Michel Bayoud, founder and CEO of Boecker® Public Health, explains why food safety is essential for the ever-growing number of catering companies serving child care facilities
The demand for caterers serving daily meals to nurseries has been growing rapidly over the last few years. This has resulted in an unprecedented expansion of catering centres, paving the way for better food safety monitoring.
Owners of childcare centres acknowledge the importance of providing delectable and nutritious meals to children and the inherent responsibility of offering a broad range of choices as youngsters begin to develop their personalities and preferences. The most essential element of catering to young consumers, however, is serving safe food. This is especially urgent for children under five years of age who are the most susceptible to the risks of foodborne illnesses and related health complications because their immune systems are still developing.
The Dubai Health Authority sets clear regulations for catering companies that provide school canteens with ready meals. Catering companies must meet all safety and hygiene requirements and apply a food safety system that is based on the principles of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system.
Ensuring the safe and hygienic delivery of meals to nurseries is also governed by strict regulations. In fact, during the transportation of meals, handlers must properly cover food, ensure that it is stored at the right temperature, and secure clean and chemical-free delivery trucks.
But safe delivery of meals is only half the journey. At the premises, catering companies must ensure that nurseries are equipped with sufficient space for food supply and should communicate clear instructions for the safe handling of delivered items – including safe storage, reheating, and hot holding and cold holding requirements. Safe storage, preparation and dissemination of food is as important – if not more important – in childcare programmes as serving a balanced diet.
Boecker® is paving the way for safer childcare facilities. As a leading pioneer dedicated to safeguarding communities against public health concerns, the company has developed an array of services to cater to growing needs. Food safety is one of the main Boecker® pillars, with services extending to kitchen audits and training sessions for food handlers.
As the nursery catering business expands, the company also offers the ideal solutions to ensure that facilities are compliant with the relevant governmental regulations. The Safe ChildCare™ (SCC™) programme from Boecker® provides effective safety systems and procedures to certify nurseries, kindergartens and pre-schools for best practices in safety and hygiene. The SCC™ is an exhaustive programme, certified by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH-UK), that addresses both staff and parent needs regarding the health and wellbeing of children. It also includes a thorough disinfection service for further protection.
During the programme, childcare staff are trained and consequently audited on the basics of food monitoring and safety, storage and temperature regulations, as well as proper documentation of the different food handling measures, amongst many other requirements. Boecker® consultants also enquire with the nursery’s caterer about proper food handling practices to ensure safety and hygiene across the entire process.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michel Bayoud is the founder and CEO of Boecker® World Holding, the mother company of Boecker® group of companies across the Middle East. He is also an associate to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, UK and an advisory board member of the newly formed Institute of Food Safety Integrity and Protection (TiFSiP), UK. Bayoud has carried Boecker® from Lebanon, where it was first launched in 1994, to Jordan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, providing world-class services in pest management, food safety and professional disinfecting.