There are a few basic food hygiene rules that both workers in the food industry and individuals preparing food at home need to be aware of and adhere to in order to ensure food safety. It is important when preparing food that you are:
- Protecting people from getting sick
- Safeguarding your establishment
- Protecting your reputation in the food industry
- Protecting your job
These rules need to be applied in order to safeguard your business against fines and the negative publicity that food safety incidents attract.
(Photo: Paul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
- All food industry workers should be trained in safe food handling and preparation.
- All fruit and vegetables should be rinsed under clean water to remove soil, bacteria, insects and chemicals.
- Raw foods and ready-to-eat foods should be separated in both storage and preparation to avoid cross-contamination.
- Try to use separate, clean utensils and cutting boards for raw foods and ready-to-eat foods, or wash utensils in between uses.
- Ensure food is thoroughly cooked, right through the centre. If possible make sure the centre of the food reaches 75°C.
- Avoid keeping high-risk foods in the “Temperature Danger Zone” this is between 5°C and 60°C, between these temperatures bacteria flourish and multiply. Keep chilled foods cold at 5°C or colder and hot foods hot at 60°C or hotter to avoid this.
- Avoid leaving just cooked food out to cool for more than one hour. As soon as food has cooled, refrigerate it.
- Thaw food in the fridge or microwave rather than leaving it in the danger zone.
- Take extra care when preparing foods which call for raw eggs because bacteria on the egg shells can contaminate the food.