One of the most important aspects of Food hygiene revolves around keeping food fresh and free of any harmful agents that may cause health problems if ingested.
Raw food as well as food in most forms requires some kind of storage. The most common type of food storage is the refrigerator. Food in the refrigerator is not “frozen” and still spoils, though at a slower rate than if it was stored at room temperatures. Any food that can be stored at room temperature can typically be also stored in the refrigerator, which maintains a cool temperature above the freezing point of water.
Besides the refrigerator, many foods are suitable or designed to be stored in the freezer. The freezer maintains temperatures well below the freezing point of water which means that no bacterial or fungal growth is possible. However, the fatty oils of food stored in the freezer can still become spoiled if stored long enough; therefore even the freezer cannot keep food fresh forever.
It is very important to minimize the time food stays outside the refrigerator and especially the freezer as it runs great risks of spoiling or becoming contaminated if it comes in touch with unclean surfaces. Moreover, food stored in the freezer should not be refrozen if it ever becomes thawed and must be used promptly.
Handling Food and Food Preparation
The first and foremost principle of food hygiene is to wash your hands regularly and always wash your hands before coming to any contact with food. Any surfaces and utensils that will come in contact with the food must also be cleaned and kept clean even when no food is prepared on them to prevent bacterial and fungal growth.
After the food is consumed, any dishes, plates, utensils and storage trays that had been used must be promptly cleaner with strict hygiene to avoid any microbial growth on them. Remember that most kitchen soaps do not act as antibacterial agents and therefore are inadequate in cleaning areas and items where bacteria has been left to grow.
If proper food hygiene is not maintained when storing, handling and preparing food you run great risk of poisoning, infection and even parasitic growth. You can read more about these nasty things in our article “Food Hygiene Hazards and how to avoid them 101: From bread mold to killer neurotoxins.”