In a nutshell: When preparing food, the key points of "Keep Clean" and "Separate" under the "Five Keys to Food Safety" should be considered to reduce the chance of cross-contamination of food. This article also provides tips for handling fruits and vegetables, shellfish and bivalves.
- Wash hands before handling food, before eating and often during food preparation. After touching raw meat or poultry and before touching ready-to-eat food, wash hands under running water again.
- When washing, rub hands with liquid soup for at least 20 seconds, then rinse under running water.
- After rinsing, dry with a clean paper towel.
- Liquid soap and water work more effectively than hand sanitisers for removing dirt, grease and certain microorganisms that cause food poisoning (e.g. norovirus,) on hands.
- If handwashing is not possible (e.g. when having a picnic) and hands are not visibly dirty, hand sanitisers or disinfectant wet wipes can be used to clean hands before handling food.
- For details of hand hygiene, please click here.
Utensils and work surfaces after each use:
- Scrape food debris into a rubbish bin.
- Wash with warm water and detergent, using a clean wiping cloth, brush or sponge to remove food debris and grease.
- Washing surfaces above 70°C for a period of time can kill bacteria, but it can also burn your hands. The foam produced from warm water and detergent together with scrubbing can remove microorganisms from surfaces.
- After scrubbing, rinse with clean hot water for disinfection.
- Leave utensils to air dry, or wipe with a clean dry cloth.
- Wash or replace wiping cloths, brushes, sponges and insulating gloves regularly.
Keep the kitchen clean and away from insects, rodents and other animals (e.g. pets):
- Keep food covered or in a sealed container.
- Keep rubbish bins covered and remove rubbish regularly.
- Keep the kitchen in good condition, e.g. repairing wall cracks or holes.
- Take care not to contaminate food while using baits or insecticides to kill insects or rodents.
- Use different utensils to handle raw and cooked or ready-to-eat food separately.
- Use different utensils to taste and mix food.
- When washing raw meat and poultry, the bacteria in splashes can contaminate nearby surfaces, utensils or food. If washing is necessary, thorough cleaning of the sink and its surrounding areas is very important to prevent cross-contamination.
Proper Handling of Vegetables
- Wash vegetables thoroughly under running water.
- When appropriate, scrub produces with hard surfaces with a clean brush to remove dirt and other substances from the surface and the crevices.
- Use of soap, special detergents or produce washes is not recommended for cleaning vegetables and fruits.
- Wash fruits under running water and rub the skin.
Proper preparation of shellfishes and bivalves
- Scrub and wash with water to remove dirt from the outer shell.
- Soak in water for half a day to reduce sand and microorganisms.
- Remove the intestines to minimise hazards of microorganisms, heavy metals and shellfish poisoning toxins, etc.