Earlier in the year I undertook a Level 2 food safety and hygiene course to enable me to undertake good practice for various development projects on the farm. In this article Kazim Raza introduces the subject, outlining what is required for maintaining good standards of hygiene in food preparation.
The existence of good hygiene habits by people who work with food is fundamental for the maintenance of good health, as it avoids the transmission of diseases.
These problems are caused by small living things called bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa, microorganisms that can only be seen with the aid of special devices such as microscopes, but are actually everywhere: in water, in the air, in the human body, insects and food.
Care to be taken in preparing and handling food:
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before preparing food and before meals;
- Wash cooking utensils such as forks, knives, spoons, dishes, pans, dishes, under running water and using soap;
- Always keep the kitchen surfaces, such as floors, sinks, boards, etc. dry. Bacteria and fungi reproduce more easily in contact with moisture;
- Put the remains of food, that is what cannot be used, in covered bins, to avoid the proliferation and the approximation of rats and insects, such as flies and cockroaches;
- Keep food leftovers in covered containers and refrigerate these, to avoid the proliferation of bacteria and fungi, which can cause diseases when these foods are ingested;
- Always use clean clothes to clean the kitchen. Cloths that are used multiple times or for various tasks accelerate the proliferation of the bacteria that remain in the tissues;
- Wash vegetables, leaf by leaf, and fruits thoroughly with running water.
- Vegetables that are eaten raw and fruits that will be eaten with the peel should remain in a solution of water with sodium hypochlorite for ten minutes and then washed again;
- Hold your hair or wear a cap whenever you are handling the food;
- Take a shower every day, wear clean clothes and keep your nails short and clean.
Food in the right place
Each food has an ideal temperature of conservation.
Cold temperatures prevent most bacteria and fungi from multiplying. That’s why food is stored in the refrigerator or in very cool places. Hot temperatures kill most microorganisms. For this reason, baking or cooking food well also prevents its contamination.
In addition, covered foods should be kept clean, especially those that are exposed and stored in dry places.
Taking care with hygiene in food handling is key to controlling contamination by preventing the formation of bacteria and intoxication problems and diseases related to food consumption.
In general, food contamination causes lack of cleanliness (hygiene care), exposure to fresh air of prepared food, and poor and poorly maintained facilities.