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The preparation and service of food requires handling of materials which are extremely vulnerable to becoming the media of contamination thereby leading to the spread of infection and disease. To assess the hygiene and sanitation requirement of an establishment, the following aspects need to be considered.
Environmental Hygiene and Sanitation
This refers to the total environment in which food is prepared and consumed.
The place should be scrutinised for the amount of air pollution or whether it is free from the potential of infestation by insects, rats, flies, etc.. The water lines and sewage disposal lines should not run too close to each other because in the event of a leak, the water supply can get contaminated.
The cleanability of floors, walls, ceilings or any other surfaces is the basis for maintaining a structure free from the hazards of infection. The materials selected therefore should be non absorbent, non - corrosive and easy to keep clean. The kitchen should be subjected to regular pest control treatment.
Facilities for proper sewage disposal and the construction of adequate plumbing for kitchen is of consequence in sanitation. All sewage lines must be directed into the public sewage system. Faulty plumbing can prove a hazard if it leads to frequent blockages of drains that results in backflows.
3. Equipment, Furniture and Fittings
These should be designed so that they do not harbour dust or dirt, which is the source of microorganisms. Any equipment, which are chipped or damaged, should be discarded. In addition, knowledge of the use of proper detergents is essential to avoid leaving chemical residues on surfaces that may contaminate food.
Ventilation plays a very important role in clearing the hot air and bringing down temperature as well as the carbon-di-oxide content. All kitchens must be provided with exhaust fans and extraction hoods to provide proper ventilation.
All areas should be well lighted to make dirt, grease and infestation easily detectable.
6. Water Supply
The water supply should be treated to ensure that it is fit for drinking, cooking of food and washing of utensils.
All natural water supplies contain mineral salts and organic materials in addition to dissolved gases from the air. Microbial activity also influences the colour, odour and taste of the water. Water for food preparation purposes may be considered hygienic when it is sufficiently pure to have only very small quantities of substances dissolved in it which do not prove injurious to health.
Impurities in water may be present as fine suspensions or dissolved form of salts of metals like lead, iron, zinc or others like carbonates, chlorides and sulphates of calcium and magnesium which tend to cause hardness of water. The other impurities may include particles of sand, pathogenic micro organisms, eggs of parasitic worms and excessive amount of chemicals used as preservatives which generally leads to diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid, dysentry, weakness and loss of appetite.
7. Waste Disposal
Kitchen waste which consists of peelings, spillage, empty cans, etc. must never be allowed to remain anywhere near the kitchen because they can attract insects, which can become agents of contamination to wholesome food. Improper disposal can pollute water and through it, contaminate equipment and food.
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