Food Hygiene and Safety: Understanding the Primary Food Safety Hazards


Every year, roughly 1 in 6 Americans have been sick because of a foodborne illness. Around 128 thousand people end up in the hospital. And around 3 thousand people die because of foodborne illness.

But what’s the best way to avoid getting sick… or worse, dying, from a foodborne illness? That’s why we’re here. We’ll teach you the ins and outs of kitchen safety, and you’ll learn to keep your workplace clean.

Keep reading to learn more about food hygiene and how to keep yourself and your staff safe.

What Is Food Hygiene? Why Is It Important?

First, we’ll start off by explaining what food hygiene is and why it’s important. Sometimes ‘food hygiene’ is also known as ‘food safety’.

Food safety refers to the way you handle food when preparing and storing food and beverages. Practice proper food and beverage storage when at work and home.

Bacteria grows on both undercooked and frozen food… yes, even frozen food collects bacteria.

What Are the Primary Food Safety Hazards?

Biological hazards are the most common food hazard in the kitchen. Common microorganisms causing foodborne illness include E. coli, Salmonella, and Campylobacter.

These microorganisms lay in raw, undercooked meats. E. coli hides in raw cheese, vegetables, and unpasteurized milk as well.

Chemical hazards can also cause foodborne illness. If a farmer sprays a dangerous pesticide on their crops it can transfer into your food. Clean your vegetables and fruit before using them in a meal.

Also, it’s important to limit the number of chemicals you use in your workplace. Use chemicals that are generally recognized as safe for use around food. Make sure to store chemicals away from food and beverages.

There are also allergenic and physical hazards caused by food. There is no one-way to prevent food allergies, but there are ways to reduce the risk.

Teach your staff proper sanitation techniques. Sanitize all equipment and work stations between prep and at the end of the day. With these steps, there shouldn’t be an issue of allergies.

For more control over foodborne illnesses, try using this HACCP system: The HACCP system has been developed for food businesses to help with food safety.

How Do I Practice Proper Food Hygiene?

There are a few basic steps outlined by the FDA you can follow to practice food safety in your kitchen in the workplace:

Wash your hands and utensils before working with any type of food. While you’re preparing your ingredients, separate raw materials from fresh ones. Don’t let raw meat touch fresh vegetables because raw meat carries a lot of bacteria.

While cooking, make sure the food, especially meat, is hot and stays hot. Check the internal temperature of the meat you’re cooking with a food thermometer.

Put necessities in the fridge or freezer right away. The longer it sits out, the more bacteria it’ll collect.

The Takeaway

Foodborne illness isn’t something to mess with. Practice proper hygiene and sanitize all work stations. You can’t go overboard when keeping your kitchen clean and safe.

It’s always important to make sure food is cooked at the right temperature. Especially when you’re working with meat.  You can also try the HACCP system and see if it helps your business practice food hygiene.

For more tips on how to practice food hygiene, check out our website today.

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