Keep Your Kitchen Safe

Cancel out cross-contamination

Preparing food should be a joyful act, the beginnings of a meal that will bring people together and make many memories. But your kitchen could be a powder keg for cross-contamination, and if you don’t take precautionary measures your food could cause food poisoning. At Hychem, we’re committed to creating safe, germ-free environments. With this in mind, we’ve put together a few pointers on how best to avoid cross-contamination.

A hazardous situation

Cross-contamination is dangerous and is the primary reason for many outbreaks of food-borne illness. It is caused when harmful bacteria like salmonella and E. coli spread from food to other foods, surfaces, hands or equipment. If we consume these bacteria, it can easily lead to food poisoning.

So if, for instance, you use a chopping board to prepare raw chicken and then use the same board for ready-to-eat food, cross-contamination can occur. In order to prevent this happening, it’s important to be more mindful of your preparation processes. Even if meat has been cooked correctly, meals can still become contaminated with pathogens, and while this may seem difficult to stop, avoiding cross-contamination is quite simple if you take the necessary precautions.

The correct procedures

Everybody who works in a kitchen is responsible for preventing cross-contamination. Safe food handling habits must be practiced, especially when it comes to raw meat, poultry, and seafood, as these easily carry salmonella and E. coli. These foods must be kept separate from ready-to-eat foods at all stages of the food-handling process.

Food Storage

Correct food storage plays a major role in preventing cross-contamination, so when placing foods in a refrigerator, ensure to adhere to the following.

  • Raw meats should always be stored on the bottom shelf. This eliminates the risk of juices dripping onto other foods and contaminating them.
  • Raw meat, poultry and seafood should be stored in covered containers or sealed plastic bags to prevent their juices from dripping or leaking onto other foods.
  • If you’re not planning on using meat within a few days of purchase, it should be placed in the freezer for defrosting at a later date.
  • Meats and ready-to-eat foods should never be placed next to each other or on the same shelves.
  • Eggs should be stored in their original carton and refrigerated as soon as possible.

Chopping Boards

Chopping boards are often where cross-contamination occurs. Placing ready-to-eat foods such as fresh produce on a surface that held raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs can spread harmful bacteria. To avoid cross-contamination, adhere to the following.

  • Plastic or glass surfaces should be used for cutting raw meats.
  • Use one chopping board for raw meat, poultry and seafood.
  • Use a separate chopping board for ready-to-eat foods.
  • Use separate plates and utensils for cooked and raw foods.
  • Before reusing them, thoroughly clean and sanitise plates, utensils and cutting boards that have come into contact with raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs.
  • Chopping boards should be replaced if they are excessively scratched or damaged, as these develop grooves that are hard to clean, making bacteria difficult to eliminate.

Clean hands and counters

When cooking, ensure that you wash your hands properly beforehand, as well as after you handle any raw meat, and after cooking. All surfaces and counters must be kept permanently clean and sanitised so that they are free of harmful bacteria, especially after raw meats have been anywhere near them.

In Conclusion

Cross-contamination can easily be avoided if you take the right precautions and ensure that your kitchen is free of harmful bacteria. To assist you with this, Hychem has the following world-class products:

Surface Disinfectant

Surface Disinfectant 25 Litre

Swift HD
Swift Hd - 5 Litre

Polycide X
(A powerful surface sanitizer)

Polycide X - 5 Litre