Food hygiene basics – preventing food poisoning pt.1

Most food poisoning cases are caused by the growth of harmful bacteria on food products that we eat.

Controlling the growth of bacteria such as E.coli and salmonella is an essential part of food hygiene in kitchens and in businesses which prepare, serve or sell food products to the public. Without the proper measures and the right food hygiene training in place, food can be contaminated with bacteria and if consumed, these products can cause serious illness and possibly even death.

How bacteria spread

To prevent bacteria from contaminating food in your kitchen, you must first understand how bacteria grow and spread. They need certain conditions in which to multiply, and these include warmth, moisture, food and time. With all of these conditions exactly right, bacteria can multiply approximately every 20 minutes. Before long, there could be millions and possibly even billions of potentially harmful bacteria in your kitchen, contaminating your food products.

Most food poisoning cases occur from harmful bacteria in the foods we eat. To understand how to control bacteria we must first understand what bacteria require for growth or to multiply.

See part 2 of this guide to find out about methods of controlling and killing bacteria, as well as preventing contamination in the first place.