Good food hygiene is essential for you to make or sell food that is safe to eat. Every day people get ill from the food they eat. Bacteria, viruses and parasites found in food can cause food poisoning. Often, there is no way of telling if food is contaminated because it might not look, taste or smell any different from normal. Food poisoning can lead to gastroenteritis and dehydration, or potentially even more serious health problems such as blood poisoning (septicaemia) and kidney failure.
Top tips to keep your food hygiene to a high standard
Keep your kitchen and workshops clean
Wash utensils and work tops between uses especially between working with cooked and raw foods
Wash your hands thoroughly
This should be done before preparing food, after going to the bathroom, after you have handled raw food and after blowing your nose, sneezing and coughing . For advice on how to wash your hands properly please see our previous article, ‘help spread the word – it’s global hand washing day’
Make sure your food is fully cooked through
When cooking food remember that it takes a long time for the temperature in the middle of the food to reach the same temperature as the surface.
Always put away chilled and frozen food in your fridge/freezer as soon as you can
Improper storage of food can often lead to food poisoning.
Beware of poor personal hygiene
Keep overalls and aprons clean. Don’t wear outdoors clothes in the kitchen. Don’t taste food with your fingers and never use a spoon to taste food that has already been in your mouth.
Clean chopping boards between each usage
Contaminated chopping boards are one of the most common causes of cross contamination.
Check ‘use by dates’ before using food
Never use food after the recommended date
Be careful when storing and using high risk foods
Foods such as cheese, milk, butter and sushi are often served raw. They might contain harmful bacteria if stored or prepared incorrectly.
Raw and cooked food should always be kept separate
This includes storage and preparation. This stops bacteria on raw meat, fish and vegetables from contaminating cooked food.
As an employer it is essential that you ensure your staff follow the appropriate courses and have the specific certifications when it comes to food hygiene. Following these tips will prevent any possible problems that can arise regarding food preparation.
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