The proper storage of food is a critical part of maintaining high catering standards, especially in settings such as care homes, where healthy meals are a key element of care. Catering staff in such settings should observe a strict regime of stock control that includes the removal of out-of-date foods. All food should be prepared or cooked properly and displayed or served hygienically at an appropriate temperature.

Domiciliary care staff who cook food for people in their own homes should implement the principles of good food preparation and safety as far as is possible in such a setting.

As well as good food hygiene practice, the cooking, storing and serving of food at a safe temperature is the best way to prevent food poisoning incidents.

This topic covers industry good practice guidelines for the storage, preparation, cooking, display and serving of food. Additional information about hygiene practices is found in the Food Hygiene and Food Poisoning topics.

Guidance on Covid-19 coronavirus safety measures for catering staff and food handlers can be found in Food Hygiene.

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