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Are you serving more than just food?

BY Merle Litshie

No jokes.

 

When you do not have any food safety system nor follow food safety regulations – you will most definitely be serving more than just food. Having a food safety system in place allows any food manufacturer including restaurants to minimize chances of microorganisms.


Food handlers are usually the carriers and spreaders of microorganisms through personnel hygiene or their operational methods. Microorganisms such as E.coli, Listeria, Salmonella and many more can easily grow in a kitchen or processing area if employees do not adhere to food safety.

 

Easy ways to prevent cross-contamination:

  • Hands and surfaces must be washed and sanitised regularly as bacterial can often spread throughout kitchen or processing area and get into cutting boards, utensils and counter tops
  • Hands washed before and after handling food
  • Use clean warm to hot water with soap to clean surfaces (remember to sanitise)
  • Use colour coded utensils and equipment so as to separate raw meats, raw vegetables, allergens etc. (use different colour for fresh produce, different colour for poultry, different colour for seafood)

 

Various microorganisms you could find in your kitchen or processing area:

 

Salmonella
Found in undercooked eggs, poultry and meat raw fruits and vegetables, unpasteurized milk and dairy products. Infected food handler can transport via hands if not washed properly after using bathroom and after handling affected food.

 

Staphylococcus aureus
Foods that are handled by hand and do not require further processing such as salads, ham, tuna, chicken, bakery products, sandwiches are most common to have Staphylococcus survive on them due to no heating prcess.

 

E.coli
Humans and animals have E.coli in the intestines therefore if proper hand washing is not practiced after leaving the toilet, chances of spreading E.coli are very high. This bacterial does survive in meat if meat is not cooked above 71°C. Found in raw milk (cows udder contaminated), raw fruits and vegetable, water (lakes and rivers), soil and many more. E.coli can spread from infected persons hands (after infected person does not wash hands properly after bowel movements) to equipment, raw food, surfaces etc.

 

Listeria
Found mostly in refrigerated ready to eat foods such as vienna’s, deli meats, unpasteurized milk and dairy products, raw materials as well as undercooked meat, poultry and seafood. Also found in drains cooling units.
To ensure you do not serve more than just food: Follow three easy steps


Remember to:

  • wash and sanitise hands
  • use clean water to wash food
  • use clean water to clean equipment and surfaces.

 

That’s the food safety way...

 

Contact us on 041 366 1970 or Merle (who helped us with this article! - 082 947 4395) to find out what debugging food safety options are available.

 

You can also contact Food Chain Laboratories for specific mico testing.

 March 02, 2015
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Food Safety
Merle Litshie

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