Avoiding Cross Contamination

Avoid cross contaminationOne of the most common causes of food poisoning is cross contamination.  So what can you do to prevent this from happening in your venue?

Cross contamination occurs when harmful bacteria are spread onto food via other ingredients (such as raw meat), surfaces, hands or equipment that has not been cleaned appropriately.

It is essential for food handlers to ensure vegetables are washed thoroughly and that eggs and meat are free of contaminants, and are within the safe consumption period.

Other sources of bacteria can include:

  • Staff

  • Pests

  • Equipment

  • Cloths

  • Dirt or soil

To avoid food being contaminated in the first place, you should take care to store ingredients appropriately to minimise physical contamination such as pest infestations, broken glass or packaging.

When cleaning kitchens, make sure food is kept well away from chemical cleaners or pest control chemicals.

Staff can minimise risk of food contamination by practicing thorough hygiene practices such as changing into a clean uniform on the premises before their shift, washing hands with an industry standard detergent before handling food, and ensuring that dirty uniforms and cloths are kept well away from food preparation areas and are washed as soon as possible after work is complete.

To find out more about best hygiene practices, check our course page to find out more.