It is important that all of us understand what is food hygiene and its importance. Food hygiene is more than cleanliness. It is protecting the food from risk of contamination, including bacteria, poison and other foreign bodies, preventing any bacteria from multiplying to an extent which would result in illness or early spoilage of the food and discarding unfit or contaminated food.
Often high risk food (ready to eat foods) support the multiplication of harmful bacteria and are intended for consumption without treatment, such as cooking which would destroy such organisms. These foods are usually proteins and require refrigeration for storage. It is best that you keep such foods separate from raw foods.
For example: Cooked meat and cooked poultry. Milk, cream, artificial cream, custards and dairy produce. Eggs and products made from raw eggs. Shellfish and other sea foods including oysters, prawns and crabs. Generally raw foods such as lettuce or fruits may be contaminated with low dose pathogens hence must be double washed under running water before eating.
Green leafy vegetables should be washed thoroughly under running water. It is essential to check that food should be well protected from contamination. Maintaining high standards of personal hygiene and good hygiene practices is important.
To conduct effective pest control. The separation of raw and high risk food at all stages of delivery, storage, preparation, serving and distribution need to be done correctly. You must have effective storage and disposal of waste and unfit food. You must cook in well designed and proper suitable equipment or utensils.
How do we prevent bacteria within food from multiplying? Storing of food out of the danger zone – Food should be kept below 5 deg C or kept above 63 deg C. Cooling food as rapidly as possible Not allowing dried foods to absorb moisture Using right amounts of suitable preservatives such as salt, sugar, vinegar (acid) Fermentation – Curd, yogurt Bacteria in food can be destroyed through cooking or by heat processing such as pasteurization, sterilization or canning.
Food spoilage happens as soon as it is harvested, taken from the sea or slaughtered. This spoilage occurs due to bacteria, moulds and yeasts. Spoilage of food could also happen due to Poor Hygiene practices Poort temperature control Unsuitable packing Rough handling How would one know the food is spoilt? What are the common sign of food spoilage? Common signs are bad odor, discoloration, stickiness, mould growth, change in texture, unusual taste, production of gas etc.
How do we preserve the food without spoiling? Preservation is the treatment of food to prevent or delay spoilage and destroy or inhibit the growth of pathogenic organism. Packaging is the key as it extent the life of preserved foods. For ex: cans, tetra packs, bottles and pouches.
A good personal hygiene is a basic requirement for need a food safety program. Food hygiene and nutrition is vital as we make use of the foods we eat in order to fulfill our body’s needs for growth. If you are interested in making good, healthy, nutritious and delectable variety of traditional, ethnic, fusion and fun foods at home then do look out for your favorite and many more yummy, appetizing and exotic recipes at: www.vahrehvah.com
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