The factors that affect food safety

Foods are the basic building blocks of living things, yet they may pose a threat and become harmful to human health in some situations. Many people throughout the world become ill because of the food they eat.

These diseases associated with food consumption are referred to as foodborne diseases, and they may result from dangerous microorganisms.

Many factors serve to undermine food hygiene. The hygienic quality of the foods is negatively influenced by purchasing low-quality or stale foods, storing food in inappropriate conditions, cooking large amounts of food, more than is necessary, and letting it sit in inappropriate environments, storing raw and cooked foods together and preparing, cooking and storing food using incorrect methods.

Cooking foods to the wrong temperatures

It is a common misconception that all food bacteria are destroyed simply by adding heat. The truth is, not all foods are cooked equal.

Some pathogens that live on animal products, such as Salmonella, can only be killed at specific temperatures. If these temperatures are not reached during cooking, the bacteria may not be killed and reduced to safe levels for consumption. Therefore, internal temperatures and cooking times should vary depending on the food. Consult this cooking temperature chart to be sure food is cooked properly.

Using contaminated utensils and equipment

Dirty or contaminated utensils and equipment can transfer contamination to food and cause foodborne illness. Cross contamination can happen in a number of ways. With lack of proper cleaning and sanitation, old food residue or dangerous pathogens can build up on utensils or equipment.

Failing to follow personal hygiene rules

Good personal hygiene is essential for eliminating tens of thousands of bacteria and viruses that could otherwise be transferred to food. Some hygienic necessities for food preparation include showering, wearing clean clothes, and washing hands.

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