Guidance includes 5 categories of hygiene considerations
Recent guidance issued by the Virtual College focuses on the need for anyone involved in food preparation to adhere to principles that will help avoid cross contamination and potential food poisoning.
The article zeros in on 5 key categories that frames their food preparation hygiene guidance. They are:-
- Clean – dealing with hand washing, keeping the working environment hygienic.
- Separate – keeping ingredients and equipment separate.
- Cook – preparing food at suitable and safe temperatures, being sure to avoid a temperature between 8°C and 60°C, which is known as ‘the danger zone’.
- Temperature – including the environment where the food is being prepared and products themselves chilled where appropriate.
- Ingredients – how certain elements need additional care during the food handling process.
Top of the list – hand washing
Effective and regular hand washing is one of the most important hygiene reinforcers, says the guidance.
“First, clean hands are essential. Before and after any food handling task, you should wash your hands for at least twenty seconds to be sure that there aren’t any harmful substances on them that could contaminate the food or that any contaminants from the food are now present on your hands.”
Equally importantly, the facilities where hand washing occurs should be designated for this purpose only.
“Food handling equipment should be washed in a separate sink than the one where people wash their hands in a kitchen. This is to prevent cross-contamination by stopping any harmful contaminants on kitchen equipment from being transferred to people’s hands, and vice versa.”
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