Food hygiene is an important topic because if the proper processes are not adhered to it is easy to pass an array of diseases onto unsuspecting consumers. That’s not something you want to be responsible for, so be careful, prevent food contamination.
Fortunately, it is easy to avoid contaminating food providing you follow these steps when dealing with food at any stage.
1. Get the right equipment
Using the right food processing equipment means you’ll be able to minimize the amount of contact you have with the food. The best choice is stainless steel as this is very easy to clean and most bacteria cannot survive on the metal.
Having the right equipment will also make the food making process simpler and obviously prevent food contamination .
2. Keep raw food separate
Raw food, particularly meat, needs to be kept away from cooked foods. Ideally, you’ll have separate refrigerators for cooked and uncooked meats. This reduces the likelihood of bacteria jumping from uncooked meat to cooked meat.
Cooking kills the bacteria but the bacteria can survive if it moves onto food that is already cooked.
3. Cook with a thermometer
In order to ensure potentially harmful bacteria are destroyed during the cooking process, it is essential that foods are cooked properly.
Using a thermometer to ensure these temperatures have been reached inside the food means bacteria will have been killed and the risk of food contamination and poisoning averted.
4. Wash hands
The COVID-19 pandemic teaches the importance of washing hands regularly and avoiding touching your face. Soap remains one of the best lines of defense against bacteria and viruses.
Washing your hands regularly, especially when switching between food products, means that you’ll reduce the likelihood of food contamination.
This is especially important when handling uncooked meat, wash them as soon as you’ve finished with the meat.
It’s also important that the food equipment used in preparing and cooking the raw meat is washed properly. Use a dishwasher of plenty of soap and hot water to eliminate bacteria and make the equipment ready to use again.
If you have leftover food that can be reused then place it in the refrigerator or a sealed container, depending on what type of food it is. The sooner you do this the lower the likelihood of bacteria getting onto the food and multiplying.
6. Avoid out-of-date food
This should be obvious but food that is out of date is not safe to eat. This applies to the use by date and not the best before date. A tinned product can still be safe to eat after the date has passed, that’s why it’s a best before date.
But, meat and dairy have a use-by date. If this passes the products are likely to be going bad and can cause food poisoning as well as contamination.
7. Knowledge to prevent food contamination
While you need to know the rules it is equally important that any staff or other members of your household are also aware of the issues. This will help to ensure everyone is instigating the same procedures and protecting each other from food contamination.