I realised the true meaning of vulnerability when my first son was born. Louis was completely reliant on us to protect him. Now he’s a boisterous toddler who throws himself off or over everything. I can’t bubble-wrap him, but when fuelling my little Ninja Warrior, I make sure he’s getting not only the best but the safest food he can get. I bring the same philosophy to Little Dish.
Food Safety is paramount
Children under 5, adults over 65, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems are considered “vulnerable populations” in the food industry. Foodborne illnesses can be much worse for our vulnerable toddlers.
Providing toddlers and families with the best and safest food is our raison d’être. Little Dish goes above and beyond what the Ministry for Primary Industries requires for vulnerable populations. The result is food that is safer than an A grade restaurant and even home-made meals.
How can this be? Three words: hygiene, heating and cooling.
Our food safety practices
Here’s a quick run-down of the key steps I take to exceed the MPI’s requirements for vulnerable populations.
- I test the temperature of our meat, fish and dairy produce when it arrives at our commercial kitchen and again before I use it.
- I sear the meat to kill any bacteria on the outside.
- I cook the meat well above the temperature required for vulnerable populations and I monitor the temperature constantly during cooking.
- I use a blast chiller to reduce quickly the cooked food’s temperature and minimise the risk of pathogens being reintroduced.
- Once cooled, I vacuum pack the meals. (Bacteria love oxygen rich environments but vacuum packing takes away almost all of the oxygen.)
- I pasteurise the packaged food with heat.
- Then I freeze the meals.
- The meals are packed with salt ice for delivery in vans using freezer compartments. Our systems inform you once your meals have been delivered.
Little Dish’s food safety practices have been evaluated and are constantly verified by MPI accredited food safety and quality specialists. We have also completed independent microbiology testing on our products. The results are well within the recommended level for vulnerable populations.
I pride myself on delivering your family great food, safely. Leave the tasty and safety to Little Dish; you’ve got enough on your plate!