Cross-contamination is the nasty culprit behind many food-borne illnesses. That’s because pathogens can spread from food or unwashed hands to prep areas, equipment, or utensils. Even if meat is cooked correctly, meals can still be contaminated with pathogens if the prep process isn’t done properly. The CDC estimates that an average of 3,000 people die each year from foodborne illness so preventing such illness with proper food handling is of monumental importance. Here’s a little more about cross-contamination and way you can prevent it:
We get it, cross-contamination sounds like something out of a zombie apocalypse movie. While it’s certainly not going to require post-apocalyptic measures to rid a kitchen of these pathogens, it’s probably best to explain exactly what cross-contamination means.
Cross-contamination occurs when disease-causing microorganisms, like bacteria and viruses, are transferred from one food to another. As a result, cross-contamination is one of the leading causes of foodborne illness. This happens most frequently from unwashed cutting boards, hands, or kitchen tools. So basically, if someone cuts raw chicken then switches to cutting veggies on the same cutting board and with the same knife, there’s a chance for cross-contamination.
So, how can you prevent cross-contamination? Simply put, through proper food safety training. We offer a food handler safety course completely online that will help train you to handle food properly. Aside from that, here are a few pointers:
- Switch utensils for raw and cooked food
- Do not wash raw meat
- Wash your hands
- Cover raw food and keep it separate from ready-to-eat products
- Clean and sanitize all work surfaces
- Use proper food safety labels
For more information about our food handler safety course visit our website or contact us!