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10 IMPORTANCE OF FOOD HYGIENE

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Food Hygiene - Earthlydiets

Food hygiene is a very important practice to adhere to. More than 200 hundred diseases are spread through food, therefore there’s a need to enlighten people on at least 10 importance of food hygiene. In some of our markets where food materials are being sold is always a sorry sight of flies and some other creepy insects. One would begin to wonder if health is a priority to the vendors who sell these products.

Millions of people fall ill annually and die as a result of consuming unsafe food. It has been estimated that 1.5 million children are killed annually by diarrhea which is a food-borne disease.

10 IMPORTANCE OF FOOD HYGIENE

Before we talk about the 10 importance of food hygiene, let’s find out a few more facts about food hygiene and some necessary food hygiene practices.

FACTS ABOUT FOOD HYGIENE & SAFETY

  1. They cause long-term health problems: Health Problems from contaminated foods can result in long-term problems. Stomach pains, diarrhea, and vomiting are the most common symptoms of food-borne diseases. This most times can result in some complex health issues. Food contaminants such as heavy metals and naturally occurring toxins can also result in long-term health problems including cancer and some neurological disorders. 
  1. It affects the economy and society: Sometimes it looks like food hygiene doesn’t go beyond affecting our health, but it does. It has effects beyond the public health consequences. It affects the livelihood of food handlers and economic development as well. 
  1. Consumers must be informed and updated on food hygiene practices:  People should be informed properly about necessary food hygiene practices. They should also make wise food choices and adopt adequate behaviors. 

MORE FACTS ON HYGIENE & SAFETY

  •  Pregnant women, people with a low immune system and chronic illness, are more vulnerable to the risk of foodborne diseases
  •  Pathogens that cause food poisoning can also cause kidney failure and arthritis.
  •  Reheating spoilt foods does not kill the bacteria in them. 
  • More than 200 diseases can be spread through food.
  •  There are several opportunities for food contamination to occur.
  •  Everybody has a role to play in keeping food safe
  •  Food consumers must be informed and aware of proper food hygiene practices.
  • The best way to remove bacteria from food materials such as meat, is by washing and cooking. Washing alone does just a little.

Food hygiene practices 

  1. Thorough Cleaning

It is very necessary to ensure that the environment for food preparation is very neat and hygienic. Most times commercial food vendors fail to do well on this. Some of them prefer to sell food in front of a trench which is very unhygienic. Keeping your environment neat involves methodically cleaning and sanitizing the space for cooking, the utensils, and every other thing needed for food preparation. This should be done before cooking, in-between the cooking activity, and after the activity. Utensils such as knives, blenders, graters, and the like must be thoroughly washed to prevent them from hiding dirt and germs.

  1. Personal Hygiene of The Food handler

As the person preparing the food or handling any food item, your hygiene is as important as the hygiene of the food materials. You are expected to maintain a high standard of personal hygiene, especially in the course of the activity. Ensure you keep to the following practices: 

  • Pack and tie your hair to make sure none falls into the food. Preferably, cover your hair with a kitchen hat, hair net or 
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water before, in-between, and after the meal preparation. This prevents any transfer of germs to the food.
  • Put on neat clothes while cooking, to avoid transferring germs.
  • Put on gloves for the hand if you will need to handle food with your bare hands
  • Avoid putting on jewelry like rings to prevent the hiding of germs.
  • Keep the nails trimmed, and avoid using nail polish
  • Avoid using aprons for cleaning hands

Other Proper Food Hygiene Practices 

  • Foods that need to be stored cold should be kept in the refrigerator.
  • Raw foods should be separated from already made foods. Most raw foods contain bacteria, and for this reason, they need to be cooked. Even when stored in the refrigerator, they must be kept in different compartments to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Dry foods should be kept separate from liquids.
  • Foods should be cooked to the appropriate temperature required.
  • Insects and pests should be kept away from food areas
  • Kitchen towels, sponges, and clothes should be kept clean and changed regularly.

Having said all these, we’ll consider the benefits and importance of keeping to these food hygiene practices.

10 Importance of Food Hygiene

  1. It helps In the management of our daily health: Good food hygiene practices reduce the risk to our daily health. Being more informed and exposed to food hygiene benefits our health a lot. It increases longevity and reduces the money spent on medical bills.
  1. It prevents food contamination: Sickness easily comes from foods that are not prepared by observing good hygiene practices. Diseases like escherichia coli can be caused by beef contamination with feces during slaughter. Therefore failure to wash the beef properly before cooking will cause this disease due to contamination. 
  1. It prevents diseases and death: Food contamination from bacteria, viruses, or other parasitic agents can result in gastroenteritis, dehydration, and some other critical health problems like kidney failure and death. Nobody’s life should be at risk because he ate food, rather life should be safer and healthier because of what we eat.  
  1. Reduces The Risk Of Infections: Infectious microbes live in and on the human body and can be transferred to the food we eat during meal preparation. Maintaining a personal hygiene standard during meal preparation helps to reduce the risk of infection.
  1. Good food hygiene practice can enhance productivity at work. When this practice is safe, the guarantee of eating healthy food is high. This can affect one’s body fitness in the place of work.
  1. Proper food hygiene practice keeps our entire home free from insects and rodents. Apart from the toilet, the kitchen is seen as a breeding place for insects due to the likely harboring of dirt. 
  1. Greater percentage of food poisoning cases will likely be avoided if people wash their hands regularly when handling food.
  1. For commercial purposes, proper food hygiene practice is very important. It goes a long way to protect the health of public consumers and they develop confidence in your products and services. When this happens, you retain your customer base. which helps the sustainability of your business. Converting new customers becomes easy as well.
  1. Food hygiene is also important because there is no specific way of telling if food is contaminated. The aroma, taste, and sight of contaminated food appear the same most times. Hence the only secure way to ensure the safety of the food is through the proper practice of food hygiene.
  2. Reducing foodborne diseases by 1% will keep the lives of about 500,000 Americans free from sickness in a year

 Conclusion

Good food hygiene is a very important practice that must be observed to guarantee safe foods for consumption. In the absence of such healthy practices, harmful germs will spread easily during meal preparation, and cause food poisoning when the food is consumed. Therefore it is part of our responsibility to keep the food we eat very clean and safe both in the course of preparation and afterward.

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