Bacteria spread quickly and keeping food separate and covered reduces the risk of bacterial cross-contamination.

If you have taken the trouble to prepare food hygienically, don’t let germs contaminate it from other raw foods, soiled kitchen equipment, or people, pets and pests. Here are some simple ways of keeping foods separate:

  • Always store food in containers or wrap it up well in foil or cling film -whether in the cupboard, the fridge or the freezer.
  • In the fridge, place cooked foods above raw foods and make sure that raw meat, poultry and fish are at the bottom, covered – and in a container to catch any drips.
  • When preparing food, keep raw and cooked ingredients separate. Use separate chopping boards and utensils for raw meat and wash them carefully with hot, soapy water immediately after use.
  • If you have cuts or abrasions on your hands, cover them with waterproof dressing before you start work in the kitchen.
  • Keep food and drink covered so that your pets or insects, birds and vermin cannot contaminate it. Throw away food which animals or insects have touched, and thoroughly clean any suspect surfaces. Ask your milkman to cover bottle tops to prevent birds pecking through them and contaminating the milk.

Wipe the tops of cans of food or drinks before opening them. Keep your kitchen rubbish bins covered and empty them frequently. Clean the bin with a suitable detergent and disinfectant – and then wash your hands.

This article was supplied by the Food and Drink Federation ( Tel: 020 7836 2460) via Advanced Food Safety Limited, international food safety consultants & trainers. ( Tel: 01257 255910)