Cross Contamination ... how to avoid it!

 

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What is cross contamination?

Making a kitchen look clean by removal of crumbs and smears is easy, but this does not  mean that your kitchen is not contaminated by life threatening bacteria like E-coli and MRSA.  So how clean is your kitchen, is it tidy but contaminated with bacteria?  

Cross contamination is the easiest and most common way in which people get food poisoning. Cross contamination is effectively bacteria being put on to surfaces, and being picked up and contaminating food.  If a piece of equipment isn't handled correctly, cross contamination can easily occur, and can infect food and can make customers very unwell.  If you are not educated enough and aren't making enough of an effort to avoid cross contamination E.Coli can spread, grow and multiply and this is one of the most deadly bacteria you can find in your kitchen. The spread of E.Coli can not only affect your reputation but can also pose a threat to the health of individuals. 

It is imperative that any one running a food based business, has at least a basic understanding of food bourne bacteria, how they spread and how to avoid cross contamination. 

Food poisoning is avoidable, with good hygiene practices... so lets get started. 

Cross contamination is a term used to describe the process of bacteria or other microorganisms being transferred from one object or substance to another.  This could be a transfer from a kitchen knife to a cutting board, for example.

Harmful bacteria is the most common substance that can be passed on when food safety isn’t a priority. Harmful bacteria can be found on certain types of food and can be passed on to another. However, cross contamination is not only limited to bacteria. Traces of cleaning products, toxins, and even viruses can be passed between foods and they can all cause a great deal of harm.

Taking the right precautions is the best way to prevent the spread of any of these substances in the kitchen.

As well as ensuring that the way in which you store meat, poultry, and fish and utilize utensils is in line with the procedures recommended by the Food Standards agency, cleaning is an area which needs to be focused on too.

One of the most important and sometimes overlooked aspects of kitchen cleaning are surfaces.

When preparing raw meat or fresh vegetables using a chopping board, you may not think that bacteria or germs can be spread to a surface. But this really isn’t the case.

To avoid any harmful situations arising, it is essential that surfaces are cleaned often and thoroughly. Using a high-quality food safe hard surface cleaner will ensure that any bacteria that has been left lingering will be cleaned off, leaving the surface ready for the next meal to be prepared.

Alongside this, it’s important that the correct type of wiper is used in the kitchen. This is because using the wrong kind of wiper can contribute towards the spread of germs. For keeping your kitchen incredibly clean in the safest possible way there are specific catering cloths available.

When it comes to dishwashing, if you use a dishwasher we recommend using a trusted brand of dishwashing detergent or tablets, such as these, or using a trusted brand of washing up liquid if the equipment is washed by hand.

Using these products in tablet or liquid form will help ensure that any harmful food remnants or bacteria is removed before the dishes are used again. Nobody likes dirty dishes…even if you can’t see the dirt (or bacteria) with the naked eye!

Following these guidelines, and ensuring that everyone who uses your kitchen is aware of the dangers of not being thorough with their kitchen cleaning will help to boost your food safety level.

If you have any questions about the processes or products that you could employ to improve your kitchen safety from good to great, feel free to contact our advisers who are more than happy to discuss this with you.


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