Food Hygiene Certificate – Avoid Food Poisoning

Basic Food hygiene Rules to Avoid Food Poisoning

To get your Food Hygiene Certificate you will need to know the basic information included below and in the following pages.

What causes food poisoning?

Food Hygiene Certificate - Raw Chicken

Food poisoning is caused by micro-organisms or bacteria in our food. They can possibly be found in all foods but the main danger is is raw meat fish and fowl.
Food poisoning can occur in a couple of ways. It can be caused by eating the live bacteria in undercooked or contaminated food and these then multiplying in your stomach. Proper cooking kills the bacteria and stops this from happening.
The other way that bacteria can cause food poisoning is by producing toxins. The bacteria in the food eat the food they are in and excrete toxins. If enough toxins are present they will cause food poisoning. While cooking kills the bacteria, it does not remove the toxins. They remain in the food and cause poisoning when they are eaten.

How Are Bacteria Spread?

Whilst they start out on one piece of food, such as salmonella on raw chicken, they can be spread to many other places on kitchen utensils or our hands. This is called cross contamination and scrupulous cleanliness is vital to prevent this. A high enough temperature will kill microorganisms, but when pre-cooked and ready to eat foods become cross contaminated they are particularly dangerous because they will receive no further cooking and the microbes can multiply, leading to food poisoning. That is why correct kitchen hygiene is so important.

Food Hygiene – Cross Contamination

You will be asked about this  when you take your food hygiene certificate test.

Chopping boards, mixing bowls and other kitchen utensils should be cleaned immediately after use to prevent accidental re-use. This is particularly the case when they have been used for raw meat or poultry. If available you should use an industrial dishwashing machine and follow the instructions carefully with regard to the amounts detergent and salt to use. Carry out regular maintenance, including checking the filter. When washing in a sink the water must be changed regularly and all items rinsed in clean, hot, water.

Cross contamination can easily be caused by microbes being transferred on your hands. Wash your hands thoroughly, particularly after handling raw meat and poultry. Do not wipe your hands on your clothing as this can also provide a means for microbes and bacteria to be transferred.

Food Safety – Kitchen Hygiene

Make sure that all cupboards and food storage areas are kept clean, cool and dry. Regular maintenance cleaning is essential.
When opening a can of food always clean the top before opening the can. Food can be left on the can opener when it is used, so don’t forget to clean it after use.

One of the easiest places the bacteria to breed is in the waste bins, conditions are usually ideal for them. Empty bins regularly, use bin liners where possible and ensure that the bin has lid. Wash out the bins regularly and disinfect them.
If you’re using bin bags tie them off before removing them from the bin so that waste does not spill out. If they get punctured put them inside another bin bag to avoid spillage.

Basic Food Hygiene – Cleaning materials

Bacteria will grow on surfaces were food has been spilt. That is why the surfaces must be cleaned regularly. Any grease on the services will repel water and prevent disinfectants from working properly. The surfaces should therefore be cleaned first with a detergent or degreaser to remove grease deposits, and then with a disinfectant. Disinfectants such as bleach and antibacterial cleaners will kill most bacteria, but they need to be used properly, so always read the label. Bleach is a very powerful agent and so should be used with care. It cannot be used indiscriminately.

Disposable cloths are ideal for cleaning tasks but if these cannot be used and the cloth has to be used more than once, they must be washed in hot soapy water then in a disinfectant. They should then be rinsed in clean water and dried completely. Damp cloths and sponges are an ideal breeding ground for germs. You should not let cloths soak overnight, even in disinfectant, as it is possible for bacteria to multiply even in these conditions. Always use a different set of cloths, sponges and buckets for floors than you would for other surfaces.

Food Hygiene – Pests

bacteria are easily spread by animals, birds and insects. They must not be allowed in the kitchen. Dispose of any food which they may have contaminated. Flies and other fying insects will often come into a kitchen and the best way to deal with them is by electronic killers or insecticidal strips. You cannot use fly spray in a kitchen! Use mouse and rat traps to deal with rodents. If you cannot control the problem by these means, especially if you have a cockroach infestation you should seek professional advice from a pest control agency or your local environmental health office.

Basic Food Hygiene – Clean Hands

Bacteria are easily transmitted on the hands, they can live for several hours and everything that we touch in that time can become contaminated. These bacteria can be passed on to kitchen utensils and food. And this is a major source of cross contamination and should be washed regularly when preparing or working with food.

You should always wash your hands before starting to work with food. If you’re working with raw meat, fish or poultry you should also wash your hands immediately after handling these items and before touching any other food, tool or work surface.

You should always wash your hands immediately after eating, smoking or going to the toilet, handling waste bins, coughing or sneezing, stroking pets or handling animals.

Food Hygiene Certificate Tip – Correct Hand washing

The correct way to wash your hands is as follows:

  1. wet your hands with warm water and apply soap or anti-bacterial hand wash.
  2. Rub your hands together and work up a foam for at least 20 seconds, paying particular attention to fingernails and in between your fingers.
  3. Rinse your hands in warm running water.
  4. Dry your hands thoroughly on disposable paper towels or under an air dryer.
  5. Turn off the tap with the paper towel and dispose of properly.

Food Hygiene Certificate Tip – Personal Hygiene

  • don’t cough or sneeze near food. Avoid touching your face or scratching.
  • If you have any cuts sores or burns cover them with a waterproof dressing and change it regularly, particularly on hands.
  • Keep fingernails cut short and don’t use nail varnish or artificial nails.
  • Don’t wear dirty clothes in the kitchen, always put on a clean apron and don’t wipe your hands on it.
  • Remove rings, watches and any other jewellery on your hands and forearms before starting work and wash hands thoroughly.
  • When you are near food or in the kitchen do not comb or brush your hair.

Following these simple hygiene rules will greatly reduce the chances of anyone getting food poisoning. You need to know them to get your food hygiene certificate.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sarajoy April 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Nice information for restaurant and café owners, who wants to qualify for food hygiene certificate, Thank you.

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