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Do food handlers have a handle on your business? Risks of the food industry

Do food handlers have a handle on your business? Risks of the food industry

Food safety hazards can adversely affect the food we eat. They can cause harm, such as foodborne illnesses, injuries and allergic reactions. Did you know that food handlers are potentially the most serious hazard in a food business? 

4 Types of contaminants

Working in the food industry, it is very important that you are always aware of any hazards that may contaminate food. Four types of contaminants pose a safety risk to food and the people consuming it. These are chemical, physical, biological and allergenic.

Chemical contamination

This is when chemicals end up in or on food, such as pesticides or cleaning products. It can cause severe illness and can even be fatal.

You can avoid chemical hazards by thoroughly washing fruit and vegetables to get rid of the pesticides, storing products correctly, not using cleaning products around food and not touching pest bait boxes. These food hazards can pose a significant threat to your business and are something businesses should be taking seriously to protect themselves and their customers.

Physical contamination

Physical contamination is caused when objects end up in food, such as animal bones and feathers, insects, dust, wood splinters, bits of glass, plastic bag ties, or things that were once attached to the food handler - such as hair, plasters or jewellery.

You can prevent it by keeping work surfaces clean and tidy, ensuring the equipment you use isn't broken or loose, removing jewellery, emptying your pockets before you start work and not wearing loose clothing or skin-coloured plasters.

Biological contamination

Natural poisons in the food, bacteria, viruses and mould cause biological contamination. It can be due to the natural decay of food, incorrect storage, or if a food handler contaminates the food because they are ill. Bacteria are the most common cause of food poisoning.

You can avoid these biological hazards by keeping your workplace clean and tidy, washing your hands regularly, wearing protective clothing, handling raw food with special care, and keeping it separate from other food. It's also critical to remember that what is harmless to one person can be a contaminant to another.

Temperature control should also be managed in this area as one of your critical control points. As food can go off over time, it is best to prevent food going past it’s use by date by storing it correctly.

Allergenic contamination

Allergenic contamination is when anyone with food intolerances or allergies has a reaction to seemingly harmless food. The reaction can be mild, moderate or severe, depending on the circumstances.

And it's important to remember that food contamination doesn't just occur during preparation or cooking - it can occur anytime from "farm to fork".

That's why it's vital to design a food safety management system that ensures food is safe at all stages to avoid any issues with allergenic hazards.

How can we help you gain a food hygiene certificate?

We offer a wide range of Food Hygiene Courses that can help you gain your food hygiene certificates quickly and cost-effectively whilst also helping you and your business work towards compliance with UK legislation.

Some of the courses in this bundle include:

Looking for a Food Safety & Hygiene course? Why not claim a free, no-obligation trial to any of these courses today? Alternatively, you can request a bespoke quote for your organisation, and a member of our care team will be in touch.

Don’t forget to take a look at our range of courses for businesses which include our health & safety courses and first aid training courses. All of which are perfect for keeping your business compliant whilst upskilling employees.

Online Food Safety & Hygiene Training courses