Thursday, 9th July 2020

This Month's Magazine
Food Hygiene

Food Hygiene

Now that summer is here good food hygiene is even more important. This extract is taken from Bupa International health information. Full fact sheets and binder are available from STM Nummos Life (see advert)

Why is food hygiene important?
Every day people get ill from the food they eat. Micro-organisms including bacteria, viruses and moulds found in food can cause food poisoning, leading to a whole host of unpleasant symptoms, such as stomach pains,  and vomiting.

Food poisoning can sometimes lead to gastroenteritis or more serious health problems such as blood poisoning (septicemia) and kidney failure. Babies, children and older people, are more likely to have serious symptoms.

It’s important to eat healthily if you’re pregnant, and you need to be particularly careful not to get food poisoning. Bear in mind a few simple points to help avoid food poisoning for you and your family.


  • Always check labels for guidance on where to store food. 
  • Make sure you keep your fridge at less than 5°C and your freezer at less than -18°C – this prevents bacteria from multiplying.
  • Store fresh and frozen food in the fridge or freezer as soon as possible after you have bought it. This is specially important if the weather is hot.
  • Keep raw meat and seafood separate from other foods in airtight containers at the bottom of the fridge to prevent juices or blood dripping onto other food.
  • Don’t store opened tins of food in the fridge – transfer the contents to a suitable airtight container instead.
  • Allow cooked leftovers to cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge. Make sure you use up any leftovers within two days. T
  • Throw away any food that has passed its use-by date.


Don’t handle food if you have stomach problems such as diarrhoea or vomiting, or if you’re sneezing or coughing regularly. Check the food labels before you decide what to use. Don’t use any foods that have passed their use-by date, even if you think they look fine, however, you can use food after its best before date. The exception is eggs, which contain Salmonella that may  multiply after the best before date, always throw them away once this date has passed.

Always use different chopping boards and utensils to prepare raw meat or fish, as they contain harmful bacteria that can spread to anything they touch.



Cooking food at temperatures over 70°C will kill off any bacteria. If food isn’t cooked at a high enough temperature, bacteria can still survive.

  • Follow the recipe or packet instructions for cooking time and temperature, making sure that you pre-heat your oven properly.
  • Food should be piping hot – you should be able to see steam coming out – before you serve it.
  • Take special care that you cook meat all the way through. Unless you’re cooking steak or lamb and beef joints rare, it shouldn’t be pink in the middle. Always re-heat pre-cooked food thoroughly and only do so once.
  • When cooking food in the microwave, stir it well from time to time to ensure that it’s evenly cooked all the way through.

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