Risks and Prevention of Cross Contamination
Cross-contamination is a term that is well-known in the food service industry and taught during any food handlers certification course. By definition, cross-contamination is the process where bacteria are transferred from one food source to another with very harmful effects on the body. Most sources of food poisoning can be traced back to cross-contamination and poor kitchen practices.
Proper education and certification can mitigate cross-contamination in the industry. Since it is always great to get a head start on understanding the important aspects of food safety, here are some interesting facts about cross-contamination and how to prevent it.
What Are the Dangers of Cross-Contamination?
Cross-contamination is one of the biggest causes of food poisoning because it promotes the consumption of bacteria and other viruses. Some of the most common bacteria that thrive on cross-contamination are:
Bacteria reproduce quickly under the right conditions, so it is important to stop them at the source. That is why safe practices like cross-contamination prevention and proper food storage are excellent habits to perfect when working in the food service industry.
What Foods Are the Highest Risks for Cross-Contamination?
Unfortunately, foods that most people eat on a daily basis are at the highest risk for cross-contamination. Most of the discussed bacteria can be found in common grocery items like:
Ensuring that these items are kept separate from each other prior to cooking is important for food safety and illness prevention.
Tips to Prevent Cross-Contamination
Preventing cross-contamination isn’t hard, but it is something that many people in the food industry still have problems with. By adhering to some of these basic tips, your kitchen can remain clean, bacteria-free, and above all, safe to eat food from.
Remember Personal Hygiene
Cross-contamination doesn’t end at mixing foods; personal hygiene is also a huge issue. A sick food handler is still one that can easily spread and reproduce disease because of poor hygienic practices. In order to lessen the chance of food contamination:
- Implement proper handwashing
- Always sanitize equipment after use
- Sanitize countertops
- Ensure that workers are wearing gloves
- Address staff cleanliness
- Do not let a food handler work a shift while ill
Separately Use Equipment
When preparing a meal, especially one that involves foods that contain natural bacteria that can spread quickly, be conscious of how you are using your cooking equipment.
Basic materials like knives, bowls, cutting boards, and countertops should never have foods like raw meat mixed into their use with other foods. By prepping ingredients one-at-a-time and not mixing things up out of laziness or believing the bacteria will cook off eventually, you will be promoting safe practices in your kitchen and lessening the risk of cross-contamination.
Get Certified Today and Prevent Cross-Contamination in the Food Service Industry
Cross-contamination is a serious subject in the food service industry and is something that your Texas Food Handler’s Certification will focus on. Fortunately, with Certified On The Fly, you can learn all of the required information and become certified from the comfort of your home. With our affordable, online program, food handler certification has never been easier. Register online today to get started on your certification.Back to Blog