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Food Hygiene; the Eight Principles of “From Farm To Fork”

Food hygiene can be compromised at eight different stages in its supply and preparation. These stages start on the farm and end on the fork.

At every stage fantastic care must be taken to ensure that the end product will be safe to eat. Let’s define all eight stages.

The eight stages are:

FROM FARM TO FORK!

1) The farm- Animals, and crops must be handled and cared for humanely & professionally by trained professionals and with proper supervision by qualified Vets.

2) Transprtation of raw materials- animals and crops must be transported in a way which complies with state legislation and ethical codes.

3) Processing plants.- this stage includes slaughter houses, packing stations and factories. All of these sites should be authorised by appropriate regulatory bodies, have a valid manufacturers license, issues to state and national specifications, and comply with GMP, ISO 9002 and HACCP’s standards. All authentic, safe products should have the name address and telephone number of the processor or manufacturer clearly printed on the packing.

GMP=Excellent manufacturing procedures

HACCP=Hazard anaylsis and critical control points

Iso=International standards organization

4)Food Distribution networks.- Distribution of food must be done according to National, state and city regulations. Likewise deliverymen must be clean and well presented. Transport containers must be clean inside and out and be designed specifically to transport the type of food in them, EG. Frozen, chilled.

5) Food Delivery and food storage- food should de dilivered in excellent condition with undamaged packaging. It should be stored in suitable conditions for that type of food & in a way that prevents cross contamination with other food souces. This includes food storage in the home of the consumer.

6) Preparation of food before cooking.- Food should be prepared along clean guidelines. Meat should be thawed in refridgerated conditions and kept separate from vegetables, dairy products, eggs etc. by keeping the meat in a closed container during the defrosting process. Fresh vegitables should be cut on a separate clean cutting board and knives should be thoroughly washed before being used to cut other foodstuffs. In Professional kitchens there should be separate work stations for unclean vegetables, raw meat, dairy confectionaries and salads.

7) Cooking, roasting, baking.- Cooking the food will kill most bacteria but keep in mind that some bacteria and teit toxins survive high temperatures so it is most vital remember to keep food hot until eaten or Alternatively chill in small containers and freeze as quickly as possible. Bacteria stop to be active at temperatures of less than 4 degrees centigrade.

8) Serving.- Serving food is often the stage when most people let down their guard. Food should be served at a temperature of above 70 degrees centigrade or at a temperature of 5 gegrees centigrade or less for cold foods. Serving dishes, pates and cutlery should be spotlessly clean after being washed thoroughly at a temperature of above 70 degrees centigrade.

By checking all these stages as thoroughly as possible you can cut your risk of getting food poisoning considerably.

I’m Andy Routledge, the writer of this article. I hope you like it and that you find use for it. I grew up in the food industry. I worked as a chef and Industrial development technician for about thirty years. Food hygiene is at the crux of the food industry and all those working in the food industry or even cooking for the family at home shoud be familiar with the basic principles of food hygiene and safe food preparation. This is not only so you do not make potentially fatal mistakes but also so be able to protect yourself from rogue merchants who are a danger to public health. Now I do a lot of article and copy writing for the food industry so if you want to discuss how I could help you in any way please feel free to contact me at andrew@



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