Preventing cross contamination

Updated on: October 18 2013

Certain foods carry bacteria which is harmful to humans when ingested. Normally the bacteria is killed off when the food is cooked, but if care hasn’t been taken during the preparation of different foods it could lead to sick visitors for your establishment. One of the most common causes of food related illnesses is cross contamination within the kitchen. We all know busy commercial kitchens cook a wide variety of different foods in any one day. This is why plans and procedures need putting into place to keep your kitchen clean, contamination free and to support HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points).

How to implement it
The best way to prevent cross contamination in your kitchen is to ensure you’ve got a plan in place; all staff members understand it and follow it. Colour coded workspaces including tools and equipment work really well to keep this under control. There are no hard or fast colour rules. You can just choose what works for you and your kitchen, but a lot of establishments do tend to follow a particular set which makes it easy for staff as it has become sort of a universal understanding.

Food types are broken down into groups:
• Raw Meat
• Raw Fish
• Cooked Meats
• Salads and Fruits
• Vegetables
• Dairy Products

It’s good practice to pick a colour for a particular food type and use it for the chopping boards, tools, utensils and wiping cloths. This way the risk of contamination is kept to a minimum. This can be then be built upon; further reducing the risk of contamination, by adding in colour coded zoned areas. This idea works really well in big, busy kitchens as it makes mistakes easy to spot in a bustle filled environment.

Hilden provide a range of colour coded wiping cloths perfect for prevention of cross contamination. Not only do they come in a variety of colours to suit your own plans and procedures, but the Chicopee J-Cloth Lavette is classed as the world’s most effective and hygienic wipe as they remain clean and fresh for longer, giving bacteria no chance to grow and multiply.

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Hilden Team
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Hilden Team

Michelle Pegg is the Assurance and Compliance Manager at Hilden Linens.