Good practices of hygiene are essential for food preparation, not only in industry but also, in the domestic. Good food hygiene extends beyond washing hands before eating. Poor food hygiene is the cause for many avoidable diseases and even deaths.
Good food hygiene practices help to reduce the risk of food poisoning among your customers or your household and help to control harmful bacteria, which can cause serious illness.
Bacteria can be transferred from hands, tools, surfaces, knives, and clothes to the food and then cause food poisoning.
Many microbes like the ones causing typhoid, gastroenteritis, diarrheal diseases, abdominal cramps, even liver infections, among others, are passed in stools of infected persons and mix with the soil. This contaminated soil can become the source of propagation of infection.
Good food hygiene prevents cross-contamination, which is one of the most common causes of food poisoning. Cross-contamination is when bacteria are spread between food, surfaces or equipment.
Good Food Hygiene includes practices such as
- Cleaning and disinfect work surfaces,
- Washing your hands before preparing food (Hands should be washed at least following these actions: before and after food preparation, before and after using kitchen utensils, after using the toilet, after sneezing, coughing, blowing the nose, smoking, touching the hair or face and emptying bins)
- The raw substances used for cooking should be washed thoroughly with water before being cooked.
- Storing separately raw food from ready-to-eat food and so on..
- Effective cleaning gets rid of bacteria on hands, equipment and surfaces.
- Thorough cooking kills harmful bacteria in food. So it is extremely important to make sure that food is cooked properly. When cooking or reheating food, always check that it is steaming hot all the way through.
- Jewellery, watch should be removed because can be a shelter for bacteria which can transfer easily to food or utensils.
- Wounds should be covered with a waterproof plaster after being cleaned
- Always check expiry dates of products before using.
Knowledge of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) is essential for food handlers because HACCP is a system that helps food business operators look at how they handle food and introduces procedures to make sure the food produced is safe to eat.
Personal hygiene is very important for preventing poisoning and illness. Hand washing, maintaining general cleanliness and being aware of the dangers of cross contamination are the most important factors to remember when preparing food.
Because food hygiene is crucial in ensuring healthy food, Professional food handlers must understand and implement proper food hygiene techniques.