Safe food preparation

People who do not understand safe food preparation practices can accidentally contaminate food.

Experienced Food Safety Supervisors understand that even the freshest raw food contains bacteria right from the start, so it’s important to follow the steps listed below to help prevent food-borne illnesses. Preparation means preparing food for cooking, packaging, reheating, serving or selling.

Hazards when preparing food

  • People who do not understand safe food preparation practices can accidentally contaminate food
  • Bacteria can be transferred to food from unwashed hands or clothing
  • If potentially hazardous food is left too long out of temperature control, bacteria can multiply and cause a particular food-borne illness
  • Bacteria can be transferred to food from equipment and utensils
  • Bacteria on raw, potentially hazardous food, including food used for garnishing can contaminate ready-to-eat food
  • Foreign objects may fall into uncovered food
  • Cleaning chemicals that are not stored or labelled properly may be misused resulting to contamination of food
  • Any person who has a food-borne illness or has symptoms of a food-borne illness or a condition may contaminate food
  • Unwashed fruits and vegetables contain contaminants such as dirt or chemicals
  • Unclean wiping cloths can spread bacteria

Controls and monitoring when preparing food

  • Ensure that food handlers have appropriate skills and knowledge for each food preparation task
  • Check that food preparation surfaces, equipment and utensils are clean and sanitised before you use them
  • Always wear or change into clean clothes before preparing food
  • Wash your hands properly before touching food, after using the toilet or touching hair or face
  • Minimise the time that potentially hazardous food is above 5°C and return food to the refrigerator during any break in preparation
  • Make sure that ready-to-eat food is kept apart from raw ingredients during preparation

Food Safety Supervisors must ensure that their staffs are fully trained in safe food preparation practices so they don’t accidentally contaminate food.