One does not decide to open a catering business and begin preparing food. There are specific standards that apply to catering services in Toronto and other areas of the province. As a member of the food service community, you are expected to operate in compliance with the regulations set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). Here are some examples of the standards you must observe.
Much of your attention will be focused on making sure that the food you use for your clients is maintained at safe temperatures. The standards for the temperatures will vary depending on the type of food you are preparing. The goal is to ensure that cooked dishes are prepared using a sufficient amount of heat while cold dishes are maintained at a temperature low enough to prevent them from spoiling. As part of the effort to maintain this standard, you will use methods during the preparation process and while serving to keep all the food in line with current regulations.
What type of catering will you provide for an event? Perhaps the plan is to make use of one of your buffet catering menu ideas and provide those in attendance with the opportunity to serve themselves. Maybe you are hired to provide wait staff for a formal dinner. With both scenarios, part of your job as the caterer is to ensure the serving and preparation areas are kept clean at all times. Attention to the cleanliness of those areas prevents contamination and ensures the food is as safe for consumption as well as tasty.
Your diligence also extends to the serving dishes used for the event. All food containers must be perfectly clean and kept that way during the event. That means making sure everything is washed and dried properly before any food is placed in the containers.
Even the surfaces and equipment not used in food preparation or preservation must be maintained according to local standards. Surfaces like floors, storage areas, and other spaces within your catering facility must be kept spotless. Doing so ensures that the potential for some form of indirect food contamination to occur is kept to a minimum.
Along with maintaining a clean preparation environment and making sure all dishes and utensils are in top condition, the hygiene of your employees is also an important factor. Emphasize the need to wash the hands regularly. Use the proper equipment to maintain a clean working setting. That includes the use of hair nets, gloves, aprons, and other essentials.
These are only some of the basic standards that that will apply to any catering business. Learn them well and don’t forget that customers will have some standards of their own you must meet. Operate your business so it remains in compliance of current regulations and listen to what your clients want. Doing so will ensure your all event catering business is around for a long time.