Food hygiene controls are not new 21st century initiatives, Babylonian documents dating back circa 3,500 B.C. proclaim “You shall not poison your neighbour’s fat nor shall you bewitch your neighbour’s wine”. The punishment for breaking these rules was an unforgiving death penalty. Today’s food safety legislation do not carry such a high penalty, but they have been devised to develop food standards and related programmes to protect the health of the consumer and to ensure that food handlers show due diligence.
There are a number of procedures which food handlers should adhere to in an effort to control food poisoning organisms and other contaminants. These procedures would be essential knowledge for the achievement of a CIEH Level 2 Food Safety certificate, which all food handlers require in order to demonstrate their understanding of food hygiene.
Personal hygiene controls play a crucial role within food safety, as they are vital for the avoidance of food-borne illnesses, which account for 25% of all food-borne illness outbreaks.
The food handlers’ personal appearance and attitude should be clean, neat and tidy, in direct reflection to their work. This can be a major factor in avoiding food-borne illness and ensuring the correct implementation of hygiene policy.
- Fingernails should be nail varnish free, kept short and cleaned with a nailbrush, to prevent the harbouring of bacteria.
- Hair must be clean, tidy, covered and off the face, to avoid contamination from loose strands falling.
- No jewellery, including: watches, earrings and brooches (with the exception of plain wedding rings and religious jewellery, if covered with plasters) as they can harbour dirt and bacteria causing physical and bacterial contamination.
- Clean, washable protective clothing (overalls, hair nets, footwear, and gloves) must be worn to protect the employee from injury (if injury should occur, it must be antiseptically cleaned and dressed with a waterproof bandage) and to protect the food from contamination.
- Grooming – daily bathing, clean clothes and the use of deodorant.
Hand washing is essential for food protection and sanitation, as it is possibly the most significant factor in personal hygiene. Prior to handling food, the following hand washing technique and guidelines should be observed to prevent contamination hazards directly linked to the human body:
Hand washing technique – this is critical, as the hands will be coming in constant contact with food, with the high risk of cross-contamination. Hand washing facilities should be available at each entrance to production. Washing should be performed with hand soap and a hand brush in warm water in designated sinks. Attention should be paid to the backs of hands, wrists and under fingernails. Rinsing should be applied after brushing then the re-applying of soap, then a final rinse. The drying of hands should be carried out with paper towels, which can then be utilised in turning off the tap and exiting the toilet doors before being discarded.
Who needs CIEH Level 2 Food Safety?
The qualification is essential for those working in catering, restaurants, hotels, schools, care homes or in any role where there is a requirement to handle food.
Find out when our next monthly CIEH Level 2 Food Safety training day is or contact us to arrange a closed training for your staff.