Food Hygene

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Did you know, food poisoning has increased dramatically in the last ten years? This makes it much more important for vigilance by food businesses. Since 1965 the cases of food-borne illness has increased from 20,000 to just short of 100,000 now. There has been no single reason identified to why this number has increased, but this could be because of: Changes in eating habits, a greater reliance on re-heated food. Eating out is much more popular now, so more people are aware of food hygiene, therefore more cases are reported Contamination at source, reduction in preservatives, increased travel abroad, increased shelf-life expectancy, changes in shopping and eating habits Everyone of us has to eat and drink to stay alive. That is why it is so important that our food does not harm us in any way. All of us who work in the food industry have special responsibilities for safeguarding the health of our customers. Staff must ensure the food they are involved with does not cause illness, injury or any other problems. There are many laws regulating the food industry. They control the production and sale of food. However this course will deal with the basic principles of good food hygiene.Food safety involves ensuring that any food prepared by you or your establishment does not harm the health of consumers in any way. Food handlers have a legal obligation to keep food safe to eat. High standards in food hygiene bring important benefits to everyone; customers, employees and business proprietors. On the other hand there are very high costs for poor food hygiene, including pain and suffering for individuals, also the loss of revenue and reputation of the business. Actions which can be taken by the environmental health officers: initiating prosecutions, prohibitions, improvements, condemnation and seizure of food. Hygiene offences: max £5,000 per offence and/or 6 months imprisonment Food Safety offences: £20,000 per offence and/or 6 months imprisonment Crown Court: unlimited fines and/or max 2 years imprisonment.

Food poisoning is an illness caused by the consumption of food containing poisonous microorganisms or substances. Let’s just look at the symptoms:
Abdominal pain
Diarrhoea
Vomiting
Nausea
There are two types of illness derived from food:
Food poisoning caused by eating food that is contaminated by harmful substances or by harmful bacteria living on the food. Food-borne disease is caused by consuming food or water carrying harmful microorganisms. Food poisoning

There are thousands of bacteria all around us that do no harm at all, but some, known as pathogenic bacteria are harmful and can cause illness. Such bacteria include Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium perfringens. Food poisoning is mainly caused by eating large numbers of pathogenic bacteria that are living on food. Other causes are:

Viruses, microorganisms living on and in people, animals and other organisms Moulds, micro-organisms which produce toxins on food such as nuts, poisonous plants and fish Also red kidney beans, rhubarb leaves, some fungi such as toadstools and fish that has been poorly processed Chemicals and metals substances absorbed into food from unsuitable metal containers or from cleaning chemicals, industrial chemicals, and agricultural chemicals used carelessly. Food-borne disease

Some illnesses are passed on to humans by micro-organisms that are carried by food or water. Many pathogenic micro-organisms are transported by water. Campylobacter enteritis is a food-borne disease (symptoms: diarrhoea). There are other food-borne diseases which include Escherichia coli 0157 [ E.coli ] typhoid, dysentery and a type of hepatitis. Also tuberculosis from untreated milk. Only just a few of these micro-organisms are required to infect you with a food-borne disease. Incubation period can be days, weeks or months and the illness can last for one or two days, or continuing, for years as the infection can invade the...
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