HYGIENE IN FOOD HANDLING
1. Purchasing Food
category of food items bought should be checked for signs of microbial
contamination, accidental chemical additives due to pesticide residues or
insect infestation. The following table suggests checks to ensure hygiene in
Most perishables should be kept at temperatures
below 10 o C and semi or non perishables between 10 o C - 20 o C to arrest
microbial growth. Pests may find their way into food through defective drains,
holes in food packages or bags, or doors and waste material storages outside or
within kitchens. Some pests like cockroaches remain in dark, uncleaned corners,
crevices of walls, backs of cupboards, under equipment, etc. It is also
difficult to locate a cockroach infestation, unless it is very heavy because cockroaches
generally do not come out of their hideouts in the daytime. An inspection is
therefore necessary at night.
Fresh fruits and vegetables especially roots and tubers which grow
nearest the soil, need to be washed very thoroughly in plenty of water, to
remove adhering soil or other particles.
High protein foods such as eggs, milk and meats must be kept separately
as they are likely to take up micro organisms very fast, being excellent media
for their growth.
Foods should be cooked as quickly as possible after preparation, unless
frozen for later use. Cooking meats require high internal temperatures to make
them safe for consumption.
Personal hygiene refers to the general health
and personal grooming of people working in the kitchen.
Hands should be washed well with soap before
starting work or after using toilets during working in the kitchen.
All cuts must be covered with waterproof
Infection is easily transferred from hair, nose
and mouth. Therefore.
5. Combs should be kept out of the kitchen.
When sneezing while handling food, the face
should be turned away from food and a handkerchief should be used.
Leaning or sitting on the work table is an
All peels, etc should be thrown into a container
and not kept lying around on the work table near the prepared food. The
containers should be emptied into covered bins as soon as the work is done.
Food should be kept covered and maintained
either ice cold or piping hot.
Food must be handled correctly and as little as