Food Safety Fundamentals

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Prevention is key.

  • Proper handwashing. (Every time the hands become contaminated, changing gloves, touching meats) 
  • Only healthy food handlers are working. If you’re sick, stay home!
  • Proper food storage/handling (Packaging, Containers, fridge)
  • Proper cooking temperature.
  • Maintaining hot and cold temperatures. (By keeping foods outside the danger zone 5 degrees c – 55 degrees c)

Five major mistakes:

  1. No handwashing.
  2. An employee is working while sick.
  3. Cross-contamination.
  4. Wrong cooking temperatures. 
  5. Improper temperature control. (Allowing food to be in the temperature danger zone)

Ways food become unsafe: Contamination and Cross-contamination.


  • Food is exposed to chemicals such as cleansers and insecticides.
  • Foreign objects, such as glass or bits of packaging, are accidentally mixed into food.


  • Bacteria spread between food, surfaces or equipment.
  • It- Most likely to happen when raw food touches or drips onto other food, equipment or surfaces.
  • Unclean utensils, glassware or dishware are used unclean work surfaces are used. 
  • Touching raw food with your bare hands.

Foods to watch out for:

  • Cut fruit
  • Fresh eggs and egg products
  • Dairy products
  • Meat and Poultry
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Cooked beans, rice and potatoes 
  • Heated vegetable-based foods
  • Oil containing herbs, garlic or other flavourings


As a food handler, it is your responsibility to be able to identify and prevent situations that can lead to food-borne illness outbreaks.

Unsafe food practices can affect customers, your health and your family and friends’ health. These must be followed to the letter to ensure all parties are kept safe.

Clean does not equal safe. Hands can look clean, but if they have germs on them, they can be dangerous.