Food safety Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern
Food safety Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Why is food hygiene important? Good food hygiene and personal hygiene is important to make sure that the food we eat is safe. Harmful (pathogenic) bacteria can spread very easily and cause food poisoning. Food poisoning is very common, causing many thousands of reported cases each year. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Food poisoning Symptoms of food poisoning include:
Nausea; Vomiting; Stomach pains; Diarrhoea. In severe cases, food poisoning can even cause death. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Ages and stages Anyone can be affected by food poisoning or food-borne illness but some people are particularly at risk: The very young this is usually due to an underdeveloped immune system and the fact that they often put things in their mouths,
whether they are edible or not. Eggs served to children should be thoroughly cooked to reduce the risk of food poisoning from Salmonella. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Ages and stages The elderly this could be due to having an immune system that is less effective at fighting diseases. This could be caused by the ageing process but also due to long term diseases such as diabetes. Food poisoning in the elderly is often caused by foods being eaten after their use by date they are perhaps less likely to throw food away than a
younger person as they are used to making foods last and avoiding waste. Rising prices and the overall cost of living may also have an influence on their reluctance to throw food away. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Ages and stages People who are ill, convalescing or who have weakened immunity to disease this leaves them vulnerable to viruses and bacteria. If someone with diabetes shows symptoms of food poisoning, they should seek medical advice as they may experience problems controlling their blood sugar levels.
Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Ages and stages Pregnant women and their unborn baby eating certain foods during pregnancy can lead to food poisoning. Pregnant women should avoid eating: Meat pt, soft cheeses made from unpasteurised milk and washed salads which can contain the bacteria Listeria;
Soft blue cheeses (such as gorgonzola and Roquefort) and soft cheeses with white rinds (mould ripened - such as brie and camembert); Raw milk; Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Ages and stages Raw shellfish, as it carries a risk of food poisoning. Thoroughly cooked shellfish is safe to eat. Raw or lightly cooked wild fish, in
dishes such as sushi, unless the fish has been frozen first as wild fish can sometimes contain parasitic worms but freezing or cooking kills any worms. Also shark, marlin and swordfish should be avoided, as they can contain high levels of mercury that can harm a babys developing nervous system. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Preventing food poisoning In order to reduce the risk of food poisoning, food handlers, whether in their own home or a place of work, should be particularly
careful with their own personal hygiene. Food handlers should: Keep themselves clean; Tie up long hair. Dirt and bacteria can be present even on clean hair so hair should be tied up to prevent it falling into food. Stray hair can also be a physical hazard and not very pleasant for someone else to find in their food! Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Personal hygiene
Remove jewellery and watches as they can harbour dirt and bacteria. A plain wedding band is allowed as this is easier to clean and is less likely to be contaminated with bacteria; Remove outer clothing, such as jumpers, roll up long sleeves and wear clean protective clothing such as an apron. Remember, the protective clothing is worn to prevent bacteria from your clothes
contaminating the food rather than to keep your clothes clean! Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Personal hygiene Thoroughly wash and dry hands before and after handling food and after visiting the toilet. Ideally hot water and antibacterial soap should be used; Cough or sneeze away from food and always thoroughly wash hands after blowing noses. A food handler must tell their employer if they are suffering from any symptoms of food poisoning or if any friends or family members are as they could be a carrier. A
carrier can be infected but not show any symptoms. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Food purchase When buying meat, look for quality. The Northern Ireland farm Quality Assurance Scheme is a code of practice operated by beef and sheep farmers. It is recognised at home and abroad as a symbol of the quality and character of the farm on which meat is produced. It gives the consumer the best possible assurances that it will be as safe, healthy and wholesome as possible.
Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Food purchase In order to prevent bacterial multiplication and reduce the risk of food poisoning, when buying food you should: Only buy from a reputable supplier or shop; Check the food to make sure that it is good quality, e.g. fruit isnt badly bruised or mouldy; Check that packaging isnt damaged and dont buy tins that are dented or blown (have a domed rather than flat top). Air can enter damaged tins allowing bacteria to multiply to dangerous levels;
Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Food purchase Check that food is within date; Choose your chilled and frozen food at the end of your shopping trip; Always ensure that red meat and poultry is properly wrapped up and even store in a separate bag;
Use a cool bag and ice blocks and pack chilled and frozen foods together; Get your shopping home and into a fridge or freezer as soon as you can. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Food dates There are two types of date mark that are a legal requirement in the UK. They are: Use by highly perishable packaged food, such as cooked meat, fish, dairy products and ready meals, must by law be marked with a use by date. Do not use any food or drink after the end of the use by shown on
the label even if it looks and smells fine. Using it after this date could make you ill from pathogenic (harmful) bacteria remember that you cant see, smell or taste the bacteria that cause food poisoning. It is against the law to sell or serve food beyond its use by date. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Food dates Best before this would appear on less perishable foods such as tinned or frozen foods, bags of flour, crisps and biscuits along with bottles and cans of drink. It
should be safe to eat food after the best before date shown on the label, but food might begin to lose its flavour and texture, e.g. a white bloom might appear on chocolate that is out of date. It is safe to eat but might not be the quality that you would normally expect. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Food storage Storing food safely in the correct place for the correct amount of time can reduce the risk of food poisoning considerably. Correct storage helps to:
Prevent illness linked to food; Preserve the foods taste, appearance and nutritional value; Avoid spoilage and wasted food. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Food storage Correct storage also helps a food business to:
Provide adequate supplies when they are needed; Control costs and keep within a budget; Comply with food laws and avoid prosecution for selling unfit or unsafe food. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Dry storage Dry stores would be anywhere that nonperishable foods would be stored such as bags of flour and sugar. A dry store could be a cupboard on the wall at home or a large walk in industrial larder. In order to prevent food spoilage and pest infestation, dry stores should:
Be well ventilated, clean and light; Food should be stored off the floor and away from walls to prevent pest infestation; After shopping new tins and packets should be stored behind older ones so that they are used in date order which helps to prevent wastage. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Chilled storage High risk, or perishable foods should be stored in a fridge below 5C* to slow down
bacterial multiplication. It is also important to organise your fridge to prevent bacterial cross-contamination, i.e. juices from raw meat dripping onto cooked foods. Always ensure food is cold before storing in the fridge. If it is too warm, the heat will raise the temperature of the other foods in the fridge increasing the risk of bacterial multiplication. Store food in containers large enough to hold any juices, cover and label. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 * Below 5C is the recommended temperature for
good practice but 8C is the legal maximum temperature for cold storage Chilled storage Store raw food below cooked foods. Decant the contents of tin cans into plastic containers otherwise the metal can leach into the food. Empty and clean fridges regularly with an anti-bacterial spray. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015
Frozen storage When food is stored in a freezer, the liquid that bacteria needs to multiply is turned to ice and growth is stopped. Food should be stored between -18C and -23C. It is important to remember that once the food is defrosted, bacteria may start to multiply so it should be stored below 5C to slow this down or cooked straight away. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 *Below 5C is the recommended temperature for good practice but
8C is the legal maximum temperature for cold storage Frozen storage Freezers, like fridges, should be kept clean and tidy: Cover and label food; Keep food tidy; Dont over stock; No warm food the heat will melt the liquid in the other foods allowing any bacteria present to multiply; Clean and defrost regularly; Use food in date order to prevent wastage.
Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Food preparation Preparing food too far in advance and not storing it correctly is one of the major causes of food poisoning. It is important that high risk foods, in particular, are kept either very cold (below 5C) or very hot (above 63C). The temperature range between these is known as The Danger Zone and bacteria can multiply easily if they have food, warmth, moisture and time. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015
Bacterial multiplication Bacteria multiply through a process called binary fission. If the circumstances are right, bacteria can divide in two every 10 20 minutes. In just 3 hours one bacterium may become more than 1 million! Therefore, it is essential that time and temperature controls are followed to reduce the risk of food poisoning. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Time and temperature control 5-63C the danger zone where bacteria grow most readily. Keep food out of the danger
zone. 37C body temperature, optimum temperature for bacterial growth. 8C maximum legal temperature for cold food, i.e. your fridge. Check fridge temperatures regularly. 5C the ideal temperature your fridge should be. Do not overfill your fridge. Air needs to circulate to keep the food cold. -18C - the temperature your freezer should be. Never put warm food in a freezer. 70C - cooking at this temperature or above will kill most bacteria. If you dont have a food probe, make sure your food is piping hot. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015
Cooling hot food quickly In order to reduce the risk of bacterial multiplication, hot food should be cold enough to go in the fridge within 90 minutes. This can be achieved by: Dividing dishes into small portions, e.g. a lasagne or cottage pie. This increases the surface area which means quicker cooling; Decanting food into chilled containers or ice baths; Use cooling areas (but not the fridge or freezer); Cold running water for cooling rice and pasta. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015
Rice Rice can be contaminated with spores of the food poisoning bacteria, Bacillus cereus. These spores protect the bacteria during cooking, preventing them from being destroyed. However, when the cooked rice is left at warm temperatures (between 5C and 63C) and not kept hot (above 63C) or cold (below 5C), the spores will burst releasing the bacteria inside to multiply. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Rice
The longer the rice is kept at a warm temperature, the more the bacteria will grow and multiply. These bacteria then produce a special chemical (a toxin) which can cause illness. The toxin is not destroyed even if the rice is reheated. In order to reduce the risk of food poisoning, it is essential that any rice dish is cooled as quickly as possible and then stored in the fridge if not being eaten straight away. Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 The 4Cs
An easy way to remember the rules for good food hygiene is to remember the 4Cs: Cleaning you can prevent the spread of harmful bacteria by keeping your hands, work surfaces and utensils clean; Cooking proper cooking kills the harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning. It is important to cook food, especially meat, thoroughly. Make sure that food is cooked right through, and that it is piping hot in the middle; Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 The 4Cs
Chilling It is very important to keep certain foods at the right temperature to prevent bacteria growing and toxins (poisons) forming. Always look at food labels to see whether foods should be kept in the fridge. Cross-contamination this is when bacteria spread from one food to another. This could be through raw foods touching or dripping onto ready to eat foods, dirty equipment, pests or poor personal hygiene.
Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015 Acknowledgement For further information, go to: www.food4life.org.uk LMC 2015 Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland 2015
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