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IRIS 2015-3:1/24


Consultation on Hygiene and Food Safety in Broadcasting

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Kevin Aquilina

Department of Media, Communications and Technology Law, Faculty of Laws, University of Malta

The Broadcasting Authority has issued a consultation document on good practices and the wearing apparel to ensure hygiene, health and safety during cooking programmes. The Consultation Document proposes new regulations which the Authority is recommending should be approved by it in order to regulate cooking programmes. In all, twelve proposals have been launched for public discussion.

The Broadcasting Authority suggests that, whenever a person is cooking during a programme, such person has to ensure that s/he complies with hygiene standards, as well as those standards related to health and safety. Moreover, a professional chef should wear clean clothes suited to a chef. Wearing such apparel should ensure that his or her hair is pulled back and is covered by a hat and that s/he wears a jacket with long sleeves, preferably white in colour. Chefs are requested to wear trousers used in the trade by chefs, a bib apron and a neck tie. Persons who are preparing food but who are not professional chefs are to wear protective clothing, such as a bib apron, and should have their hair pulled back. No person who is cooking should wear rings, watches or bracelets. Nails should be clean, short and with no nail varnish or other chemicals applied thereto. Hands cannot be contaminated and the person preparing the food should not touch his or her hair whilst doing so.

In addition, all kitchens used for cooking programmes should be equipped with hand washing facilities and with a water dispenser. Hands should be dried by means of paper napkins. Whoever prepares food has to ensure that s/he does not contaminate the food being prepared. Sufficient kitchen utensils should be used in the preparation of food and such utensils should be washed well before use. In order to avoid food contamination, different cutting boards are to be used and if only one cutting board is used, it should be washed when used between one process of food preparation and another. This message has to reach the viewer either by visual means or orally.

The person preparing the food on a plate should use the appropriate kitchen utensils to ensure that no food is touched by human hands. Each kitchen should be fitted with a fire blanket and a fire extinguisher and the person preparing food should mention these safety items during the programme. Particular attention should be paid so that no alcohol is poured from a bottle directly into the frying pan or any other cooking receptacle during the cooking process. When the oven is used, the person making use of the oven should wear protective clothing in the form of oven cloths or other forms of protective gloves.

Finally, no animals should be present during cooking programmes.

L-Awtorità tax-Xandir, Dokument ta’ Konsultazzjoni Dwar Standards ta’ Iġjene fil-Programmi tat-Tisjir, 30 ta' Jannar 2015 MT
  Broadcasting Authority, Consultation Document on Hygiene Standards and Food Safety in Cookery Programmes, 30 January 2015