Food Hygiene Print

Food hygiene is essential to health and is indicated in the teachings of Allah’s Messenger (Allah’s salutations and peace be upon him) who said, “The blessings of food lies in washing [the hands] before and washing after.” [Tirmizi]. Care should be taken in the various stages of the consumer food chain to prevent food poisoning, which can be severe.

Check that eggs are unbroken and fruit skins are not bruised. Egg shells may also have dirt and even faeces which should be cleaned before use. Avoid damaged packaging and rusted and dented tins. Refrigerate frozen and chilled foods as soon as possible. Arrange purchases in the basket so as to prevent liquids dripping from raw meat onto other foods. Do not leave chilled food or raw meat in the boot of a warm car.

Be alert to poor shop hygiene, e.g. overloaded freezers and raw and cooked meat stored alongside. Pick up chilled and frozen foods last to reduce time that they warm up, and keep such items together as this will allow them to stay colder for longer.

After shopping, pack your goods as soon as possible, separating raw and cooked food. Wrap or cover them to avoid cross-contamination. Keep packets and tinned goods in a clean cool dry place. Pack items according to date so that the oldest is used first.

Deprive bacteria of the food, warmth and moisture needed to increase. Keep the kitchen dry and clean. Disinfect worktops regularly, especially after dealing with raw meat. Rinse dishcloths in diluted bleach and air them out after use. Keep food covered and do not leave scraps lying around. Wipe spillages. This will prevent insects spreading disease.

Food Preparation
Always wash your hands in hot, soapy water before touching food. Wear rubber gloves if you have cuts or infections. Frozen food should be thoroughly defrosted, preferably in the refrigerator. Liquid from thawing meat should not mix with other food. Wash meat just before you need it. Early washing facilitates bacteria growth in the moisture. Carefully wash away any soil from vegetables as it may contain listeria. Plastic boards are more hygienic for chopping than wooden boards. A separate board for meat is preferable. Do not use the same knife for raw and cooked foods without washing it between uses.

Cook chicken thoroughly until the juices run clear, to kill of salmonella. Preheating the oven helps it reach a temperature high enough to kill bacteria. Rice can contain bacillus cereus and should be eaten soon after cooking. If it is to be eaten cold, keep the rice cool in the refrigerator.
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