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.
Its important to eat healthily if youre 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.
Dont handle food if you have stomach problems such as diarrhoea or vomiting, or if youre sneezing or coughing regularly. Check the food labels before you decide what to use. Dont 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 isnt cooked at a high enough temperature, bacteria can still survive.