Handling food safely

Handling food safely

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after you've handled raw foods.
  • Large numbers of bacteria can be found in poultry, fish, meat and raw vegetables, so avoid cross-contamination by handling and storing these foods correctly and carefully.
  • Keep cooked and raw foods separate.
  • When preparing raw and cooked foods, use separate boards and knives and wash each thoroughly to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables that are going to be eaten raw under running water.
  • All food to be stored must be covered to ensure that it is protected from spills and insects.
  • Keep two tea towels handy - one for your hands and one for drying dishes.
  • Regularly wash tea towels and cloths - and replace when necessary.
  • Don't prepare food if you have diarrhoea or vomiting.

Food with a higher risk of contamination:

There are some foods that you need to take extra care with when you are preparing, handling and storing. These include:

  • Unpasteurised milk.
  • Soft serve ice cream
  • Pre-packed salads - this includes fruit salads
  • Pre-cooked chicken - this includes BBQ chicken and cold chopped chicken found in sandwiches and salads
  • Hamburgers and sausages that may be undercooked
  • Cold smallgoods - ham, salami, cabanossi, bologna, devon
  • Raw seafood - this includes sushi and sashimi
  • Smoked fish
  • Soft cheeses - this includes brie, camembert, feta, ricotta and cream cheese.
  • Sprouted seeds - this includes mung beans and alfalfa
  • Raw mushrooms
  • Dips that use crudités as the dippers - this include hummus and babaganoush
  • Takeaway food

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This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot New Zealand. Sources include The Children's Hospital, Westmead .

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