With more than 5 million cases of food poisoning every year in Australia, food safety seems to be a message that still isn’t getting through in some quarters.
Legislation requires businesses to observe strict food safety practices when handling and preparing food for public consumption.
Mistake One: Poor hygiene
- Whether it’s to save time or simply due to forgetfulness, some people still don’t wash their hands before and after handling food.
- Hands are also not being washed after using the bathroom, handling money or sneezing.
- People are still performing food preparation tasks even when they know they are unwell and could pass their illness onto others.
Mistake Two: Inadequate cleaning
- Surfaces that come in contact with food are not always being thoroughly washed with hot, soapy water.
- Dishcloths are being used to clean kitchen surfaces instead of paper towels.
- The five-second rule is still sometimes being applied when food is dropped on the floor (despite the fact that bacteria cling to food almost immediately).
Mistake Three: Contamination
- Cross contamination, especially when it involves meat, is still a big concern. Some people still store cooked food below raw food in the refrigerator, resulting in dripping and contamination.
- Knives and cutting boards used to prepare raw foods are being re-used to prepare other foods, without being washed and dried first.
Mistake Four: Wrong temperatures
- Meat is being marinated or defrosted outside the fridge.
- Correct temperatures that are outside the ‘danger zone’ for bacteria are not being observed (i.e. fridges should be set at below 5 degrees Celsius and food should be cooked to above 60 degrees Celsius)
Mistake Five: Wrong times
- Non-Refrigerated perishable food is being used long after it should be thrown out.
- There is still a mistaken belief that keeping food that’s a few days past its ‘use by’ date is a perfectly acceptable practice.
Obviously, no business wants to poison their customers and it can often be the result of an honest mistake. So the best way to ensure you have all the right safeguards in place is to undertake training for you and your staff.
Food safety is everybody’s business and it’s only when we all start taking responsibility for our own actions that we’ll see any noticeable reduction in the number of Australians who suffer illness and even death from food poisoning every year.
CFT International offer a variety of training options for you and your business.
Go to our website www.cft.com.au to see more details, or call us directly on 1300 665 633.