Importance of food hygiene

Do you think about the importance of food hygiene, and the negative impact that improper food hygiene could have on your health? Without proper hygiene in food preparation and storage, your health can be in danger of contracting food borne illnesses.

Here’s a list of some food safety precautions to be aware of to maintain proper food hygiene.

To begin with, be aware of your food purchases, either at a grocery store, outdoor food market, or homegrown either by yourself or others, or you dine out at a fast food chain or restaurant. Have there been any complaints against that store, market, restaurant, or fast food chain, disputing their reputation for proper food hygiene?

At a grocery store, most of your food items should have the expiration dates clearly marked on the item, either stating best if used by, or expires on a certain date. Watch for any outdated items that have not been cleared from the shelf yet. Also, be aware of fresh produce that may have already started showing signs of aging, such as browning of lettuce leafs, an excessive amount of bruising marks on fruit, or the obvious; signs of slight molding.

Outdoor food markets that have areas specifically catering to fresh seafood and fish are sometimes a haven for food borne illnesses. Be aware of any improper storage of the fresh seafood and fish. If those food items are not properly stored in ice and kept cold at a certain temperature required by law, food borne illnesses containing bacteria, viruses, and parasites may occur. If you’re not sure about a particular place and their food safety, just inquire about their credentials. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health.

Watch for signs of unclean practices at any restaurants you frequent. Typically, food scraps or garbage lying on the floor, improper handling of food, food left out that should be refrigerated and dirty dishes or utensils, are signs that definitely point to improper food hygiene, and pose a health hazard. There are places on the internet that will list some restaurants in the order of passing safety regulations. This is a good indication of their sanitary practices in their restaurant.

When it comes to the preparation of food, food hygiene should be at the top of your list to safeguard yourself against any unwanted food bacteria or contamination that could occur. When preparing raw meat, be sure to wash any surface that has come in contact with the raw meat. This will help to avoid cross contamination among other foods that you may be preparing. Wash your hands frequently after touching the raw meat to avoid transferring any possible harmful bacteria to any surfaces, utensils, or food. Be sure to follow the directions to thoroughly cook meat, as uncooked meat is a leading cause of food borne illnesses.

Refrigerate any unused portions of meat, poultry, and milk products immediately after use to keep your food from developing any harmful bacteria.

In conclusion, a person that knows the importance of proper food hygiene can help ward off any potentially harmful effects that occur from improper handling of food.