Hygiene and Sanitation

Ideally, before discussing about other things, hygiene and sanitation are the firstthing taught by any professionals in the industry. Unfortunately, in Indonesia,many people often overlook this aspect. There are many contributing factors, from the money-oriented owners who see them as expense, to the loose regulation from the government. On the contrary, according to Chef Rahmat Kusnedi, The President of Indonesia Pastry Alliance (IPA), the understanding of hygiene and sanitation can help in boosting your profit.

What’s the basic difference between hygiene and sanitation?

Basically, hygiene is more to cleanliness, it can be personal or environmental, meanwhile sanitation talks about the sterilization and bacteria.

What’s the main issue in this topic?

In Indonesia, the understanding for both of them is still lacking. Owners see everything as expense. For example, why bother using the service of a hygiene and sanitation company? We have to buy soap, sanitizer, and other stuffs that will cost Rp 6.000.000/month, meanwhile we can use regular soap or detergent for everything, from washing, rinsing, etc for only Rp 500.000/month. Therefore, the owner prefer to have Rp 5.500.000 as profit. Most of the owners think that way, however hygiene and sanitation is customers’ right, it should  be the first priority.

Of course, owners will complain, “if it costs that much, how am I gonna make any profit?” However, if you dig deeper, hygiene and sanitation will give you profit. Let say to join a tender in government agencies, if a company hasn’t have the hygiene and sanitation standard and halal certificate, it would be impossible to join. In addition, if you know both of them very well. You’ll know the proper way of storing the ingredients to expand the shelf-life, as a result, you can reduce the waste and reject.

Hygiene and sanitation are basic. You can have expensive house, but if it’s dirty, with garbage lying around and the people spit everywhere, people will think, “this person is rich, but doesn’t he seem like an uneducated person?” It happens in many bakeries in Indonesia, however, you’ll be surprised if you know their sales.

How many owners are paying enough attention to this issue?

Most of them are business or money oriented. Sometimes they forget how to manage consistent workflow in the kitchen, one of the cause is the loose regulation, compared to other countries. In other countries, if expired ingredients are found, the restaurant may immediately be closed down.

How does hygiene and sanitation relates to the halal certificate?

Basically, halal is about recognition and traceability. We need halal certificate not only for products that are being sold in Moslem countries. If you dig deeper, actually halal concept is educating.

If I had steak in 5 star hotel, and then I had food poisoning, there will be investigation. They should check whether the meat used in the hotel already has halal certificate or not? Then, if they used wagyu, who’s the supplier? So, halal involves traceability. The principal of the people in MUI is, they won’t let halal certificate is obtained is haram ways.

The way I see it, halal certificate doesn’t have anything to do with religion,we’re talking about education. Halal certification involves everything from the ingredients, hygiene, sanitation to the process. Of course it’s different to certificate from BPOM which focuses to ensure the ingredients used are not contaminated with harmful substances. Halal certificate even investigate the sourcing of the ingredients, they way the animals are butchered, can they be  held accountable? The process of halal certificate submission takes quite a while. I got the certificate after 1 year.

We talked with a Director of one of  the leading bakeries, they said they had difficulties to get the certificate because of the products’ names.

Yes. If your product is called “Rhum Raisin” of course you’ll never get the halal certificate because the name has “rhum” in it. Another example is “Devil Cake”,  literally, the name “devil” will never be approved. From the naming aspect, you  can tell halal certification is trying to educate the business owners, give good names for your products.

How big is the influence of halal certificate to a business?

Quite significant. With the certificate, you can join the tender in government agencies, because the first conditions to be met the vendors is the halal  certificate, even far before we talk about hygiene and sanitation.

In addition, with halal certificate, the customers will fell safe and the products will be accountable, you instantly get their trust. It’s like the worst graduate from the best university in the world. Of course people will trust
you, because, at least you’ve graduated from there.