Germs And Our Food What Can Be Done?

We may have developed vaccines to counter small pox and other such diseases. We may have developed great techniques to store food in a germless environment in large laboratories. However, when it comes to food preparation in our day to day lives, are we really safe?
David visited his favourite high-end restaurant the other night. He ordered a salad and an entree. On his way to the rest room, he caught a glimpse of the restaurant kitchen and was horrified. The cook was scratching an unseemly area and then handling vegetables for the salad with the same bare hands! An assistant who was stirring what looked like soup then proceeded to sneeze over the food!
David has since found a new favourite restaurant!
Unfortunately, this situation is repeated all too often in restaurants throughout the country. What most people are oblivious to is the millions of germs that live in these places. Simple cleaning practices kill most germs however grimy surfaces, unwashed hands and fingers are prime breeding areas. Not all germs are harmful but unfortunately those that are dangerous far outnumber those that are safe.
Studies have revealed that a toilet seat has fewer germs than most kitchens. If this tells us nothing else, it should alert us to the fact that proper cleanliness should be a top priority for restaurants and other food service areas.
A list of some common germ varieties found in commercial restaurants is listed below:
Staphylococcus aureus: This bacterium is an inhabitant of the nose and the skin. It generally causes small skin infections but when coupled with food it can cause some serious food poisoning!
Salmonella: This bacterium loves non-vegetarians! Commonly found in meat and chicken products, Salmonella can cause food poisoning.
Clostridium Botulinium: Causes a disease called Botulism which can be fatal if left unattended. This bacterium inhabits canned foods, meats and vegetables.
This is just a small illustration of the many bacteria that are present in foods and can make you seriously ill. More organisms like fungi, viruses and protozoa live in filthy kitchens in restaurants and cafeterias.
How does one avoid these organisms? How do you make your kitchen disease free?
Below are a few things you can do to make your kitchen more sanitary:
- Use paper towels to replace common dishrags made of cloth. Purchase cleaning apparatus that are of the 'use and dispose' type. If cloth is the only option you have to clean with, then be sure to cleanse them in hot water with detergent.
- Wear disposable gloves while handling food.
- Cutting boards are a kitchen staple in most kitchens. The trick is to buy new ones often. Cutting boards are a favourite hang out for germs and bacteria. When yours has several scratches, you need to replace it. In addition, it can be handy to have multiple boards. Colour coded boards now exist to make sure you do not cross contaminate vegetables and meat products.
These are a few procedures that will aid you in keeping your food prep area clean and bacteria free.
Although a step in the right direction, these procedures alone are not enough to make a food preparation are safe enough to prepare food for the public. There are service providers that will come to your kitchen, assess it for hygiene, food handling and food preparation, and measure it against strict federal guidelines. They can give you important advice and even help with staff training to guarantee that sanitation standards are kept up to par.

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About The Author, Malcolm J. Richmond
About the author: Malcolm J. Richmond shares advice to raise your kitchen's standards of food safetyon his website where he also details several quality food hygieneservices available.