Precautions to take when preparing food

Washing your hands before and during food preparation is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of bacteria. Here are some other tips you should follow:

  • use the same care and attention to hygiene as you normally would
  • always wash your hands before and after handling food
  • wash all fruit and vegetables, including fruit or salad from pre-packed bags, before eating
  • always wash your hands (and any equipment used such as knives and cutting boards) after handling raw meat or fish
  • store raw foods separately from prepared foods. For example, raw meat should be kept in the lower part of the fridge
  • use separate chopping boards for meat and vegetables
  • ensure that precooked chilled ready meals are thoroughly heated and piping hot
  • make sure food is cooked through. Meats that aren’t cooked can contain salmonella bacteria – be particularly careful with barbecues
  • always wear gloves for gardening or changing cat litter. This is to avoid toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by a parasite found in meat, cat faeces and soil, that is harmful to unborn babies. Wash your hands after handling or cleaning pets.
Last Updated: 13 October 2009
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