Do you wash your hands properly before eating? Do you wash the dishes properly? How often do you eat out? These are a few questions which are raised when it comes to food safety and hygiene. Food is a basic need to stay alive. And if the food is not safe, life is also not safe. So before you eat food, you must be aware of the importance of food safety and hygiene. Food safety is your responsibility. Consuming unsafe food can cause serious illness. Food safety and hygiene is a very important concern and everyone should be careful about it.
What is Food Safety and Hygiene?
Food safety is a term which describes how the food should be handled, prepared, and stored. Food safety is important to avoid several serious food-borne illnesses. Food safety is a health concern. Most of the time, people get ill due to food poisoning as they don’t practice proper food safety and hygiene. According to the World Health Organization, food safety and hygiene has 5 key principles which are listed below:
- Prevent contaminating food with pathogens spreading from people, pets and pests.
- Separate raw and cooked foods to prevent contaminating the cooked foods.
- Cook foods for the appropriate length of time and at the appropriate temperature to kill pathogens.
- Store food and proper temperature.
- Do use safe water and raw materials.
Food safety and hygiene is crucial for avoiding severe health hazards. Food safety originates from the practices of food additives, the use of chemicals in food, food labeling, food packaging etc. Food illness can be transmitted from person to person in case of consuming contaminated food. Food is a good substrate for the microbes to grow. Once the food gets contaminated by any means, the microbes start to grow colonies, which are known as microbial colonies and the food turns to poison. Often, this takes place due to the handling and storing of food.
Keep Your Food Fresh and Safe
From preparing to storing, food has to be taken care of properly. In case of processed food, packed food and fermented food, food safety and hygiene comes a very critical concern. Because these foods can get contaminated by microbes too easy.
Food can come in contact with the microbes via the surrounding environment, pets, touching with unwashed hands, etc. This is a basic thing to know that the food is the backbone of life and if the food is spoiled, the life will be in problem. Every country has its own food and safety organization working to maintain proper food safety and hygiene.
Food contact materials
These are the materials which often remain in a regular contact with the food. The materials should be disinfected properly using proper methods. When the food is exposed or comes in contact with these materials, the molecules of the materials can get transferred from the materials to the food which can be a possible cause of food contamination. These can include the following:
- Work surface
- Food processing equipment and machines
- Clothes used (tea towels, dishcloths)
Hygiene and Health
Food hygiene is clinically important to stay healthy and fit. People often consume food out at restaurants, cafés etc. which can be a concern of food safety and hygiene. Microbes, including bacteria, parasites, viruses etc. are often found in food which are possible reasons of food poisoning. Many times it is not easy to tell just by looking, smelling or tasting if the food is contaminated or not. So before you eat out, ensure food safety and hygienic conditions of that place.
- Before you eat the food, make sure that the food and safe enough to be eaten.
- Don’t do anything which makes the food harmful to be consumed.
- Wash hands, kitchen equipment and food contact materials properly to avoid any microbial infection before and after the food.
- Avoid wearing any kind of jewellery while processing the food, there is often possibility that the microbes can germinate on the surfaces of jewellery.
- Change and clean the dishcloths and tea towels regularly.
- Read the post to know how to store the packaged food.