Thursday, September 5, 2013

Food and Beverage Management 02

1)      Discuss the dangers of rodent infestation and the precautions to be taken against it.
By the term rodents, we mean rats and mice. These animals thrive in places where there is easy access to food and kitchens, cellars etc are ideal for their nests, unless properly protected. Rats and mice carry many diseases such as salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria due to their habit of frequenting in sewers and other unclean areas. They transmit those diseases through their droppings, hair and urine. They cause a lot of damage by gnawing human food but they also eat cables, wood, books etc.

In order to avoid infestation by vermin a kitchen must be clean. No food must be left uncovered at night and wastage must be placed in sealed containers / bins to avoid attracting the animals. Unfortunately, they multiply quickly and a small infestation can turn into a big one rather easily. The premises should be searched thoroughly and regularly to make sure there are no tell tale signs of rodents such as nesting material, droppings and gnawed supplies. Any repairs that the building might need such as damaged drains, holes in the roof or walls etc must be done as soon as possible.

If however an infestation is manifested than treatment must be imminent. Poison is the best way to get rid of the animals but caution must be used. Poison must be placed in places where rodents are sure to get it but it is certain that they will not be exposed to food. Poisons used to destroy vermin are Zincphosphide, arsenious oxide and warfarin. Vermin and the substances used to kill them are dangerous and should be handled by professionals and specialists to avoid accidents.

2)      Discuss the heating and cooking of frozen foods in the catering industry.
Frozen food have many advantages such as the preservation of seasonal food and a wider distribution of products such as fish or exotic fruits to areas that don’t have them normally. It also avoids waste and provided that freezing is done properly, frozen food retains a lot of the nutritional value of fresh foods. However, caution must be used before using any of these products. Bacteria do not die in low temperatures and once the food is unfrozen, danger by them is still there. Several studies prove that and as a result most frozen products include in their packaging detailed instruction of cooking to avoid food poisoning caused by spoiled food. Caution and experience dictates that cooks must use thermometers and test the food regularly to make sure they are cooked thoroughly.

Food that has thawed out must never be frozen again. Usually items from deep freeze must be completely unfrozen before cooking. Otherwise the meat is cooked only on the outer surface while the inside that could still carry potential bacteria might be left uncooked and therefore dangerous. Other products such as fruit that will not be cooked is best to be left outside the fridge and be allowed to defrost naturally. However before they are served they must be thoroughly inspected to make sure they are not damaged in any way.

Some catering facilities rely heavily on frozen food, providing entire meals that only need defrosting before serving. Fast food industry has been flourishing because of frozen meals! The disadvantages are that although defrosting food does not require the expertise of a chef, it still needs a level of attention to make sure the product is not dangerous for the consumers. Also although modern techniques are keeping many of the nutritional values of food intact, it is not the same as fresh food. Fast food (who is mainly frozen meals) have often been accused of promoting obesity.

3)      What is an ‘Emergency Prohibition Order’?
If an officer believes that a business gives rise to imminent risk to health, he or she may close the business by issuing a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice. The matter will then be put to the court, which if satisfied that the business does pause an imminent risk to public health will impose a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order to close the business.

So in short health officials inspect any catering business at regular intervals and if the laws stated by the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Hygiene (Wales) Regulations 2006 are not observed then they can and will shut down any catering establishments.

For an emergency prohibition order to be lifted the court must be satisfied that Food Business Operator has taken suitable measures to ensure that the health risk(s) no longer exists.

4)      Explain the following terms:
a.      Vegan
b.      GM Foods
c.       Low Alcohol Drinks
d.      Table d’ Hote
a.    A vegan will not eat any animal products, for example:
        No meat nor other products that come directly from killing an animal such as animal fats and gelatin.
        No dairy products such as cow milk, cheese and yogurt, nor goats' s milk
        No eggs nor food containing eggs.

b.    GM Foods means genetically modified foods. GM normally involves the insertion of genes carrying a specific trait from one organism to another.

c.    A lower alcohol beverage is defined as a drink containing between 0,5% and 1,2% alcohol.

d.    A table d' Hote menu is a menu where multi - course meals with only a few choices are charged at a fixed total price. Such a menu may also be called prix fixe ('fixed price') The terms set meal and set menu are also used. Table d' Hote contrast with 'A la Carte' where customers may order any of the separately priced menu items available if given.

5)      Describe the main aims of provision of a menu for customers and the main constraints that limit choice.
The aims of a restaurant menu are to give customers a specific idea of what they can eat and at what price. But that’s only part of it. Menus are supposed to give options to customers that they normally wouldn’t have a home, so they have to be creative and interesting. At the same time if the restaurant wants to keep its clientele the meals must be nutritious and cover the customers’ needs in calories and vitamins. That is essential in every meal and is the goal of every catering facility whether it’s a MacDonald’s or a five star restaurant. Also it is important to satisfy a wide range of preferences such as offering children’s meal or vegetarian meals. Health issues dictates that the customers are aware of the ingredients of the recipes because of various allergies (allergy to nuts, lactose intolerance etc.) that could make food dangerous for certain individuals. Finally the menu must balance between quality ingredients and profit and a compromise must be reached that won’t jeopardize the restaurant’s future. Extremely low quality ingredients might lead to less customers choosing the restaurant for their meals but undercharging dishes also has negative effects in the restaurants profits.
One of the main constrain that limit choice is the type of establishment the menu is created for. This must be reflected on everything from pricing to service provided. The capabilities and talent of kitchen and service staff must also be taken into account when setting limits to the potential menu. The actual space and equipment that cooks have to work with is also one of the factors that affect the menu of restaurant. The type of supplies that are readily available are extremely important when designing a menu and last but not least the dishes featured must be appealing to the patrons the restaurant is targeting otherwise they will not choose that establishment.

6)      What are the four major factors when designing your menu card / folder to give the best possible impression?
The four major factors of designing the actual card / folder are:

Format. The customer should be able to handle the menu with ease. Especially if the table is already set or overcrowded

Font. The menu should be easy to read but at the same time interesting. If the restaurant has something special to offer it can use bold lettering or promote a set menu etc.

Paper. It must be durable to stand up to frequent use. It is a good idea to have the menu paper coated so that it cannot be soiled.

Covers. They should be well thought of and well designed. The impression that the cover gives is very important. If it is not well maintained it gives the wrong idea about the whole establishment.

Overall the menu is the caterer' s major sales tool. It can set the tone and the spirit of the restaurant. The menu should reflect the personality of the restaurant and also appeal to the mood of the patrons.

7)      What is the most suitable style of food service system to operate in the following situations:
i.                    The staff of a large manufacturing company based on one site
ii.                  A wedding reception for 200 guests in the grounds of a Golf Club
iii.                A dinner for the members of a fine dining society at a local college
i.    The staff of a large manufacturing company would best be served by a counter or cafeteria service. Usually people will want to have their meal on their breaks that don' t last very long, so speed is essential. Also this kind of service is cost effective and saves space - all each customer can eat will be contained in a tray - which is always the company' s objectives

ii.    A wedding reception would best be served by plate silver service. On one hand all 200 guests will need to be served at the same time - a difficult feat even for a group of experienced waiters. On the other hand a wedding is a very important moment in the new couple' s life and by extension to the lives of their friends and family and must not be spoiled by sloppy service, so a plate silver service is a good combination. The waiters present the food already served by the kitchen but can still add personal touches when serving the wine and fruits.

iii.    For a fine dining society only the best will do so it is either a gueridon or a full silver service. People of a fine dining society have time and inclination to enjoy a meal not just for the food but for the overall service and ambience. The waiters have to be experienced and able so as to showcase everything that the restaurant has to offer and make the customers feel special and appreciated.

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