Some bacteria are not infectious on their own, but when they multiply in potentially hazardous food, they eject toxins that poison humans when the food is eaten.
Food handling practices are risky when they allow harmful bacteria to contaminate and grow in food. If you touch a potentially hazardous food during preparation, you may transfer several thousand bacteria to its surface.
Under the right conditions, bacteria can double every 10 to 30 minutes. A single bacterium will double with each division—two become four, four become eight, and so on. A single cell can become billions in 10 to 12 hours.
THE DANGER ZONE
Bacteria can live in hotter and colder temperatures than humans, but they do best in a warm, moist, protein-rich environment that is pH neutral or low acid. There are exceptions—some bacteria thrive in extreme heat or cold. Some can survive under highly acidic or extremely salty conditions. Bacteria grow fastest in the temperature range between 40° and 140°F, which is known as
Bacteria like Staphylococci are found on hair, skin, mouth, nose and throat. According to one estimation, nearly 50 percent of healthy food handlers carry disease agents that can be transmitted by food
The most important tool you have to prevent foodborne illness is good personal hygiene. Personal hygiene is the way a person maintains their health, appearance and cleanliness. Not only can you become the victim of illness, but you can also be the carrier! A cough or sneeze can transmit thousands of microorganisms that may cause disease.
A cough or sneeze can transmit thousands of microorganisms
that may cause disease
Your hands can be the most potentially dangerous serving equipment you use. Scratching your scalp, running your fingers through your hair, or touching a pimple can cause the transmission of pathogenic microorganisms in a food service setting.
Use a different board for cutting other foods such as produce and bread. This will prevent bacteria from a meat or poultry product from contaminating another food.
Keep your cutting boards clean, sanitary, and ready for use
When used as part of the color-coded system, white boards can be used for (Bakery & dairy products)
Even plastic boards wear out over time. Once cutting boards become excessively worn or develop hard-to-clean grooves, they should be discarded.
Which is better, wooden or plastic cutting board? Recent research has confirmed the conventional belief that plastic is safer than wood for cutting meat and poultry.
One study reported that new wooden boards had ant microbial qualities while plastic cutting boards trapped bacteria. However, more recent studies by the Food and Drug Administration found that microorganisms became trapped in wood surfaces and were difficult to dislodge by rinsing. Once trapped, bacteria survive in a dormant stage for long periods of time. The next time the cutting board is used, these bacteria could contaminate other foods, potentially causing food-borne illness. On the other hand, the study found that microorganisms were easily washed off plastic surfaces.
Current cutting board recommendations are:
Keep all cutting boards clean by washing with hot soapy water and a brush after each use. Then rinse and air dry or pat dry with paper towels. Non-porous acrylic, plastic, glass, and solid wood boards can be washed in an automatic dishwasher.
Sanitize both wood and plastic cutting boards with a diluted chlorine bleach or vinegar solution consisting of one teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach in one quart of water or a one to five dilution of vinegar. Flood the surface with a sanitizing solution and allow it to stand for several minutes, then rinse and air dry or pat dry with paper towels.
Discard excessively worn cutting boards.
Use a separate cutting board and knives for raw foods that require cooking. For example, use one for meat, poultry, or fish, and another for cooked or ready-to-eat foods such as salad, vegetables, and breads.