Food Sanitation and Personal Hygiene, Pest and Rodent Control

Food Sanitation and Personal Hygiene

Food sanitation is more than just cleanliness. It includes all practices involved in protecting food from the risk of contamination of harmful microbes, poisons, and foreign bodies, destroying harmful microbes present in food, and preventing the microbes from multiplying to an extent that may cause a hazard to consumers. Although the primary tenet of food-service sanitation is absolute cleanliness; it begins with personal hygiene, safe handling of foods during preparation, and clean utensils, equipment, appliances, storage facilities, kitchen, and dining room.

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The quality of food depends on the condition when purchased and the time-temperature control during storage, preparation, and service. Control of the microbial quality of food must focus on the preparation of food itself, food handlers, facilities, and equipment. Personal hygiene and cleanliness of the facilities and equipment also contribute to food safety.

Personal Hygiene

Food handlers at the units should strictly follow good personal hygiene practices. Personal hygiene is a habit and is a part of good grooming which makes a person more attentive at work. The person:

• Should stay home when suffering from Hepatitis-A, Shigella or E. coli, and Salmonella infection.

• Should maintain good cleanliness by daily baths or showers, short hairs, and nails. • Should wear clean protective clothing preferably a uniform that is not torn.

• Use headgear or hair net to prevent loose hair from entering food.

• Should wash hand thoroughly with clean water before the start of work and after every touching or scratching of any part of the body.

• Should change gloves each time when handling vegetarian food after handling non-vegetarian food.

• Should wear clogs and safety shoes meant only for that particular area.

• In case of cuts or wounds, dress the wound with waterproof dressing preferably with a good bandage.

• Never use bare hands, especially when handling ready-to-eat food.

• Don’t chew pan masala, chewing gum/tobacco, or smoke in food handling areas. • Don’t scratch a nose, rub eyes, ears, and mouth, and run fingers in beard or any part of the body.

• Don’t wear jewelry like necklaces, chains, bangles, rings, wristwatches, etc. while preparing food.

Pest and Rodent Control

Pests (cockroaches, flies, other insects) and rodents entering or infesting food establishments are potential sources of biological and physical hazards. Poorly executed pest control programs and careless storage and use of pesticides may result in chemical hazards. Procedures are needed to prevent or minimize the risk of such hazards causing illness or injury to consumers. Following are ways for better pest control:

1. Keep the premises in a good state of repair to minimize the opportunity for pest infestation.

2. Make adequate provision for the storage and disposal of unused or in-edible products/by-products and other refuse.

3. Check incoming raw materials and packaging for signs of infestation by insects and rodents before storing. Also rotate stock of materials in store to minimize the opportunity for pest infestation to become established in them.

4. Make sure that food handlers are supervised and appropriately trained and instructed in food hygiene matters.

5. Make sure that the door, windows, and other openings are fitted with insect-proof screens that can be easily removed for cleaning.

6. In the case of rodents use live capture trays where the infestation is at a small level or there is a chance of a high risk of food being contaminated by rodenticides, otherwise use a proper bait laying program.

7. Use pesticides in accordance with safety guidelines that are specifically approved for the intended situation. Only appropriately trained persons may be allowed to apply such chemicals.

Read More Topics of the Same Course – ABT 5211 – Food Safety and Standards

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