Food Safety/Resources

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Key points
There are three key principles you must adhere to when handling food:
  1. Maintain food hygiene
  2. Prevent cross contamination
  3. Monitor temperature of high risk food.

These are the principles of food safety.

Glossary of terms

The resources are listed under headings which relate to the topics covered in food safety.


New Zealand Food Safety AuthorityGood information for consumers about food safety, food poisoning, chemical contamination.

Food legislation in New Zealand

Food Hygiene Regulations 1974

Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992

The Food Act 1981 and Food Act Amendment 1996

Food contamination

Microorganisms Hepatitis A

Food labelling

food standards- A copy of the Food Standards Code can be found here.


Food Safety Checklists

Free food safety inspection checklists

Chemical and metallic contamination


Residues of drugs, pesticides and fertilisers may be resent in raw materials. Pesticides sprayed onto fruit and vegetables just prior to harvesting may result in cumulative toxic effect. Chemicals can enter foodstuffs by leakage, spillage or other accidents during processing or preparation.

Aerial Spraying.jpg

Revision Questions

Effective personal hygiene


Video or photograph may be inserted here showing well groomed chef/waiter/cage assistant hereItalic text--PaulBray 05:45, 13 October 2007 (CEST)


Hands cause most of the cross-contamination in the kitchen.They may be covered with bacteria from the toilet or from contaminated foods and surfaces.They also have their own natural bacteria (such as Staphylococcus Aureus),which cannot be washed off.

When should you wash your hand?

  • Before starting work
  • After visiting the toilet
  • After smoking
  • Cleaning
  • Between tasks
  • After handling raw products
  • Returning to food preparation area
  • Handling eggs/vegetables
  • Touching body parts
  • Using telephone
  • Greeting others (hand shake)
  • Handling waste products
  • Combing hair
  • Un-packing products

Where should you wash your hands?

Hands may only be washed in the wash hand basin. The wash hand basin should not be used for anything else.

The regulations specify that the following must be provided:

  • a clean basin in good repair
  • continuous adequate hot water (preferable with hands free operation)
  • cold water (preferable with hands free operation)
  • soap or bacterial soap cream
  • nail brush
  • drying facilities e.g. disposable paper towels, roller towel from a dispenser, hot air dryers

Add short video of hand washing procedure--PaulBray 02:30, 12 October 2007 (CEST)

Hands must be thoroughly washed and dried.

1. Use water as hot as the hands can comfortably stand.

2. Moisten hands, soap thoroughly and lather to the elbow.

3. Scrub thoroughly using brush for nails.

4. Rub hands together using friction for 20 seconds.

5. Rinse thoroughly under hot running water.

6. Dry hands using single service towels for at least 20 seconds.

Other points to consider with hand hygiene:

  • Cuts and burns must be reported.They must be covered with a coloured waterproof dressing as they soon become covered with staphylococcus aureus bacteria.Video or photograph may be inserted here --PaulBray 05:45, 13 October 2007 (CEST)
  • Jewellery and wristwatches should not be worn as they harbour bacteria. May fall into food and may become caught in machinery.Video or photograph may be inserted here --PaulBray 05:45, 13 October 2007 (CEST)
  • Fingernails should be kept short and cleaned with the nailbrush. Fingernails can harbour bacteria. Video or photograph may be inserted here --PaulBray 05:45, 13 October 2007 (CEST)
  • Nail varnish should not be worn when handling food as the varnish may flake off into the food. Nail varnish may hide dirty nails.Video or photograph may be inserted here --PaulBray 05:45, 13 October 2007 (CEST)
  • Do not touch utensils, dishes or glasses where a customer’s mouth may come in contact. Video or photograph may be inserted here --PaulBray 05:45, 13 October 2007 (CEST)
  • Keep direct contact with food to a minimum.Use tongs and serving utensils (i.e.: cake slice, spoon fork, and scoop) and provide them for customers. Video or photograph may be inserted here --PaulBray 05:45, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

Wear clean disposable gloves when handling food. This is called the “no-touch technique”. Wearing disposable gloves for one task only and then discarded. Video or photograph may be inserted here --PaulBray 05:45, 13 October 2007 (CEST)


Hair is constantly falling out and along with dandruff can result in contamination of food. The scalp often contains pathogenic organisms such as Staphylococcus Aureus.

Important rules are:

  • Cover hair completely so none of it can fall into food.
  • Wash your hands if you touch your hair.
  • Combing of hair must only take place outside food preparation areas


Dirt from unclean clothes can get into food and cause food poisoning.

Important points to consider:

  • Wear clean light coloured clothing put on prior to starting work.
  • Wear strong, flat, non-slip shoes that protect the feet.
  • Avoid wiping hands on clothing.
  • Change aprons as soon as they become dirty.
  • Avoid highly scented perfume and body sprays as certain foods may pick up these odours and become unpleasant to eat.

Preventing contamination

Cleaning is achieved by:

  • The provision of well constructed premises and equipment, carefully maintained, in a good state of repair.
  • Disinfection, using physical methods, heat and chemicals.
  • The use of cleaning schedules, correct cleaning procedures and good supervision.

Wet cleaning

The major steps of most wet cleaning tasks involve: Removal of visible dirt and/or food particles Wash and scrub with warm soapy water Rinse with very hot water Dry with clean paper towel or air dry Disinfect or sanitise and leave for required contact time as per the manufacturers instructions (using disinfectant or sanitiser depending on the surface being cleaned) Rinse with very hot water (as appropriate) Air dry or use paper towel

Associated cleaning agents used during cleaning, detergent and disinfectant or sanitiser.

Video inserted here showing wet cleaning as listed aboveItalic text --PaulBray 05:59, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

Chemical disinfectants

Three types of Chemicals are used:

  • Detergents
  • Sanitisers
  • Disinfectants


Video or photograph inserted here of commercial dishwasher and crockery coming out of machine steaming, stacking correctly by operator. Italic text --PaulBray 06:31, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

Machine dishwashing:

•Scrape and rinse dishes

•Wash cycle 60°C plus

•Rinse cycle at a temperature not less than 77°C for no less than 10 seconds glasses require not less than 83°C for no less than 10 seconds

•Air dry and store

Do not allow cross contamination to take place: •Keep dirty dishes and water away from clean dishes •Wash dishes with clean hands •Do not use tea towels and dirty washing utensils •Handle clean dishes with clean hands •Store in a clean place free from contamination

Food contamination

Contamination occurs when bacteria are passed either directly, indirectly or physically onto food.

Direct contamination occurs when raw food touches a high risk food.

In-direct contamination is when liquid or juices from raw food drips onto a high risk food or when strong smelling agents taint other foods.

Cross contamination is the physical movement or transfer of harmful bacteria from one person, object or place to another.

Foods most likely to be contaminated are called high risk foods. High risk foods may be defined as and include all protein foods with a high moisture content:

Photographs of the listed items would prove useful inserted hereItalic text --PaulBray 06:41, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

•Meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish (cooked or raw) offal

•All dairy products

•Pates, processed meats, soups, sauces and stocks, also rice, cereals, pulses, spices

These foods are high risk because:

•They are a hazard themselves because in the natural state they often contain harmful bacteria

•They readily allow bacteria to grow in them because they provide all the favourable conditions for bacterial growth e.g. warmth, moisture, food and time

•They spoil easily and need to be kept refrigerated.

Allergens and food intolerance

Video or photographs may be inserted here showing effects of reactions (see below) suffered by individuals Italic text --PaulBray 07:28, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

Allergens In a true food allergy symptoms appear throughout the body. The most common sites are the mouth (swelling of the lips), digestive tract (stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea), skin (hives, rashes or eczema), and the airways (wheezing or breathing problems).

Peanuts can cause an anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening to those people who are allergic to them. Other allergens include wheat (coeliac), milk, egg products, Soya, fish, shellfish and other nuts.

For some, food allergies cause only hives or an upset stomach; for others, one bite of the wrong food can lead to serious illness or even death.

Food intolerance occurs where someone has a chemical deficiency. For example, persons who have difficulty digesting products containing lactose are deficient in the intestinal enzyme lactase, which is needed to digest milk sugar (lactose). The deficiency can cause cramps and diarrhoea if milk is consumed.

Food intolerance may produce symptoms similar to food allergies, such as abdominal cramping.

Transportation of food

Make sure any food being delivered to your premises is transported cleanly and safely. Problems which may occur are:

Video inserted here of someone checking inward goods, temperature checks, package inspection etcItalic text --PaulBray 07:28, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

Use list below as guide to what needs to be shown:

•Have someone receive and check supplies as soon as they are delivered. Check for correct quantities as well as quality

•Take food out of delivery boxes and bags were possible as they may contain pests

•Check damaged goods and packaging. Reject immediately anything that may be contaminated

•Reject any foods that are outside the establishments specified temperature range e.g. 7°C or above

•Reject any frozen food which is above the temperature of negative 18°C

•Keep frozen and fresh foods separate

•Keep raw and cooked foods separate - wash scales or surfaces between uses

•Check for freshness e.g. Use by and best before dates have not expired or are close to expiring

•Place perishable, high-risk foods into refrigerators and frozen foods into freezers as quickly as possible

•Date foods not required immediately

•Dispose of packaging promptly and cleanly


Photograph of correctly set up store roomItalic text--PaulBray 07:28, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

Store rooms should be cool, dry and well ventilated. They should also be well lit, have sufficient space to allow air to circulate freely, insect and vermin proof and be of an adequate size.


Photograph of refrigeration unit showing temperature and correct storage of productsItalic text --PaulBray 07:28, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

The important points for the correct storage of food in a refrigerator or cool store:

•Temperature set at 4°C or below

•Door closes and seals correctly

•Cover and label all foods

•Raw meats covered on lowest shelf (to prevent indirect contamination

•Strong smelling foods away from other foods

•Remove foods from outer packaging where appropriate

•Do not place hot foods in refrigerators

•Check and record temperatures on a scheduled basis

Frozen foods

The important points for the correct storage of food in the freezer.

•Temperature set at negative 18°C or below

•Items should be sealed in airtight containers or vacuum packed

•Label clearly (product, weight and date)

•Avoid overloading

•Rotate products (FIFO)

•Re-seal all packaging once opened or re-packaging

•Never freeze items more than once

Photograph of refrigeration unit showing temperature and correct storage of frozen productsItalic text --PaulBray 07:28, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

It is important that food is thoroughly thawed in a food safe manner. There are two acceptable safe methods of thawing frozen food. Video of both methods below to be inserted hereItalic text --PaulBray 07:28, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

Method one:

•Where possible thaw foods in a refrigerator

•Place food in a suitably sized container with lipped sides

•Cover food to prevent possible in-direct contamination

•Label item detailing weight and date (removed from freezer)

Method two:

•Put the food in sealed plastic bags and place under running cold water

•Make sure that the water does not come into contact with the food and the food does not come into contact with the sink

•Never leave thawing food to stand in a water bath, using the water method to safely thaw food relies on the use of running water

Ensure product is thoroughly de-frosted prior to cooking regardless of method being used.

Pest control

Safeguarding food from animal and insect pests needs constant vigilance by everybody within a food premises. Rats spoil ten times as much food as they eat. They are very prolific breeders, averaging ten young per litter and six litters per year, so that under ideal conditions it is theoretically possible for one pair of rats to produce an extended family of 15,000 in one year.

Gain access through:

Holes, defective drains, open doors (unscreened) packaging

Warning signs:

Video of rodent presence inserted here, showing points covered below'Italic text. Italic text --PaulBray 07:28, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

Grease smears (skirting, shelves and above pipes)

Dropping, holes, claw and gnawing marks

Damage to stock, odour

To minimise attracting vermin the following points should be observed;

•Food stocks should be removed and examined to see that no vermin has entered the store room

•No scraps of food should be left lying around

•Dustbin, swill bins should be covered with tight-fitting lids

•No rubbish should be allowed to accumulate outside buildings

•Keep buildings in good repair

•Keep premises clean.

Video of rodent presence inserted here, showing points covered above. Italic text --PaulBray 07:28, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

Control measures

•Regular inspections using pest control contractors



•Regular cleaning (cleaning schedules)

Video of rodent presence inserted here, showing points covered above. Italic text --PaulBray 07:28, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

Insects House flies are the foremost of the insects which spread infection. Flies alight on filth and contaminate their legs, wings and bodies with harmful bacteria, and deposit these on the next object on which they settle. They contaminate food with their excreta and saliva. To control flies, the best method is to eliminate their breeding place. As they breed in rubbish and in warm moist places, dustbins in summer are ideal breeding grounds. Correct control and disposal of waste is paramount.

'Close up photograph or video of flies on food inserted hereItalic text --PaulBray 07:28, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

Other ways to control flies:

•Keep food preparation and service areas clean

•Screen windows and doors

•Use sprays (away from foods)

•Install ultra-violet electric fly-killers

•Employ pest control contractors

Other insects that may cause problems include:

Video insert of cockroach infestation inserted here (wide shot and close up) Italic text --PaulBray 07:34, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

Cockroaches Like warm, moist, dark places. They leave droppings and liquid which gives off a nauseating dour. They can carry harmful bacteria on their bodies and deposit them on anything with which they come into contact.

Reasons for control •To prevent the spread of disease e.g. Salmonella, infective hepatitis, typhoid fever and dysentery. Pests live and move about in dirty places and carry micro-organisms on their feet, fur, in their droppings and in their vomit.

Video or photograph of damage caused by rodents inserted here Italic text --PaulBray 07:34, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

• To prevent damage to buildings

• To prevent wastage and spoilage of food

• To comply with the law

General methods of control:

  • Traps
  • Sprays
  • Electronic devices
  • Pyrethrum foggings
  • Baits

Photographs of above inserted hereItalic text --PaulBray 07:34, 13 October 2007 (CEST)

Temperature and times:

The main weapons used to stop bacteria from growing are temperature and time. It is important that we all understand the correct temperature range involved in food safety.

Temperature probes

Video or photographs of individuals using temperature probes inserted hereItalic text --PaulBray 03:35, 15 October 2007 (CEST)

To monitor and record temperatures accurate temperature probes should be available to all individuals preparing and serving food. These probes should be checked regularly to ensure accurate readings are obtained on a consistent basis. To check the probes the following procedures may be used:

Method one:Place the tip of the probe on an ice cube and leave for a few Moments, the reading should be 0°C.

Method two:Place the tip of the probe into a pan of boiling water,the reading should be 100°C.

Photographs of the two above procedures inserted hereItalic text --PaulBray 03:35, 15 October 2007 (CEST)

Temperature probes are cleaned and sanitised before or after use or between measuring different food items. This can be achieved by dipping tip of probe in boiling water for several seconds or using a specialised probe wipe.

Video or photograph showing the correct methods of cleaning temperaure probes to be inserted here Italic text --PaulBray 03:35, 15 October 2007 (CEST)