an initiative of ACCORD

Food Preparation & Handling

Food hygiene – WHY?

Food can harbour some very nasty pathogens. You may have heard of Salmonella, E. Coli, Listeria and Campylobacter. These are potential causes of food poisoning, which can result in severe illness and even death. Young children, pregnant women, elderly people and the immunocompromised are most susceptible to food poisoning. Click here for a more extensive list of food poisoning agents.

The NSW Food Authority estimates that there are 5.4 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year, resulting on average in:

  • 120 deaths
  • 1.2 million visits to doctors
  • 300,000 prescriptions for antibiotics
  • 2.1 million days of lost work
(Source 1)

In Australia, approximately 75% of foodborne illness is thought to arise from the food service sector. (Source 2)

Food hygiene – HOW?

In Australia there are 3 Food Safety Standards that are mandatory for all food businesses. These cover many aspects of food hygiene, including:

Food handling. This includes receiving, storing, handling, processing, warming/cooling, displaying/serving and transporting food. Timing, temperature control and segregation of raw and cooked foods are critical.

Staff hygiene. This includes effective hand hygiene practices and other good hygiene habits. Additional staff hygiene practices include wearing the appropriate uniform and protective clothing, not wearing jewellery, and covering all cuts and sores.

Food premises and equipment. This includes regular cleaning and sanitising as well as pest control. I&I cleaners and sanitisers are a vital part of this aspect of food hygiene.

Specialised I&I products used in food preparation and handling include oven cleaners, dishwashing detergents; hand washes & sanitisers, floor cleaners & sanitisers, hard surface cleaners & sanitisers, drain cleaners, and deodorisers.

Tools for use in conjunction with quality I&I products include mops, buckets, brooms, brushes, dispensers, cloths, sponges and scourers. Single use products are best for some applications as microorganisms can grow and multiply rapidly on some cleaning tools.

Source 1:$File/cost-foodborne.pdf

Source 2:


useful stuff...

A 2009 Australian study showed that 29% of men and 9% of women didn't wash their hands after using a shopping centre public toilet.11 In the office, high-bacteria surfaces include the desktop, mouse and keyboard; and in communal kitchens beware coffee cups, dishcloths and the microwave button!22 Australia's money is some of the cleanest in the world! Our polymer banknotes were found to have fewer bacteria than older money.12
There are an estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia every year.13

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