Good hygiene is essential when it comes to the handling and preparation of food. This is because various illnesses (or even death) can be caused by bad food hygiene. In all aspects of the food industry, employers and staff have a duty of care as well as legal and moral obligations to their customers. There are various rules and regulations set out by the government that must be adhered to and employers must make sure that all staff are aware of these by using thorough training techniques. Employees are also responsible for their actions and must adhere to every single rule in place. Hats, gloves, masks and first aid equipment are all designed to prevent the spread of diseases. These should be used wherever necessary.
Hand washing is extremely important when working with food. A suitable flow of water, cleansing agent and separate towel should always be available. Your hands should be washed before and after food preparation, before and after using kitchen utensils, after using the toilet, after sneezing, coughing, blowing your nose, smoking, touching your hair or face and emptying bins. Never use food that has been on the floor, even if the floor looks clean.
Do not handle food if you are feeling unwell, have a known infection or have an open and uncovered wound. Using a clean and washable apron will help to prevent any cross contamination of bacteria from clothing to food and vice versa. You should be clean and tidy while you work to avoid accidents as well as preventing any contamination.
Fridges and cupboards should be cleaned frequently with a suitable cleansing agent. Surfaces should be wiped down before and after contact with food. Always cook meat thoroughly and never share the surface or utensils used for raw meat or poultry with any other items until it has been cleaned and dried properly.
Jewellery should always be removed and any wounds should be covered with a waterproof plaster after being cleaned. The plaster should preferably be a blue colour, due to the fact that no natural food products are blue, so it’s easy to spot if it accidentally falls off.
Check the expiry dates before using any products. Never share cutlery with others unless you wash it in between and never taste food from a utensil that is going to be placed back into the food source before being served.
Personal hygiene is extremely important when it comes to preventing severe illnesses. Hand washing, maintaining general cleanliness and being aware of the dangers of cross contamination between raw and cooked meats are the most important factors to remember when you are preparing or handling food.