Even if you store food properly in a temperature controlled environment there’s a risk it can be contaminated at any stage. Whether you are producing and processing food or using base ingredients for a recipe, there are certain dangers you have to avoid.
Here we list some of the most common causes of food poisoning and explain why it’s so important to store raw produce in a safe and chilled setting.
What causes food contamination?
1.) Not storing food properly that needs to be chilled
Chilling certain food substances in a coldroom or a fridge helps to prevent the spread of germs. This includes most items of fresh produce including all of the following food sources:
- Cooked and fresh meats
- Items of fruit
- Cakes and baked goods with cream fillings
- Lettuce and salad produce
- Foods you are defrosting
- Goods that say refrigerate after opening
- Freshly rolled dough you’re not using yet
- Any food you are marinating
Fail to store food that needs to be chilled in a cold environment and there’s a genuine risk you’ll contract some type of food poisoning.
2.) Leaving cooked food out for too long
Cook a meal and any leftover items should be refrigerated and not left at room temperature. If you forget to put the food away and you leave it unrefrigerated for too long, it can become infected with harmful bacteria.
3.) Cross-contamination of food
Food poisoning can be caused by the spread of bacteria during or after the preparation of produce. Take chicken as a classic example. Cut the meat up on a chopping board then fail to wash the board before you prepare other produce and the chances of spreading bacteria are high.
4.) Undercooking food
Failing to cook food properly can leave you prone to poisoning. Meat, in particular, has to be cooked according to the guidelines to prevent infection from viruses such as campylobacter or salmonella. Make sure you cook meats for the correct amount of time according to size and weight. It’s a good idea to test meat such as chicken by inserting a knife into it to make sure the juices run clear. Or use a temperature gauge which you can insert straight into the breast.
5.) Eating contaminated food
If you eat something that has been touched by a person suffering from a tummy bug you also run the risk of contracting food poisoning. Good hygiene is essential around the kitchen and in food storage areas. Make sure anyone that comes into contact with food washes their hands first.
Now you know the most common causes of food poisoning you’ll hopefully be wiser when you are preparing produce or chilling it within a coldroom environment.
For coldroom advice or to get a FREE quote for a coldstore call us today on 01905 458551.