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Hotel Highlight:

Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Handling food the hygienic way at STAR

by Anna Vivienne

Good food are expected in hotels but consumers seldom see where they are prepared and take it for granted that the food was handled in a clean and hygienic way.

For Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort (STAR) here, good food is assured as proper food handling is taken very seriously. Their holistic approach to food handling and preparation, is due to their desire to adhere to the National Food Safety Policy, which hoped to protect people’s health and the national economy as a whole.

In this respect, Director of Communications Tulip Norazyze said the Shangri-La Hotels had adopted the Food Safety Management System (FSMS) which is based on the Principals of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Points (HACCP).

She said this system was carried out by STAR with assistance from DiversyLever Consulting. This consulting firm had accorded the hotel with guides to an Assured Safe Catering System (ASCA).

According to her, to ensure that every aspect of cleanliness was adhered to, they also take food samples for analysis in their labs. This was especially done when they receive comments about their food where samples of the food from that certain function would be taken and analysis for any adverse contents.

“As a leader in the industry, we want to make sure that we adhere to international standards,” she said adding that the other hotels in Sabah should emulate STAR where food handling was concerned.

Meanwhile, Hygiene and Sanitary Manager Fanny Chin who is also the FSMS representative said all staff who comes in direct contact with food must understand and adhere to the requirement under FSMS.

There are several steps taken by the food preparation group to make sure that whatever reach the consumers table had been prepared in the most hygienic way possible, according to her.

“This start from the time we purchase the food, to receipt, storage, thawing, preparation, cooking, chilling and cold holding up to the use of leftovers,” she said.

‘We make sure that our food preparation area is clean and well maintained. But most importantly, we make sure that food is prepared in a hygienic way to ensure against instances of food poisoning.”

“For instance, our meat is prepared on a chopping board which had been sterilised. The boards are cleaned after every usage.

They are soaked in water for hours at time. The meat mincer is periodically cleaned and covered up when not in use.”

“Using the same slicer, knives and chopping boards for all raw and cooked food are also prohibited. We must clean and sterilised our utensils here after every usage. We do not want cross contamination to occur.”

“For the cold kitchen, the food are kept in the cooler at all times. After preparation, it is kept in the cooler. Those who are working in this kitchen must cover their hair and mouth at all times.

Since the food are mostly cold ones, the workers there must make sure that chances of food contamination remains at nil.”

Fanny said overall, she make sure that raw and cooked food were stored in the correct manner.

She stressed that staff must also wash their hands between handling raw and cooked food.

“Our staff are trained to observe the FSMS. I make sure that requirements under this system are adhered to strictly. We cannot compromise where proper food handling and preparation are concerned.”

According to her, she monitors the situation constantly and advises errant staff to comply with the requirements.

The FSMS was set up n the hotel in 2001, she said.

Source: New Sabah Times

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