Sanitation and Safety

In this module, you will study the causes of food-borne diseases and kitchen injuries, and you will learn ways of preventing them.  Prevention, of course, is the most important thing to learn.  It is not as important to be able to recite the names of disease-causing bacteria as it is to be able to prevent their growth in food. 



Rules of personal hygiene and sanitary food handling were not invented just to make your life difficult.  There are good reasons for all of them.  Instead of starting this chapter with lists of rules, we first talk about the causes of food-borne diseases.  Then, when we get to the rules, you will understand why they are important.  This will make them easier to remember and to practice. 

The rules presented in this module are basic guidelines only.  Local health departments have more detailed regulations.  All food-service operators are responsible for knowing the health department regulations in their own city and state.

The information presented here is practical as well as theoretical.  It should not merely be learned but also put to use systematically.  One effective system food-service establishments can use to ensure food safety is the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system.  This practical program identifies possible danger points and sets up procedures for corrective action. HACCP is introduced later in this module.

Food Hazards

Preventing food-borne illness is one of the most important challenges facing every food service worker.  In order to prevent illness, a food worker must understand the sources of food-borne disease. 

Most food-borne illness is the result of eating food that has been contaminated. To say a food is contaminated means it contains harmful substances not originally present in it.  In other words, contaminated food is food that is not pure.  In this section, we first discuss the various substances that can contaminate food and cause illness.  Afterward, we consider how these substances get into food to contaminate it and how food workers can prevent contamination and avoid serving contaminated food. 

Any substance in food that can cause illness or injury is called a hazard.  Food hazards are of four types:

  1. Biological hazards
  2. Chemical hazards
  3. Physical hazards
  4. Allergens

Notice it was said most food-borne illness is caused by eating food contaminated with foreign substances. Some illness is caused not by contaminants but by substances that occur naturally in foods.  These include plant toxins (toxins means"poison"), such as the chemicals in poisonous mushrooms, and certain natural food components to which some people are allergic.  This module considers all these kinds of food hazards. 

Why were Rules of personal hygiene and sanitary food handling invented?

  • ust to make your life difficult.
  • Sorry, the correct answer is True. Rules of personal hygiene and sanitary food handling were not invented just to make your life difficult.

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