Meaning Of Food Hygiene
Food hygiene is the action taken to ensure that food is handled, stored, prepared and served in such conditions as to prevent possible contamination of food. It ensures that food is safe for human consumption. In home kitchen, it includes proper storage of food stuff before use, washing the hands before handling food and maintaining a clean environment when preparing food. It also ensures all serving dishes are clean and free from contaminants. Food hygiene lowers the risk of illnesses from food contamination.
Reasons For Healthy Food Handling
A food handler is a person who directly engages in handling of food or who handles surfaces likely to come in contact with food, for a food business or home consumption. Food handlers must maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness as well as receiving regular training in food hygiene issues.
It is essential for all food handlers to protect consumer health and ensure a safe food supply. It is important to avoid microbiological contamination of food by infected food handler. Microbiological contamination could be by direct contact with open food, indirect contact during food processing, preparation and service.
The main considerations in prevention of food contamination by food handlers are;
1. Good work environment and hand washing.
2. Safe handling of food.
3. Good personal hygiene practice by food handlers and vendors.
4. Prevention of infectious conditions.
Reasons For Healthy Food Handling
The reasons for healthy food handling include:
1. Safe food handling practices can contribute for the preservation of food’s peak quality. Keeping hot food hot and cold foods cold inhibit s the growth of the micro-organism that can spoil your food and make you ill. Storage at the proper temperature also retains the fresh appearance, pleasant aroma and agreeable texture the contribute so strongly to an enjoyable dining experience.
2. Safe food handling allows one enjoy to the fullest, the nutritional benefits of food.
3. Safe food handling practice provides a good example for others especially the children.
4. Safe food handling inspires confidence and peace in the family.
5. Safe food handling can enhance your standing in the community.
6. Safe food handling is the responsible thing to do because those who are expected to consume a prepared dish deserve the best treatment.
7. Safe food handling saves money. Food borne illness cost much to cure.
8. By handling food safely, you will spare yourself and your family from experiencing painful bouts of illness.
9. Safe food handling can safe a life.
Food safety is a scientific discipline, handling, preparation and storage of food in ways that prevent food-borne illnesses. This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potentially severe health hazards.
Ways Of Handling Food For Safety
Safe food handling, cooking and storing are essential to prevent food borne illness. In every step of food handling, certain principles are important. These include;
1. Cleanliness: Wash hand and surfaces often.
2. Separation: To avoid cross contamination.
3. Cooking: Cook to the right temperature.
These principles must be observed during
A. Shopping For Food Items
i. Never choose meat or poultry in a package that is torn or leaking.
ii. Do not buy food items without expiration date.
iii. Environment for buying foods must be clean.
i. Aways refrigerate or chill food promptly.
ii. Meat and poultry should be wrapped securely to maintain quality.
iii. Discard canned foods that are dented, rusted or swollen.
i. Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before after handling food.
ii. Do not cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry, fish and their juices away from either foods.
iii. Cutting boards and other utensils should be washed after use with hot soapy water.
iv. Cover all cooked foods.
v. Do not freeze thawed food item.
vi. Cook the right temperatures.
i. Hot food should be held at 140 of (60cc) or warmer.
ii. Cold food should be held at 40 of (44cc) or colder.
iii. Discard left over left under the room temperature for more than 2 hours.