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Cross Contamination in Pharmaceuticals

One of the common ways of increasing food shelf life and keeping it fresh is by refrigerating. Most people store different kinds of foods in their refrigerators and thus it is important that you know the manner in which to store your food to avoid contamination. Cross contamination can spoil your food and cause you infection and disease as it involves the movement of bacteria from raw food and unclean utensils to the food that you are ready to eat.

Cross contamination can happen when

· Your hands are not clean.

· Your kitchen equipment for example knives and mixers are not. Cleaned between a set

· Insects and rodents contaminate your food

· You store your food without lids.

Cross-Contamination takes place in two ways, and these are

1. When preparing food:

Your hands, utensils, and equipment, for example, cutting boards may be contaminated with bacteria. If you use them in preparing ready to eat food without washing them thoroughly, your food may become cross-contaminated. Thus the bacteria that will be present in your cooked material will be consumed and hence cause you food poisoning.

2. When storing food:

Bacteria from raw food can contaminate your cooked food if you do not store them separately. When storing them in a refrigerator, you should ensure the raw food is stored to the lowest part of the fridge and the cooked material is stored in the upper part of the same refrigerator. This will prevent liquids from the raw food from dripping on your prepared food. Additionally, you should ensure that you’ve stored your food in a clean, washable and non-toxic container.

Prevention of cross-contamination:

Food equipment:

To prevent cross contamination from happening in your food, you’ll need to separate your kitchen equipment and utensils from the cooked and raw material. Here you’ll need to clean your kitchen equipment and utensils, and also prepare benches and sinks between batches. Air dry your dishes instead of using a towel which may have been contaminated. You should also dispose of cracked or chipped crockery.

Food handling:

You need to follow good personal hygiene and have personal habits that are good. This can be achieved by always washing your hands with soap and water or change your gloves after carrying out different tasks.

Food equipment:

You should not use your knife and cutting board to cut up the raw meat and later use it on your cooked material. Also, never forget cleaning and sanitize your benches and your utensils properly. You should also not use the tea towel for other chores in the kitchen, e.g., wiping your hands or covering your food with it.

You should not handle raw meat and then carry out other chores like handling the cooked food material or fruits without washing your hands or changing the gloves. Furthermore, should never place your raw meat on the top shelf of your refrigerator from where blood may drip down to the cooked material stored on the lower shelf.

Conclusion:

Cross-contamination is a serious problem in food handling and is something everyone needs to be very careful as the contaminated foods are eaten they may cause infection and diseases.

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