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Cross-contamination is when bacteria are spread between food, surfaces or equipment. It is most likely to happen when raw food touches (or drips onto) other foodstuffs or surfaces where other foodstuffs are prepared. Cross-contamination is one of the most common causes of food poisoning.  

Clean and disinfect work surfaces, chopping boards and equipment thoroughly before you start preparing food and after you have used them to prepare raw food. You could pass on chemicals into food and contaminate it if correct care is not taken.

Use different equipment (including chopping boards and knives) for raw meat/poultry and ready-to-eat food unless they can be heat disinfected in, for example, a commercial dishwasher.

Wash your hands before preparing food.

Wash your hands thoroughly after touching raw food.

Keep raw and ready-to-eat food apart at all times, including packaging material for ready-to-eat food.

Store raw food below ready-to-eat food in the fridge. If possible, use separate fridges for raw and ready-to-eat food.

Provide separate working areas, storage facilities, clothing and staff for the handling of ready-to-eat food.

Have effective workflow systems to better manage food preparation.

Have adequate refrigeration and storage to keep food safe and at the right temperature.

Ensure that rubbish is kept clean and tidy and that it is emptied regularly to avoid a build-up or overflowing rubbish.

Use separate machinery and equipment, such as vacuum packing machines, slicers and mincers, for raw and ready-to-eat food.

Separate cleaning materials, including cloths, sponges and mops, should be used in areas where ready-to-eat foods are stored, handled and prepared.

Provide adequate staff facilities and cleaning so they can keep themselves clean, store clothing safely and wash during the day and after using the toilet.

Make sure that all staff know how to avoid cross-contamination.

Always clean as you go and think about possible cross-contamination risks where you work.