Proper hygiene must always be observed most especially when handling and preparing food. This is not only important in the food industry but should also be observed strictly even in domestic settings.
Not washing hands and using kitchen tools hygienically may easily spread food borne diseases and/or cause food poisoning. More often than not, food poisoning is caused by cross-contamination. This happens when bacteria is transferred from one food item to another.
To prevent food poisoning, first of all, you must know how it spreads. You must be extra careful when handling raw food. You must be aware that bacteria can be transferred indirectly through hands, surfaces, clothes, knives and containers.
To ensure that food is prepared safely, we’ve got a few tips for you.
- Make sure to always have flowing water, cleansing agent and towel available for handwashing.
- The apron harbours incalculable amounts of bacteria so always use one that is clean and washable in order to avoid cross contamination from the apron to food and vice versa.
- Do not cook when you have an infection or an uncovered wound.
- Wounds should be covered with waterproof plaster.
- Handwashing is a MUST before and after food preparation, before and after using kitchen tools and utensils, after toilet use, after sneezing and coughing, smoking, touching dirty surfaces and touching certain parts of the body like the hair, face and mouth.
- When preparing food, remove jewellery and other accessories, such as bracelets, rings and watches. They can hide bacteria, especially those with elaborate designs.
- When tasting food, NEVER use a utensil that will be placed back into the food source.
- Clean as you go. Tidy your area as you cook to not only avoid contamination but to prevent accidents as well.
- Have a separate chopping/cutting board for cooked and raw meat. If you only have one, make sure it is washed thoroughly before using.
- Check products for expiry dates before using.
- Discard food that has fallen to the floor. The floor is host to millions of harmful bacteria brought by the shoes.
To prevent illnesses and food poisoning due to food contamination, good personal hygiene must be observed at all times. Apart from that, having good kitchen hygiene can greatly minimise the possibility of pest infestations brought about by moisture and food particles.
Maintaining the cleanliness in the area where food is being prepared, constant hand washing and knowledge about the causes of food contamination, as well as the dangers it poses to human health, should always be put in mind when preparing food.