Cross contamination is a fancy name for bacteria on one thing getting onto another thing through direct contact. In the cooking arts, among the things normally has the tendency to be a knife or a cutting board, and the other thing is food.
And it’s not simply bacteria. It might be a virus or a toxin of some kind, or perhaps a cleansing product. However whatever it is, if it enters into contact with somebody’s food, it’s cross contamination.
If they eat the food and it makes them ill, we call it food poisoning.
Where Does Cross Contamination Occur?
Cross contamination can take place on a large scale, due to the fact that of equipment at processing centers not being cleaned properly, for example, or any of the other numerous and sundry ways your food can be mishandled as it makes its way to you.
That is why from time to time all of us check out break outs of food poisoning, item recalls, dining establishment closures and so forth. And unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to safeguard yourself at that level, aside from tracking the news and using good sense in choosing where to eat in restaurants.
As a home cook, though, there are many actions you can take and habits you can develop, to assist reduce the probability of cross-contamination in your kitchen.
Avoiding Cross Contamination on Knives and Cutting Boards
In almost all cases, cross contamination is going to be caused either by your kitchen area knife, your cutting board, or your hands.
Once it’s on your hands, it’s on everything else also!
Those two products actually are the major offenders, because everything touches your cutting board, specifically if you’re intending on sufficing, which is where the knife can be found in. Cutting up food on cutting boards is, after all, a big part of cooking.
Because unsafe bacteria are killed by high heat, the risk of cross contamination is greatest with food that does not need to be cooked.
That’s why break outs of salmonella poisoning are significantly found to be linked to foods like sprouts and bagged salads, foods you might think of as harmless or “safe” however are dangerous because they usually aren’t cooked.
Eventually that indicates that avoiding cross contamination requires building habits such as frequent cleaning of hands, utensils, cutting boards and work surface areas. For instance, if you prep a raw chicken on a cutting board, don’t use the same cutting board later on to slice tomatoes for the salad. A minimum of not without cleaning it first. And the same chooses your knife.
It chooses your food, too! Even if that bagged salad states it’s been washed 3 times, clean it again anyhow. Same with sprouts. It can’t hurt to wash vegetables even if you’re preparing to peel them anyway, like carrots. It is an extra step, however when it comes to avoiding cross contamination, you are much better safe than sorry.
Preventing Cross Contamination
You might be questioning how you can avoid cross contamination.
- Wash hands before managing food.
- Keep raw meat and veggies away from cooked food.
- Keep prepared meat above raw meat in the refrigerator.
- Tidy and sanitise all equipment and benches.
- Shop food appropriately.
- Keep food covered and protected.
- Wear clean clothes.
- Use food managing gloves for dealing with money.
- Chop raw and cooked meat on the same chopping board.
- Handle raw food then cooked food without cleaning your hands.
- Shop food revealed in the refrigerator or cool room.
Cross contamination occurs when harmful bacteria or irritants spread to food from other food, surface areas, hands or equipment. It can take place if equipment used for raw cooking is then used for prepared or ready-to-eat food.
Food poisoning can take place when bacteria in raw food (such as meat juice) contacts prepared or ready-to-eat food and the bacteria then have the possibility to grow.
Good luck! Have a nice weekend!