If you’re a food manager, you may be asking, “How should I prevent cross contact?” Some easy solutions include avoiding make-your-own dishes and storing allergy-free flour in the same cabinet as a common allergen. Clean utensils and equipment. But what should I do if I suspect that someone has an allergy to a particular food? Read on to find out.
Avoid storing allergen-free flour in the same cabinet
To prepare recipes for children with food allergies, make sure your pantry is stocked with all-natural, allergen-free ingredients. Many parents have developed allergy-friendly pantry staples, including baking mixes, jams, crackers, cookies, and egg replacers. Keep some allergen-free flour in separate cupboards or drawers for emergencies. Designate a separate area in the kitchen for emergency supplies, such as emergency medication, and have an emergency contact list with a landline available.
When you are handling food, it’s important to keep utensils clean and free of contaminants. This includes sanitizing all utensils and washing your hands before and after handling food. You should also separate cooked and raw foods and regularly clean the areas in which you handle food. Make sure to separate your ready-to-eat foods from the raw materials that you use in the preparation of other foods. This separates them from the raw ones, which don’t need additional processing or any other kill step.
Always wear gloves when handling different kinds of food. Changing gloves after handling different kinds of foods is also recommended. Always wash your hands thoroughly, especially if you are handling raw meat. Lastly, don’t use the same utensil for preparing one type of food while handling another. Also, avoid touching your face with utensils or garnish if it has been contaminated with another food. Instead, use scoops or hold them by their handles.
While cleaning surfaces in the kitchen is an important step in preventing contamination, preventing cross-contact is not always easy. Cross-contamination can be caused by bacteria, which are responsible for four of the six most common foodborne illnesses. Therefore, food managers must clean all surfaces in the kitchen after every preparation task. Even though this may seem complicated, it is actually easier than most people think. Here are some tips to help you prevent cross-contact and maximize food safety:
The most obvious reason to clean equipment is because cross-contact can cause serious health consequences. Cross-contact can occur when food allergens come into contact with surfaces that contain them. People can also introduce pathogens or contaminants to food by handling food and not washing their hands properly. Therefore, it is vital for food managers to clean equipment regularly to minimize the risk of cross-contamination. In addition to cleaning surfaces, managers should also consider sanitary controls such as zoning. This means separating high-risk areas from low-risk areas. This will help ensure that no employees or equipment come in contact with contaminated food.