Food hygiene has to do with the prevention of contamination of food stuffs. It is the condition and measures necessary to ensure the safety of food from production to consumption i.e. from the time the food is been produced and the time of consumption. It needs proper care and handling and well stored foodstuff, and drinks, utensils and equipment that are used in food preparation service and consumption can be contaminated with poison or pathogenic micro-organisms which might have originated from those materials. Food can be contaminated through many means during slaughtering, harvesting, processing, storage, distribution, transportation and preparation. Improper of food hygiene can lead to food borne diseases and the death of the consumer.
In some of the developing countries, the normal atmospheric temperature creates the room for micro-organisms which can cause food to spoil and lead to food poisoning. It is very essential to know how to prepare food safely and hygienically in the home.
Four (4) Important Elements for Food Hygiene
Food Contact Materials
They are things/packaging/materials that can be reasonable expected or seen to come into contact with food. These include:
Food processing Equipment
Things to do to keep food safe for Consumption.
The individual has to make sure that the food contact materials do not change the food
They have to make sure that the food contact materials do not transfer anything to the food they touch
The individual has to know the place where the food contact materials came from
Food poisoning is also called food borne illness, it is an illness caused by eating contaminated food. it is a disease of an infection or toxic nature caused by the consumption of food or drink. Food poisoning can occur when one swallow food or water that is been affected with bacteria, parasites, viruses, or the toxins made by these germs. The symptoms of food poisoning can include diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, chills, prostration and gastroenteritis etc. these occurs because the body has taken unwanted substance which is deposited in the food we eat. Food poisoning in the tropics occurs due to the following organisms e.g salmonella organisms, staphylococcus and clostridium organisms especially clostridium welchii (perfringens). And the most organisms causing food poisoning have a variable incubation periods e.g. salmonella organism has an incubation period of 12-24 hours, staphylococcus 1 – 6 hours, clostridium 1-6 hours, clostridium welchii 10-24. In clostridium welchii food poisoning, vomiting is not very common in it but in staphylococcus and salmonella there is presence of diarrhoea and vomiting.
There are other causes of food poisoning which include bacillus cereus, vibrio parahaemolytica and clostridium botulinum. It can also be caused by a variety of chemical (e.g. cassava-cyanide, mushroom alkaloid, etc.) when it is contaminated, it can be directly from the food materials use eat e.g. animal suffering from salmonellosis or other diseases, or vegetables that are contaminated with salmonella typhi or ova of helminths (it is called primary contamination) while the secondary contamination can arise from workers with respiratory infections or skin infection and diarrhoea or persons with bad habits and poor personal hygiene contaminating the food. Contamination can occur during the transportation. Transportation contamination or in the market or home there can also be a transmission through infectious diseases like typhoid and paratyphoid fever, shigellosis, streptococcal pharyngitis, brucellosis, infective hepatitis, amoebiasis, cholera, bovine tuberculosis, trichmosis and other helminthic infections.
Food poisoning is something that can affect a person or a group of people who ate the same food at a particular time. it is common after eating at picnics, school cafeterias, large social functions, fast food or restaurants.
This can happen in different ways via:
Food that is handled in an unsafe way during preparation in grocery stores, restaurants, or homes
Water that is used during growing or shipping can contain animal or human waste
Meat or poultry can come into contact with bacteria from the intestines of an animal that is being processed.
Food poisoning can occur after eating or drinking and come times if not handle proper it can cause abdominal problem which can lead to damaging of the testes.
Food that is been prepared by someone who does not wash his hands properly
Food containing mayonnaise (such as coleslano or potato salad) that has been in refrigerator for too long
Frozen or food that are not stored at the proper temperature or are not reheated to the right temperature.
Oysters or raw fish
Vegetables that have not been washed well
Undercooked meats or eggs
Water from a well stream, or city or town water that has not been treated.
Symptoms from the most common types of food poisoning will often start within 2-6hours of eating the food. That time may be longer or shorter, depending on the cause of the poisoning possible symptoms include: Abdominal cramps, headache and weakness (may be serious)
Control of Food Poisoning
It has to do with adoption of stringent food safety measures at source till the eating place.
Health educate the individual and food handlers on personal hygiene and handling of food
Prompt and thorough refrigeration of food, especially meat and dairy products to avoid multiplication of bacteria
Proper hand washing
Proper washing of fruits and vegetables
Medical examination of food handlers and temporary exclusion of diseases carriers and those suffering from diarrhoea and pyogenic skin, nail, eye and respiratory infections.
Provision of good sanitary facilitation, including potable water in food premises and eating houses
Pasteurization of milk
Discourage use of chemicals for meat preservation
Proper cleaning and maintenance of utensils and equipment used.