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Other Changes to Safe Catering Pack

Preparation and Handling step

Food mixers are no longer listed as complex equipment. Complex equipment is the term given to items of equipment that can be very difficult to clean.

Complex equipment used for ready to eat food must never be used for raw food. Examples of complex equipment given in the step are vacuum packing machines, meat slicers and mincing machines.

Storage step

It now specifies that prepared food that needs chilling can be stored for no longer than two days, with day of production as Day 0.

This is listed as a control/critical limit in the step and under the advice section.


The option of defrosting food in a colander has been removed. The 3 options for defrosting food are:

  • putting food in the fridge
  • using the microwave on defrost setting
  • follow manufacturer’s instructions for bought in ready to eat foods

Cooking step

All references to seeing if poultry, meat products and processed meat products are properly cooked by checking if there is any pink or red colour remaining have been removed. 

The advice now is to the check they are piping hot all the way through.

Advice on eggs (Food that need extra care)

The use of pasteurised egg in any food that will not be cooked, or is only lightly cooked, e.g., mayonnaise and mousse, is recommended. Eggs produced under the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme are the next safest source.


It now specifies that food should not be stored in a freezer for longer than 6 months in accordance with the star rating of the freezer.

Cooling step

The control/critical limit step and corrective action step for the hazard ‘Growth of food poisoning bacteria’ have been changed.

Old control/critical limit

Reduce the temperature of cooked food to below 5 ºC as quickly as possible after cooking and place in fridge within 2 hours. 

New control/critical limit

Reduce the temperature of cooked food as quickly as possible after cooking and place in the fridge within 2 hours.

New wording for corrective action

The corrective action now states that if food has not been placed in the fridge within 2 hours of completion of cooking:

  • and is greater than 10 °C after 2.5 hours of completion of cooking, it must be served immediately or disposed of

or if

  • it is less than 10 °C within 2.5 hours of completion of cooking, it must be refrigerated or frozen

Hygiene Requirements (called 'Additional Information' in the old pack)

Traceability section

The legislation has changed. It now says that you must keep traceability information at least until it can be reasonably assumed that the food has been consumed.

Using and calibrating a temperature probe

There are 3 changes to this section. It now says that:

  • it is good practice to have two thermometers in case one of them stops working
  • when the temperature of raw meat/poultry/fish is taken, it is recommended that a separate dedicated temperature probe is made available for this purpose
  • when doing the high temperature checks, instead of placing the tip of thermometer probe into the steam from a boiling kettle of water, to immerse the tip of the temperature probe into boiling water instead.

Recording Forms

SC2 - Refrigeration

The sentence 'It is recommended that fridge/freezer temperatures are checked at least once per day' has been removed.

SC3 - Cooking, cooling, reheating

The cooling column now states 'time into fridge/blast chiller' instead of 'time into refrigerated storage'.

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