Care Certificate

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Preventing cross-contamination

Video 73 of 250
2 min 23 sec
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Preventing Cross-Contamination in Food Handling

Understanding Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination occurs when bacteria or allergens spread between food, surfaces, or equipment. It often happens when raw food comes into contact with other food or surfaces used for food preparation, leading to food poisoning.

Preventive Measures

To prevent cross-contamination:

  • Clean and Disinfect: Thoroughly clean and disinfect work surfaces, chopping boards, and equipment before and after using them to prepare raw foods to avoid passing on bacteria or chemicals.
  • Use Separate Equipment: Use separate equipment, such as chopping boards and knives, for raw meat, poultry, and ready-to-eat foods, unless heat-disinfected in a commercial dishwasher.
  • Hand Hygiene: Wash hands before and after handling raw food to prevent contamination, and keep raw and ready-to-eat foods apart at all times.
  • Storage: Store raw food below ready-to-eat food in the fridge and consider using separate fridges for raw and ready-to-eat food.

Additional Preventive Measures

Further steps to prevent cross-contamination include:

  • Separate Working Areas: Provide separate working areas, storage facilities, clothing, and staff for handling ready-to-eat food.
  • Effective Workflow: Implement an effective workflow system to manage food preparation efficiently.
  • Refrigeration: Ensure adequate refrigeration and storage to maintain food safety at the correct temperature.
  • Cleanliness: Keep rubbish clean and tidy, emptying it regularly to prevent buildup or overflowing.
  • Separate Equipment and Cleaning Materials: Use separate machinery, equipment, and cleaning materials for raw and ready-to-eat food areas.
  • Staff Facilities: Provide adequate facilities for staff to maintain personal hygiene throughout the day.

Staff Training

Ensure all staff are trained to avoid cross-contamination and promote cleanliness.


Always maintain cleanliness and be vigilant about potential cross-contamination risks in any food handling environment.