Before you converted to vegan, you had a general kitchen with all types of foods ranging across various dietary forms. This simply means you never cared about what utensil you used for vegetables and what you used for meat, eggs, or milk. Similarly, many kitchens are not dedicated to one kind of lifestyle, therefore cross contamination during any food handling and cooking is very possible.
People will not enjoy your meal if they feel it is cross-contaminated. A vegan diet is a clean diet; the catering of such food requires a lot of precision, hygiene and careful handling of ingredients. Think of it as an impurities-free meal.
However, how do you avoid a reputational damage when offering a vegan catering service? Below are the steps to take in order to avoid a similar situation. People will love you and respect you for this, pay attention because this part, no one should miss. The standards officer will pay you a visit, sample your dishes and a slight trace of meat and animal product will land you in trouble.
Clean vegan food handling
You might do a great job preparing the vegan food, however, if you do not handle the food with great hygiene you could end up with food traced with non-vegan items. Wash and dry your hands before you handling anything vegan from the utensils to food.
Careful food storage
Cross contamination does not come only because of meal preparation. Your vegan food could be contaminated in your fridge without you knowing. I advise that you use the top shelves of your fridge for your vegan foods. This way your food is not contaminated through simple food drips in your fridge.
Food preparation surfaces
This is so common. If you have, a bigger kitchen dedicate certain areas for your vegan catering. If space is small, thoroughly clean the surface before you prepare any vegan meal. Acquire chopping boards, label them and make it a habit to read the labels to be a cleaner vegan caterer. With time, you will get used to non-contamination practices.
Separate serving equipment
Being a flexible caterer, I will advise that you separate vegan and non-vegan serving equipment in different trays. Have utensils, cutlery and serving equipment in different places. Use colour to differentiate, use labels for the trays. Wash the serving equipment separately.
Mind about your cooking oil
In catering, some people have the practice of reusing cooking oil. Some people allow it some caterers to avoid this practice. Always fry your vegan meals with clean oil. Do not reuse the cooking oil blindly. Always use newer oil each time to avoid unknowingly using oil used to prepare a non-vegan.
Clean non-vegan cooking equipment
Why clean them when you are not using them? The answer is simple your vegan vegetables could land on grills and griddles; I am preparing you for such situations. You might do everything right but fast kitchen movement can be a cross contaminator. Your ingredients could land on used and unclean non-vegan equipment. Will you need to start buying ingredients again? Better cautious and conscious than sorry.
The above are just the basics. They are very important; they should set you on the right path towards clean vegan food catering.