December is Worldwide Food Service Safety Month. Started is 1994, the goal of this annual observation is to keep food safe as is prepared in the service industry and also remind people in general about the importance of following best practices to ensure food safety. As December is the time for festive eating, it is the ideal time to remind people about keeping food safe.
Preparing food safely and consuming safely prepared food is crucial:
- It is reported that more than 200 diseases are spread through food alone.
- Every year, one in ten people fall sick from diseases spread through contaminated food, and every year 420,000 people are killed from these illnesses, according to nationaldaycalendar.com.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), foodborne diseases may lead to long-lasting disability and death; even if it doesn’t kill you, a foodborne disease can cause health problems like diarrhea, or debilitating infections, including meningitis. Chemical contamination can lead to acute poisoning or long-term diseases like cancer.
Companies that make food for hungry customers are subject to some rigorous tests and trials to make sure that they follow specific hygiene standards needed when they create any dishes for sale. The food service industry is a huge-business. All food service establishments, large or small, should have a hygiene certificate and ensure that they maintain high standards of cleanliness level. Food prepared in any kind of environment must follow the high food safety standards demanded by the foodservice industry.
Here are some basic measures that can protect you and your family safe from food poisoning:
- Wash your hands well with soap water before and after handling food.
- If you have an injury on your hands, or fingers, or wrist, cover it with a bandage before handling food.
- Don’t prepare food when you are sick.
- Wash fruits and vegetables with clean, warm water before use.
- Keep cooked foods and raw foods separate to avoid harmful bacteria cross-contamination.
- Cooking equipment should be cleaned and sanitized before and after use.
- Wash your dishcloths and kitchen towels regularly.
- Do not undercook the meat. To get it right, use a thermometer. It is important to cook meat to a certain temperature to prevent risk of any bacteria surviving on the food that can make you ill.
- Refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours and thaw frozen food safely.
It’s also important to avoid eating food with unwashed dirty hands. Always keep hand sanitizer with you to clean your hands before grabbing a bite.
Worldwide Food Service Safety Month sends an important message to governments, producers, food service industries, and consumers – food safety is a top priority and everyone has a role in keeping food safe.