Food Safety and Botulism Disease Prevention

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Food safety is a major public health issue, without food safety measures, the population will be at risk for foodborne illness. It is estimated that roughly 1 in 6 Americans or 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne illness (CDC, 2018). Food safety is all measures to ensure that food will not cause harm to the consumer when it is prepared and or eaten according to its intended use (Codex Alimentarius). Ensuring everything that encounters food is clean, during handling, preparation and storage of food. After viewing the suggested video I’ve identified several faults with the food preparation process. The lady in the video supplied the perfect environment for bacteria and microorganisms to thrive and multiply. The faults are listed below under five broad headings; Unclean hands and dirty surface area

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  • Her hands were never washed before, during or after the food preparation.
  • She contaminated all the utensils and food in the kitchen with her dirty hands
  • She never changed the cutting board
  • She placed the clean spoon on the dirty cutting board
  • She did not wash the lemon nor the vegetables Cross – contamination
  • She mixed raw vegetables with the chicken on the cutting board
  • She squeezed the lemon into her dirty hands
  • She stripped the bread with her dirty hands • She mixed the vegetable salad with her dirty hands
  • She grated cheese with dirty hands
  • The chicken was sitting on the counter top for a while then on the cutting board Biological contaminant
  • She may have introduced biological contaminates when she coughed into her hand and continued preparing the food. Physical contaminant
  • She may have introduced physical hazards into the food when she scratched her hair and continued preparing the meal.
  • She placed the towel on the cutting board with the food she also used the towel to wipe the cutting board.
  • She used the towel to wipe her hands Safety
  • She spilled mixture on the floor
  • She tried to remove hot dish with hands
  • She used the towel to hold the hot dish The dietary guidelines remind us to thoroughly wash all kitchen surfaces, including appliance, reusable grocery bags and all produce even if you plan to peel and cut before eating. Proper hand washing may eliminate a large percentage of food poisoning cases (Health.gov, 2018).

Therefore, keeping hands clean is one of the important steps in preventing the spread of microorganisms and bacteria. Many foodborne illnesses are simply caused by not washing hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Foodborne illnesses can be prevented if the four principles of food safety are adhere to. These includes the following;

  • Clean – wash hands often
  • Separate – keep ready to eat foods separate from raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs
  • Chill – refrigerate promptly to 40 degrees or lower
  • Cook – cook to proper temperature (Eatright.org, 2018)

Once the above principles are followed it reduces the burden of foodborne illness on public health and the health care system. First and foremost, every time a food handler enters a kitchen or food room they must always wash their hands. Wash hands before, during, after meal preparation, after using the bathroom, after handling uncooked eggs, raw meat, poultry, fish and their juices, and after handling garbage. Hands should be washed with soap under running warm water for 20 minutes. Surface areas such as the counter top tables refrigerator and shelves should also be kept clean. Prevent cross contamination by always prepare dishes that do not require cooking first. Keep foods separate, use colour codes cutting boards for meal preparation, green – fruits & vegetables, yellow – cooked meat, blue – sea foods, white – dairy bakery, red- raw meat. Discard cutting boards that have cracks and crevices. Thoroughly wash with hot, soapy water all surfaces that comes into contact with raw meat, poultry, fish and eggs before moving on to the next step when preparing several dishes. When juices from raw meats or germs from unclean objects touches cooked or ready to eat food such as fruits and salads cross contamination occurs. Cross contamination occurs when bacteria from raw foods are transmitted via hands, knife and other kitchen utensils. Frozen foods should be defrosted in the fridge on the bottom shelf and prepared immediately after being defrost, not left sitting on the chopping board or counter top. To prevent bacteria/microorganisms from multiplying.

Fresh fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly cleaned and washed even if you are going to peel them, this is done to prevent contaminating the food when you cut into it. It is important to avoid scratching hair, or any other body parts during meal preparation, hair should always be covered or tied back so that it does not fall into food. If ill (e.g. flu or gastric upset) you should not work with food remain at home you may spread disease to other people or contaminate food, bacteria are quickly and easily spread through coughing and sneezing. Food handlers must wash their hands after sneezing and coughing, touching raw foods, eating and drinking, smoking, handling rubbish and especially after handling chemicals. Jewellery carry lots of bacteria and should be left at home or a secure place, must not be worn on hands or dangling from ears, to avoid getting into food. Safety in the kitchen is of vital important, spills should be dealt with immediately to prevent accidents such as a fall. Mittens are to be used when handling hot foods, not a towel, dish cloth or your hands. Preventing injury to self and others who may enter the room. Safety first! To prevent food bourn illness, the above interventions are necessary in preventing the spread of illness causing bacteria. Adhering to the four steps in food safety, clean, separate, chill and cook will reduce the risk of food bourn illness and help keep your family safe from food poisoning. Remember, “cleanliness is next to godliness” and cleanliness is a major factor in the prevention of foodborne illness, keeping everything clean that comes into contact with food. Foodborne illness is common, preventable and costly therefore prevention is much better than cure.

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Food Safety and Botulism Disease Prevention. (2022, Sep 09). Retrieved November 30, 2022 , from
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