A good cook is much more than a craftsman. In fact, a good cook is a creative artist who masters several disciplines; selecting the right ingredients, cook them to get the best taste and present them equally beautifully. However, the most integral part of great cuisine is Hygiene to the core. A chef’s kitchen, that fails to maintain hygiene can never deliver happy food to its happy customers.
And with RailYatri, all its partnered restaurants take cleanliness and hygiene very seriously and always aim at delivering quality meals to the train travellers. Mr Puran Singh, owner and chef from one of our partnered restaurant in Jaipur, tells us how he maintains Hygiene in his kitchen and also shares a quick list on how we can make Hygiene paramount in our cooking too.
Q. Your ultimate Hygiene Mantra?
A. Good Health is Good Wealth. And serving food to the customers is like serving your entire love to Humanity. So, feed people healthy and quality food with complete sincerely, for it’s the best service you can ever offer!
Q. What is the hygiene checklist in your kitchen?
A. As a chef, it is my utmost responsibility to maintain hygiene in the kitchen where we spend the maximum time of the day, preparing meals for the customers or train travellers.
- We are trained to strictly adhere to the guidelines of Adulteration Act of 1856, which include all essential components of hygiene – right from food storage, preparation, cooking, packaging and delivery.
- We follow the standard specifications during food purchase too. Besides, a proper storage plan maintains the integrity of everything that we purchase so that it can be used to the optimum and doesn’t go waste. For this FIFO (First In, First Out) rule is applied which means that while stocking, place newer items in the back of your fridge and freezer.
- We label everything we store. Also, always store meat products on the lower shelves to avoid leakage. The food should be stored in containers with an air-tight seal.
- We pay particular attention to factors such as moisture, time and heat to keep the raw and cooked food away from fungal infections. Cut vegetables are kept in salt water. In fact, cooking also requires consistency in temperatures and the food is always cooked on or above 90 degree Celsius. Once the food is cooked, we make sure it is not kept at temperatures between 60-65 degree Celsius and that the food is stored in blast chillers to make it safe for consumption.
- Utensils used are thoroughly cleaned with Potassium Nitrate solution every half an hour. We have a complete end to end management for the cleaning process. There is a full-time cleaning kitchen schedule that is followed by one and all. This includes responsibilities such as sprinkling, monthly pest control, floor brooming, mopping, work surface cleaning, etc.
- Also, Quality Control checks are conducted from time to time.
Q. What measures you take to assure Staff Hygiene?
A. It is crucial that good standards of personal hygiene are met by our restaurant kitchen staff and it is part of our everyday routine. Nail cutting, washing hands every half an hour, checking upon, cough/cold, to avoid any kind of infection or contamination. Medical tests are conducted in every 6 months for the staff.
Q. Why according to you is packaging a part of hygiene?
A. Presentation and packaging is an important piece of the overall food experience, not just for on-premise diners, but for your delivery customers as well. Food that aesthetically looks good, tastes well too, is a part of human psychology. As in my kitchen, good quality biodegradable plastic containers are used to pack food. We ensure using separate insulated hot and cold bags to keep food at the appropriate temperature.
Q. You have been serving train travellers for long, can you tell us what people order while on a train journey?
A. People on the train, mostly like to go for thalis. It’s a safe choice and they get a full-course meal at a budget price.
Q. Any tips on what people should eat while travelling in summer?
A. Try eating a lot of fruits and salad while travelling. It is not only light on the belly and good for your appetite but also keeps you fresh and hydrated all along.
Q. Any hygiene tips for the travellers?
A. Hygiene is always the crux. One should be aware of basic hygiene and while they are on the go, it should become your priority.
- Use sanitizer often, especially before and after having your food.
- Make sure to clean around after you are done with the food.
- Drink enough water.
- Use your own towels to clean your hands, face, etc.
Q. Would you like to give any special tips to chefs or kitchen staff in general?
A. HYGIENE should always be your Priority. Always wear head caps and aprons while working in the kitchen. Your working surface is like your temple, so keep it clean and make sure your utensils are thoroughly clean. Be very specific with metalware and usage of clean knives in order to avoid any sort of cross-contamination.