This Policy defines the procedures and precautions to be followed to ensure the safe and hygienic preparation of food at the service user’s home:
1. The Care Worker should inform the Domiciliary Care Services Supervisor or Manager immediately if he / she is suffering from any digestive or respiratory infections. Care Workers should not attend service users if suffering from these ailments. Any cuts or lesions must be covered with a blue waterproof dressing.
2. Upon arrival at the service user’s home, the Care Worker should remove outdoor clothing and ask the service user regarding his / her preference for food.
3. The Care Worker should wash his / her hands in the bathroom and put on protective clothing before entering the kitchen. Long hair should be tied back to prevent fall-out onto the food.
4. In the kitchen the Care Worker should clean an area of work surface in readiness for use. Foodstuffs removed from the refrigerator must be covered to prevent contamination, and separate work areas and chopping boards must be used for cooked and raw meats and poultry.
5. Frozen meats must be completely thawed before cooking, with the defrosting carried out in the refrigerator. Juices / liquids from thawed meats must be discarded and not allowed to come into contact with other foodstuffs.
6. Food to be reheated must be heated to above 63oC to destroy bacteria. Cooked meats and meat products MUST NOT be warmed / re-heated.
7. The sell-by dates of all foodstuffs should be checked, and any “expired” foods discarded into the kitchen waste. This waste must be regularly emptied into the main dustbin. If black plastic refuse sacks are used these should be stored inside until the day of collection to avoid attack by scavenging animals, rodents etc.
8. The following Health & Safety measures must be observed when working in the kitchen:
8.1 Never leave hazardous items such as the tops of cans lying around - dispose into waste.
8.2 Do not leave the handles of cooking pans over direct heat, or hanging over the edge of cookers, work surfaces etc.
8.3 Do not leave washing-up cloths or towels drying over gas hobs.
8.4 Clean up spillages immediately.
8.5 Check all electrical appliances for safe wiring and absence of cracked or broken plugs. Always dry hands before switching off electrical appliances.
8.6 Carry knives point down and always replace them into knife-blocks or drawers after use.
9. After use, all pans, crockery and cutlery must be thoroughly washed, rinsed, dried and replaced in the usual locations. If the service user has a dishwasher this should be stacked and switched on, and where possible the Care Worker should wait for the wash cycle to finish before emptying and putting items away.
10. Dishcloths and wiping-up cloths should be regularly removed for washing and replaced with clean ones.
11. Prior to leaving the Care Worker should ensure that:
11.1 the service user is comfortable and has had enough to eat and drink;
11.2 the kitchen is left clean and tidy;
11.3 any food prepared for later consumption by the service user, e.g. sandwiches, is covered with cling-film or some other protective covering, and left in the refrigerator (as appropriate to the foodstuffs) or in a location that can be easily reached by the service user.