Cross-Contamination of Food

This happens when harmful germs, invisible to the naked eye, are spread onto food from hands, other foods, surfaces or equipment.

"Every year foodborne diseases cause 1 in 10 people to fall ill and can be deadly, resulting in 420,000 deaths." - WHO Estimates of the Global Burden of Food borne Diseases. 2015.

“39% of staff do not wash their hands after visiting the toilet, while 53% do not wash their hands before preparing food.”​ - Food Standards Agency

Food workers are consistently implicated in foodborne illness outbreaks.  Preventing the spread of germs and cross-contamination of food is therefore essential to running a safe and effective food business.

Risks for Employers

  • Contaminated food entering the food chain
  • Food spoilage and wastage
  • Bad publicity
  • Reduced productivity
  • Potential compensation claims

Preventing Cross-Contamination

Foodborne diseases are preventable. Everyone has a role to play…

Good hygiene is essential for you to make or sell food that is safe to eat. Given, 80% of all infections are transmitted by the hands – keeping them clean and healthy is vital in the fight against cross-contamination in any food handling environment.

Food environments should ensure they have proper procedures in place addressing:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting of work surfaces and equipment
  • Storage and handling of food
  • Staff awareness of how to avoid cross-contamination
  • HACCP assessment protocols to identify critical hand hygiene control points
  • Provision of appropriate hand hygiene stations in the right locations
  • Provision of effective skin care