You might have been told not try those yummy snacks available at the food stall that falls at the corner of the street. Why? Because even the food is mouth watering there, it holds a chance of making you sick. Even large restaurants and diners are at risk of closing down if the food and drinks they serve are found to be contaminated.
Why just talk about diners? The same could happen even at home if proper hygiene is not maintained.
Why hygiene in Food?
Food and water are things that enters a person’s body, at least a minimum of 3 times a day. Being something the body is often subjected to, diseases and ailments can easily transfer and spread through them. Contaminated food and water can cause ailments like food poisoning , cholera, diarrhoea etc and could even cause death in some cases. That means it becomes important that hygiene is maintained in and around food and water so that people eating them remain healthy and safe.
Be it home or a deli, there are certain rules and regulations one need to maintain when it comes to food. One needs to be extremely careful while preparing, serving and storing foods so that they cause no harm to the consumers.
Whoever cooks you food at home, be it your family members or a cook, the following guidelines are to be followed :
Preparing yourself for cooking
Wash your hands on entering the kitchen. You may not be aware of the dirt and germs that have stuck to your hands while you were doing other chores, hence it is necessary that you ensure to wash both your hands using soap before you start working in the kitchen. You could make it a practice to keep a hand wash near the sink. It is also good to keep your nails trimmed.
Dirty and soiled clothes are completely restricted in the kitchen. Do not enter the kitchen with soiled clothes or slippers. Change them before entering the kitchen. It is also a good practice to wear an apron and keep a towel handy.
Keep your tresses tied up. It is quiet often that you hear complaints of hair strands being found in food items. Staff at restaurants should wear a head cap to prevent hair falling into the food. Even if you don’t wear a head cap, it is suggested that you keep your hair neatly tied up.
Look to it that you do not enter the kitchen if feeling sick. You might leave traces of germs and bacteria in the kitchen and the food prepared there , by touch, sneeze or cough. This would make a chance for other members to fall sick on consuming the food.
Do not cook or touch food if you have boils or bumps on your hand. These boils may have germs and bacteria invisible to naked eye and may be transferred through the food you prepare.
Wash fruits and vegetables or meat well before using them in your food. They may have harmful chemical or dirty sticking on to their surface.
It is suggested that the oil is not reheated again and again for cooking. Cooking in used and reused oil can cause gastro-intestinal troubles in people.
Avoid sneezing or coughing into the food as they may transfer germs.
Washing vessels and utensils before cooking is compulsory for good hygiene. Specially ensure that you reach the corners of blenders and cuts of chopping board to maintain cleanliness.
It is also good to use boiled water or use water purifiers.
- Keeping food covered in the kitchen or it may invite disease causing dirt or insects to settle on them.
- You should also cover the food before placing them in refrigerator as well, to avoid problems caused due to bad refrigeration. Bad refrigeration could cause food poisoning.
- Keep food at appropriate temperature.
- Store fruits, vegetables and other items in a cool, dry place to avoid spoilage.
- Also store raw and cooked items separately.
- Remove stale food items immediately.
- Ensure that you serve food in clean and tidy utensils.
- Do not food that has been dropped on the floor.
- If it is restaurant or deli, please use gloves to serve food.
It is also necessary that you maintain a neat and tidy kitchen. Allow proper exhaustion or ventilation. Allow fresh beams of sunlight to seep in to your kitchen. This helps in killing germs and also keeping any kind of bad smell away. Keep your waste bins covered to avoid flies occupying your kitchen or surroundings.
When there are large numbers dining with you, it is necessary that you maintain good hygiene as if the food is spoiled, the people’s life as well as your reputation is at stake. Hence it becomes important that proper hygiene is maintained at restaurants, specially.