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Quality and safety





   Protect the quality and safety of your food

Germs in the environment and on food can easily multiply and contaminate foods. Eating contaminated food can lead to serious illness. To reduce the risk of food poisoning it is important to follow the basic rules of good hygiene at all times when handling and storing foods.

The World Health Organisation has produced a publication called “The five keys of food safety” (see reference below); this provides detail on messages to promote a safe food supply. A summary of the points is given below.

Keep clean
Wash your hands before handling food and often during food preparation.
Wash your hands after going to the toilet.
Wash and disinfect all surfaces and equipment used for food preparation.

Separate raw and cooked food
Separate raw meat, chicken and fish from other foods.
Use separate equipment and utensils, e.g. knives or cutting boards for handling raw foods.

Cook thoroughly
Cook food thoroughly (especially chicken, fish, meat and eggs), to kill bacteria.  
Bring foods like soup and stew to the boil to ensure they have reached 70 °C. For meat and chicken, make sure that juices are clear, not pink.
Reheat previously cooked food thoroughly.

Keep food at safe temperatures
Do not leave cooked food at room temperature for more than two hours.
Refrigerate all cooked and perishable food promptly.
Keep cooked food hot before serving.
Do not store food too long, even if in the refrigerator.
Do not thaw frozen food at room temperature.

Use safe water and raw materials
Use safe water or treat it to make it safe.
Select fresh and wholesome foods.
Choose foods processed for safety, e.g. pasteurised milk.
Wash vegetables and fruit, especially if eaten raw.