WHAT IS FOOD HANDLING?
Food hygiene and handling are two concepts governed by five basic principles, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Food handling involves being in direct contact with food during its preparation, manufacturing, transformation, packaging, storage, transportation, and distribution stage. When working handling products in any of these stages, it is important to take special care in order to prevent accidents and illnesses.
5 principles of food hygiene and food handling
In fact, this principle of hygiene is the most relevant of all the points, because it is what allows us to have healthy products, without bacteria or diseases. This principle makes it possible to maintain vigilance so as not to contaminate customers.
There are 4 different types of contamination, the first is ” cross-contamination ” which is caused by the transmission of bacteria, it is caused by not isolating the different types of food and not properly washing the instruments used for the different tasks. The second is ” biological contamination “«, caused by living beings (insects, humans, animals, etc.) as in the first, and which is produced by the lack of hygiene in the preparations.
The third is ” physical contamination ” caused by physical products such as hair, plastic, jewelry… The main cause of this contamination is the lack of use of protective elements such as gloves, hats or aprons. Finally, ” chemical contamination ” is the presence of pesticides and pesticide residues on vegetables. This type of contamination poses a serious health risk to consumers.
Separate food and ingredients
It is important to separate foods, by groups, especially raw foods from those that have already been cooked. It is a way to avoid cross-contamination and the probability of contamination of edible foods ready for human consumption.
Cook for suitable periods of time and temperatures
We know that we must cook each food or product at a certain temperature and for a specific time. To avoid any risk of contamination, the cooking and preparation we must respect times as much as possible.
Store under proper conditions
Foods that are handled or prepared, but are not intended for immediate consumption, must be stored in conditions appropriate to the characteristics of each food.
Use clean and drinkable water
The principles of hygiene and food handling establish that the water used in the food preparation and cooking processes must be clean and drinkable water.
The most crucial factor of these contaminations is the inadequate application of the regulations and the lack of adequate food hygiene habits by those involved in the food chain.
Good hygiene and food handling practices
The elements that the food handler must consider for good food hygiene of the products they handle are:
Your own health
If he is sick, he can become the contagion element of his illness to the consumers that the food handled by him reaches. Also, he must properly treat wounds, protecting them with dressings or bandages and ensuring that they do not fall onto food.
Your personal hygiene
In addition to proper personal cleanliness, the food handler must consider other factors such as always keeping fingernails short and clean, regularly washing hands with soap and proper drying, and cleaning clothes and personal items and objects, even if remove them during your work.
Depending on the activity you carry out as a food handler, you must comply with food hygiene standards.
The use of protective clothing
You must wear appropriate work clothing such as a hat or hairnet, both men and women. Use gloves that must be in good condition and clean.
In addition, you have to be very careful with habits that may seem common and healthy, but are not, such as whistling, coughing, or sneezing.
What diseases can food transmit?
The most common food-borne illnesses are caused by microorganisms. They are microscopic organisms that exist anywhere (water, air, objects, soil, animals…). They can be of three types: bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Most of these diseases are characterized by a short incubation period. In addition, all presented similar symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and fever) and recovered quickly with the treatment. However, some diseases can become complicated and fatal. There are two types of food-borne illnesses: infection and food poisoning.
If an illness is caused by food contaminated with microorganisms, it is called an Infection. Infections can be:
- Bacteria (for example, Salmonella). This is one of the most common situations, especially in summer, due to the temperature of food handling.
- Viral (eg, hepatitis A). The virus is usually transmitted to food by food handlers.
- Parasites (eg Anisakis). Unfortunately, this is becoming more and more common. In some cases, such as Anisakis, steps can be taken to eliminate these parasites and make food safe to eat.
Instead, if it is caused by toxins in food, it is called food poisoning.
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