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The 5Ms of hygiene in restaurants

The Regulatory Obligations of the Restaurateur 12 April 2021

The HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) method is a working tool that identifies significant hazards for food safety in restaurants. This HACCP approach is based on five critical points to monitor, the 5Ms of restaurant hygiene, which are: environment, equipment, raw material, labor and method.

The Middle

This critical point takes into account all the premises that are part of the catering unit. This means the storage room as well as the kitchen, the dining room or the diving area if it is a different room. To avoid any health risk, it is essential that the premises are well maintained and easy to clean (waterproof, non-absorbent, washable and non-toxic floor and wall covering).

It is also important to properly equip your windows with insect protection and to leave them closed during production.


This critical point defines all the equipment used, whether small or large. We are therefore talking here, kitchen tools but also refrigerators and cold rooms, shelves, cooling cells and air conditioning. Like the environment, they must be easy to clean but also be resistant to corrosion (wood is therefore to be avoided).

Raw materials

In the case of catering, the raw material corresponds to the foodstuffs used in cooking. Here you have to pay attention to the supplier chosen but also to the storage of his food (storage temperature, expiry date, management of leftovers, verification of the origins of the meat) to ensure the safety of food in restaurants.

It is also important to make arrangements for the water supply to your establishment and to have a potability certificate or a certificate of connection to the public network.


This point concerns the establishment’s kitchen and dining staff. It is important to train staff in hygiene rules so that they handle food correctly. Current legislation requires catering establishments to have a kitchen hygiene manager who has been trained in the principles of the HACCP method.

The state of health of its staff is also to be taken into account. It is important to ensure that its staff are able to handle food.

It is also necessary to ensure that the safety and hygiene instructions (wearing of the cap, the gown, protective shoes and / or gloves as well as the washing of hands).

The method

This point concerns the operation and organization of the restaurant. This is one of the first critical points to check in the event of a problem (with the workforce). Two important concepts should be taken into account in the organization of your kitchen: walking forward in space or walking forward in time. These two concepts seek to avoid cross-contamination, either by chaining the production steps starting with the dirtiest tasks and ending with the cleanest tasks (forward movement in space) or by cleaning and disinfecting after each step. from production. The choice of forward march will depend on its host structure.

This critical point does not however only concern the production stages but also the hygienic regulations: how to carry out a reception, how to take temperature readings, how to set up a cleaning plan, etc.

All these points are essential for food safety in restaurants and it is essential to have a well-defined approach in your health control plan in order to avoid any problem at these critical points.


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