Think about how you’d feel if you knew the person preparing your food had not washed their hands, and you immediately understand the importance of personal hygiene when it comes to food preparation.
Hand washing is the first thing which springs to mind when considering hygiene, but personal hygiene for food preparation goes much further and must be taken seriously to avoid serious illness or even death.
Businesses serving or preparing food are now bound by strict laws to prevent the customer from falling ill as a result of consuming their products, and to protect themselves if they have been abiding by the laws. Developments in commercial dishwashers mean that temperatures can be much higher than could be previously attained through hand washing alone.
The law covers everything from personal protective wear through to the utensils used in preparation and making sure there is no cross-contamination. Regular training and re-training is vital for all members of staff, and each much follow stringent procedures relative to the tasks they carry out.
Food Preparation at Home
Similar practices should be adhered to at home, such as colour-coding knives or chopping boards. Keep pets out of the kitchen and dining areas, discourage children from eating anything they have dropped on the floor and ensure babies’ bottles and feeding equipment are sterilised in line with manufacturers’ guidelines.
As soon as children start to show an interest in food, they should be encouraged to learn about washing their hands and how important their own hygiene is, especially in relation to food preparation.
Best Practice Tips
• Hands should be washed before and after preparing food, and after using utensils. Of course, hands should also be washed after using the toilet, and also after blowing the nose or sneezing and coughing.
• Make sure there is always a plentiful supply of running water available, along with detergent and somewhere to dry hands that differs from somewhere to dry utensils.
• Never cook if you feel unwell or have an open cut.
• Invest in a dishwasher if you have space, and do some research for the best to suit your needs. There are some great commercial dishwashers through 247cateringsupplies and other specialist retailers.
Otherwise, adopt a common sense approach; clean and tidy as you go, and maintain general levels of cleanliness.