- The causes of food poisoning
- how to prevent food poisoning
- Food hygiene in your home.
- A 12 Step Guide to Commercial food safety.
Causes of food poisoning
Some types of bacteria called pathogens can cause illnesses, as food that contains dangerous levels of pathogens may not look, smell or taste any different from food, which is safe. Bacteria multiply on most foods if given the chance, particularly if the temperature is between 5 degrees celsius and 60 degrees celsius which tells us that we must keep foods either very cold or very hot.
How to prevent food poisoning?
- Keep all food covered.
- Keep raw and cooked foods separate.
- Store raw meats near the bottom of the fridge to ensure that juices do not drip onto other foods.
- Don’t leave food at room temperature to defrost, defrost food in a refrigerator or in a microwave.
- Wash your hands, before, during and after handling food.
- Keep hot food above 60 degrees Celsius and cold food below 5 degrees Celsius.
Food hygiene and safety in your home
Here are some simple tips to assist in lowering the risk of food poisoning at home.
Remember the following tips when you are cooking:
- Keep Cold Foods Cold – Don’t overload the fridge and check that it is running at 5oC or below with a fridge thermometer, available from your supermarket.
- Keep Hot Foods Hot – Don’t let hot food sit out at room temperature for extended periods of time. Time your cooking so your hot food does not require re-heating. Hot foods must be maintained at 60oC to inhibit bacterial growth.
- Keep Raw and Cooked Foods Separate – Use separate utensils and chopping boards when preparing raw and cooked foods. Make sure that all foods are covered when stored, and always store raw food at the bottom of the fridge to prevent raw juices dripping on to cooked food.
- Cooling and Storing Hot Foods – If you want to keep cooked foods for later use, a simple rule is to cool the food to room temperature (around 21oC) within 2 hours and to fridge temperature within 4 hours.
- Wash Your Hands – The most important barrier to stopping transferring germs and dirt from you to your food is washing your hands. Use warm water and soap and dry thoroughly.
- Keep your kitchen and utensils clean – keeping your kitchen clean will deter pests, as there is no readily available food source for them to eat. If you use baits around your kitchen, mark on your calendar when they need to be changed – the label on the packet will tell you this information. Leaving cockroach baits for longer than directed may cause them to be a food source as dirt and dust build up inside the bait.
- Defrost Safely – When defrosting food, put it in the fridge overnight or use your microwave defrost setting. Don’t leave foods on the bench or in the sink for extended periods of time!
- Don’t cook for others if you are unwell or if you are experiencing food poisoning symptoms as you could easily pass your germs on and make others unwell
The 12 easy steps to Commercial Food Safety
- A Co-ordinator is appointed by the proprietor to implement FoodSafe training, practices and auditing.
- Co-ordinator trains first using video and workbook package.
- All other staff train using video and workbook package.
- Monitor and record temperature of coolrooms and bain-maries.
- Record what you do with food that has been recalled or returned.
- Monitor and record pest control activities.
- Develop and use a cleaning schedule.
- Monitor and record condition of food premises.
- Record if a food handler is sick at work.
- In-house hygiene audit confirms food handling is to standard and practices are in place.
- EHO hygiene audit confirms food handling and practices are to FoodSafe standard.
- FoodSafe trained certificate and sticker awarded to business.
Ongoing hygiene audits by business and FoodSafe auditor confirms standards are maintained.