40 possible ways your food can get contaminated- Part 1

Updated: Apr 21

There are many different ways the food can get contaminated.


(The article contains the first 18pointers. The next post is in continuation with this article)


Cross- Contamination is the transfer of harmful substances from:-

  1. Direct Contamination

  2. Indirect Contamination


Direct Contamination is the transfer of harmful substances from:-

  • Food to Food

  • Person to Food

  • Equipment to Food


Food to Food Contamination


1. Store raw and cooked separately.


Raw food like meat and chicken are always to be stored below as they drip to contaminate. The stored cooked has to be stored in a separate rack or a higher shelf away from raw food.


2. Keep Veg and Non-veg away from each other


Another example is to store the vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods separately. Non-veg food tends to spoil quicker as they contain more moisture and also contaminate other foods. Hence, suggested to store and use them independently.


Person to Food Contamination


3. When the staff involved directly with the food do not wash hands and not using the gloves when required.

4. When there is no practice of washing hands after coming in contact with raw to cooked, non-veg to veg, stained area to cooking area.

5. When the person has a cold, sneezes, and come in contact with the food.

6. When two people acknowledge each other and do not wash their hands before touching the ingredients. Most importantly, not washing their hands after using the toilet.

7. When the staff or person involved with preparation is sick, injured or involved in a habit of smoking.


Equipment to food contamination

8. When equipment is heavily rusted, and the ingredient comes in contact with the rusted parts while grinding, mixing, or any processing.

9. When the equipment is not food grade. The use of iron material can rust and corrode, which can directly affect the ingredients or the food. Use of wood for chopping boards can also contaminate. Use of copper materials is also not recommended.

10. When the equipment is not clean and sanitised thoroughly and frequently.

Indirect Contamination may directly not be involved with the food, but can slowly deteriorate the condition and the environment around the same.

11. Irregular deep cleaning of the surrounding. Once in three months, the electric appliances, corner of the walls and floor, coved corners, must be deep cleaned.

12. The switchboards, with whom we have the first point of contact, must be cleaned at least once in a week.

13. Irregular deep cleaning of the doors, doorknobs, glass, windows, window grills, mesh grills and other internal structures. Thorough deep cleaning of the internal structures must be done once in 15 days.

14. Irregular cleaning if the Exhaust fans and chimneys, and due to which there’s oil dripping, that may fall into the food during the process. Cleaning must be done once in 15 days to prevent from such dripping. From all the areas mentioned above, the dust particles quickly settle and sediment to fall into our food to cause massive food poisoning.

Wiping Cloth


Yes! Wiping cloth can also contaminate the food that we prepare and how?


15. Usage of the same cleaning cloth for both veg and non-veg preparation areas.

16. Use of unclean and old cleaning cloth or towel daily. Preferable to use fresh material daily in hotels, every batch needs a clean towel to avoid the stink and dirt spreading throughout the area.

17. Use of worn-out materials. Do not use any torn cloth torn and corners with loose threads. Need to ensure that the edges stitched correctly so that the loose thread does not physically contaminate.

18. Use of cloth with highly diluted chemical. When a highly concentrated chemical is added to the cloth and not thoroughly cleaned.


(To be continued in the next article..)


#Storage #Equipment #PersonalHygiene #Crosscontamination #Food #Handling #FoodSafety #Spoilage

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