Washing hands for vending hygiene

AVA Vending Hygiene Focus: Looking after Food.

As the AVA's good vending hygiene guide receives updates, it becomes increasingly important to uphold the highest standards of hygiene when dispensing food. Not only is this necessary for maintaining food safety, but it also ensures compliance with legal requirements. For those in the vending industry, a concise and straightforward guide is essential for maintaining excellent hygiene practices. This guide will assist in ensuring that your vending business remains compliant and takes proper care of the food it provides.

Legal Compliance Essentials

  1. Register Your Business: Ensure your vending business is registered with your local authority.
  2. Source Safe Food: Purchase food only from suppliers capable of producing safe products.
  3. Maintain Clean Storage: Keep food products and ingredients clean and dry. Maintain tidy storage areas to prevent mould, contamination, and pest harbourage.
  4. Protect Food: Safeguard food from contamination during storage, distribution, and within vending machines.
  5. Pest Control: Implement effective pest control measures. Domestic animals should be barred from food storage areas.
  6. Separate Chemicals: Store cleaning chemicals and machine oils separately from foodstuffs in clearly labeled containers.
  7. Record Keeping: Maintain detailed records of suppliers and customers. Implement a procedure for product withdrawal if necessary.

Best Practices for Hygiene and Safety

To ensure that food products are safe and of high quality, it is recommended to purchase from suppliers that have been audited by reputable third parties and comply with stringent safety standards.

It is important to keep records of batch codes or expiry dates for at least three years, and ensure that pre-packaged food with a ‘use-by’ date has sufficient shelf life upon receipt to be consumed by the specified date. Additionally, it is necessary to reseal and properly store partially used packages to prevent contamination, and keep packaging and machine parts separate from food products. Proper storage should be maintained in clean, dry, and pest-free environments, and effective stock rotation should be practiced.

Vending machine placement should be evaluated to prevent dampness, contamination, and overheating from direct sunlight. It is advisable to engage a pest control company to manage the food store environment and cover waste to prevent the attraction of birds and feral animals.

Lastly, temperature control is vital, and it is essential to ensure that food products are below 8°C when loaded into temperature-controlled machines, and to follow the manufacturer’s shelf life recommendations. For instance, the British Sandwich Association’s guideline of ‘the date of production plus two days’ should be adhered to for sandwiches.

In Conclusion

By following these guidelines, your vending business can ensure food safety, comply with legal requirements, and maintain high standards of hygiene, protecting both consumers and your business reputation. Visit the AVA website to learn more , or take a look at our vending solutions.