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Food Handling

Food Handling


Safe consumption of food is dependent on both personal hygiene and food preparation. Improper handling of food can lead to cross-contamination of bacteria and food borne illness such as food poisoning.



Personal hygiene
Maintaining good personal hygiene is essential to ensure that food does not become contaminated with bacteria or foreign objects. Always make sure to:


Wash hands thoroughly:

  • Before food preparation and handling,
  • After using the bathroom, coughing, sneezing or touching hair, and
  • After smoking, chewing gum or eating.


Ensure personal cleanliness by:

  • Keep long hair tied back and away from your face,
  • Remove jewellery in contact with food such as rings or bracelets, and
  • Wear protective clothing such as an apron.


Be aware of any illness or injury by:

  • Covering any wounds with a bright bandage,
  • Using disposable gloves if the wound is on the hand, and
  • If the food handler is suffering from a transmissible illness they should not handle food.


Food preparation
Many foods contain bacteria that can cause illness such as food poisoning if it is not handled correctly. It is important that food is cooled and reheated safely to ensure bacteria can not spread or multiply. If food is being reheated, it should be heated to above 60?C. If you want to defrost an item that has been frozen, it is safer to do so in the refrigerator rather than the bench.


Potentially hazardous food sources include:

  • Products containing cooked meat or smallgoods such as lasagne, curries or pizza,
  • Dairy products such as cream or milk as well as sauces containing dairy,
  • Seafood products such as fish cakes,
  • Cooked rice and pasta, and
  • Products containing eggs, beans, lentils or other protein sources.


Food storage
Make sure that food is stored safely to reduce the risk of illness. Ensure that:

  • Foods are covered at all times,
  • Separate cutting boards and knives are used for raw and cooked food items to reduce the risk of cross-contamination,
  • Your kitchen is kept clean and sanitized, and
  • Your fridge is kept below 5?C and freezer is kept below -15oC.


The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.



Dept of Education


Food Standards Australia


Dept of Health WA



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