Food Hygiene – The Importance

Why is Food Hygiene Training Important?

There are an increasing number of problems associated with food hygiene worldwide. These problems are of concern to governments everywhere and even the World Health Organization. It is a problem that can occur in both devloped countries and those that are still developing.

Everyone is at risk of getting ill from the food they consume and this can be caused by bacteria in the food they eat or by toxins that the food contains.

In many developing countries the problem is caused by poor water supplies which contain infections and parasites, which in turn can lead to diarrhoea and other problems which are particularly dangerous to children and contributes to malnutrition.

Is Food Hygiene a problem in the developed world?

Illnesses caused by food borne micro organisms affect developed countries more than most people would think as well. In the USA alone there are nearly 80 million cases of food poisoning every year with over 5000 fatalities so it is not a problem which can be ignored. In the UK figures for food poisoning released by DEFRA in 2010 show an estimated 320,000 cases of campylobacter in 2008

While toxins caused by heavy metals such as mercury cadmium and lead, which can lead to neurological damage and kidney failure, are more difficult to guard against, Deseases and illnesses caused by bacteria can be reduced significantly by following proper hygiene procedures in the preparation, manufacture, storage and transportation of foods.

How is Food Hygiene Compromised

Some of the main ways that food becomes contaminated are
Cross contamination, when uncontaminated foodtuff comes into contact with food that is already contaminated.
Poor storage, when food, especially precooked food, is stored at too high a temperature allowing bacteria to breed. I can also be caused by incorrect packaging or wrapping.
Contamination can occur when food is being prepared, especially when raw and cooked foods are prepared in the same area. This is one of the main areas where cross contamination occurs.

Contamination can occur when the food is prepared by someone who is already ill and they transmit the bacteria to the food they are preparing.

Improper cooking of food can also cause problems, especially in poultry. This is when the food has not been cooked thoroughly and the temperature needed to kill the bacteria all the way through the food has not been reached.

It is important that everyone who handles food is trained in the proper methods of hygienic handling and preparation. This is especially important when they are handling food to be consumed by others as in the case of a restaurant. If you own or operate a restaurant, food processing operation, food transportation service or other food related operation, you should ensure that all of your staff have undertaken the necessary training for a food hygiene certificate To minimise the risk of causing illness by food poisoning.

How to get a Food Hygiene Certificate

In the case of large companies the required food hygiene training and hygiene certification can often be carried out on site by the companies own food trainers during the induction of a new employee. In a small company or restaurant this may not be possible if the required facilities do not exist. If this is the case then it may be possible for your staff to get the relevant hygiene certificate through one of the online food hygiene training companies. One of the benefits of online hygiene courses is that they can be taken at times that suit both employer and employee rather than having to attend a class or college, and tend to be relatively inexpensive. If you need a food qualification think about getting a food hygiene certificate online.

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