn't happen again.
  7. Your spokesperson can then inform the public and media of the problem and make it clear that preventative measures have been taken.
  8. Conduct an audit of your processes by identifying potential areas of future improvement.

Food poisoning is a serious issue and an ounce of prevention will go a long way. Ensure that your staff follow safety, kitchen, prep, storage and sanitation guidelines. Enforce sick day policies for the sake of keeping your restaurant safe. 

Read on to learn more about how to prevent and handle food poisoning: 

Golden rules for keeping food safe

Food Safety Training

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