We all know that food is our primary source of nourishment, but did you consider the many food-borne diseases it can cause? Around four million cases of food-borne illnesses occur in Australia every year, and a good number of these cases are due to food safety issues.
The most common factors causing these food safety issues are time and temperature control. However, there are many more factors to consider. Food businesses must know and understand all of these factors, and they should train their staff to control them. Here are the key factors affecting food safety that professionals managing food businesses must keep in check at all times.
Harmful pathogens thrive and cause food-borne illnesses at a certain temperature, and this makes temperature control incredibly important for food safety. Generally, pathogens thrive in temperatures ranging between 4°C and 60°C, often known as the Temperature Danger Zone.
Food businesses must ensure food items are not kept in this Temperature Danger Zone. This precaution can help them prevent the growth of harmful pathogens that pose a risk of food-borne diseases. Restaurants must discard any food materials that have stayed in the Temperature Danger Zone for 2 hours immediately.
Separation of Raw and Cooked Food
Raw food, such as meat, fish, and poultry, often contain pathogens that can easily transfer to cooked food during preparation and storage. Sometimes, the pathogens don’t even require direct contact for transfer. Instead, the pathogens can transfer when utensils used for handling raw food are then used to contain cooked food without washing. Therefore, the separation of raw and cooked food is important to prevent contamination of ready to eat food.
Harmful pathogens, like disease-causing micro-organisms, are present everywhere, including surfaces that appear to be clean. Such harmful micro-organisms can be found on people, utensils, and other equipment. So, when food comes in contact with one of these things, it can lead to cross-contamination.
For instance, Listeria monocytogenes is a micro-organism present all around us, and it’s usually harmless to most of us. However, it is harmful to vulnerable populations, like the elderly and pregnant women.
Therefore, food businesses must ensure regular cleaning and sanitisation to keep the level of harmful pathogens and the likelihood of food-borne illnesses low.
We have covered some of the important factors affecting food safety. Now, you must also understand that your staff’s training and education are central to food safety management. Not only do they connect theory to practice but also help employees do their jobs more responsibly.
Thus, it is a good idea to encourage your employees and managers to do an online food safety supervisor course in Melbourne. This way, your food business can fully control all factors affecting food safety.