The Importance of Maintaining Hygiene Standards

Washing hands - The Importance of Maintaining Hygiene Standards

Published by Andrew Thomson

Andrew is an experienced and trusted food safety consultant, and a highly regarded learning and development advisor. He has advised government agencies in Australia and overseas on food safety matters.


24 September 2020

Does your food business incorporate hygiene into its business strategy?

The development and maintenance of hygiene standards is a preventative (food safety) tool which can minimise food safety incidents and protect your business and brand. It will assist you to compete for new business and retaining market share. Sound hygiene practices builds consumer trust and confidence.

COVID-19 has provided the opportunity for all food businesses to dive deep into business activity and comprehensively review their hygiene practices. Many foodservice operations have missed this opportunity as they fail to recognise the inherent risks associated with key business practices. Responses such as ……”we have been doing it this way for years has an all too familiar sound.

The international food standards agency Codex Alimentarius describes hygiene as:

“All conditions and measures necessary to ensure the safety and suitability of food at all stages of the food chain.” (Codex Alimentarius, Food Hygiene Basic Texts, 2004).

This concept focuses on a preventative approach from hygienically well designed facilities and equipment to having a preventative maintenance program, a structured cleaning program and well trained employees who demonstrate high standards of personal hygiene.

The underlying principle of good food hygiene provides many benefits for all food businesses up and down the food supply chain, by reducing the likelihood of introducing a food safety hazard which could make food unsafe. It also assists with preventing contamination of food contact surfaces and equipment. There are benefits for the consumer and society as a whole by reducing the incidence of infectious diseases linked to food pathogens and viruses.

Practicing good standards of hygiene can provide cost savings to food manufacturers, foodservice and retailers by minimising product loss, or food recalls through product contamination or cross contamination of ready to eat foods. Having evidence of good food hygiene practices can also be a defence against prosecution by health authorities.

For food safety to be guaranteed, training is essential at all levels within a food business. Managers need to have a high degree of understanding of hygiene and food safety to ensure effective control. Training provided by a food business must be linked to the goals and directions of its business plan.

All food businesses in the food supply chain need to have a clear focus on hygiene standards and food safety to maintain profitability and consumer confidence and trust.

Want assistance with developing your business strategy? Contact Andrew Thomson on 0422285720 or

Think ST Solutions helps protect and grow new and established foodservice business through innovation and risk reduction strategies.