Food Safety: Preventing Food Poisoning
Food poisoning can occur in the home or in food businesses. It is very unpleasant to catch, and can have severe consequences for businesses that serve food which causes food poisoning in their customers.
Whether at home or in a commercial kitchen, the following steps will go a very long way to preventing food poisoning.
One of the biggest steps towards preventing food poisoning is observing good hygiene in the form of cleanliness. Wash hands regularly during food preparation and consumption, and make sure that surfaces on which food is prepared or served are regularly and thoroughly cleaned as well. Make sure cloths and sponges used for cleaning such surfaces also get washed, or you may just be spreading germs.
If food, especially chilled food, is not properly stored, then this can lead to it spoiling sooner and potentially becoming hazardous before passing its expiry date. Make sure you have a good-quality fridge and freezer, and if you run a business ensure you use commercial equipment that will be up to the task. Suppliers such as FFD Ltd can provide a range of commercial refrigeration solutions.
While preparing food, it is absolutely vital to avoid cross-contamination between food types. Cross-contamination can occur when, for example, bacteria from foods such as raw meets are allowed to transfer to other foods which are going to be cooked in a different way. The alternative cooking process may not kill these bacteria. This is largely a concern where uncooked food that is not suitable for raw consumption is concerned, though it is best to implement a blanket policy so no two foods are allowed to cross-contaminate. After one type of food has been prepared on a surface or chopping board or placed in a dish or pan, make sure the surface is thoroughly cleaned before any other foodstuff is placed there. Wash your hands thoroughly between handling different types of food, and ensure they are kept separate when stored.
It is important to always be sure food is thoroughly cooked before it is served. Often cooking serves not just to make food palatable but to kill bacteria, which may or will definitely be present when raw. Not cooking food thoroughly is one of the biggest risk factors leading to food poisoning, especially with meats.