Cross-contamination is the transfer of particles or toxins from one area of an environment to another. This can happen naturally, or it can be intentional.
When a facility is tasked with contaminating an area with another area, there are a few things that must be considered. For example, how many contaminated areas are in the facility, and how much time will it take to complete the task?
These considerations should be made before a job is scheduled, and not during! Many people do this for several reasons: they feel they need to be able to contain any contamination quickly, they want recognition for their work, and most importantly, they want money for it.
Contamination may seem like an expensive fix, but it is definitely preventable. Knowing the difference between direct contamination and cross contamination can help you limit your liability or eliminate you from having to pay for the damage.
A more serious form of contamination is called cross contamination. This occurs when a worker is exposed to a source of contamination that another worker has been exposed to.
This can be very dangerous, especially in the healthcare field where variables such as patient privacy and confidentiality are important.
In the healthcare industry, there are certain contaminated surfaces that must be avoided such as infected surgical instruments, improper gowns, and bedding. Materials used in medical treatments such as paper towels, drugs, and alcohols must be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria and fungus from growing.
There are ways to prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen however, since many foods contain significant amounts of bacteria and viruses when cooked.
What doesn’t happen
When someone eats a salad or fruit that has been cross-contaminated with another fruit or plant, it does not make them sick.
If theacterized by a parasite, it can render the individual incapable of having children.
Some parasites are toxic and/or disease transmission vectors. The CDC reminds us that botulism is an extremely rare condition, but still a threat.
Although rare, some parasites can cause dysentery and/or bacteria colonization in the colon. These individuals may need medication but may not want to take it because of the side effects on their health.
When a substance comes in contact with a harmful element such as bacteria, it gets contaminated. This happens when an item that does not appear to be healthy meets up with one that does.
It is called cross-contamination and it can happen quickly. For example, when cleaning surfaces with germaphobes, who prefer privacy.
The danger of cross-contamination is high. When a drug or vitamin A is combined with another medication, the combination can cause drug-overload syndrome. Or when a poison causes poisoning of the stomach or intestine, it can cause harmful effects on other parts of the body.
Understanding the differences between direct contamination and cross contamination will help you keep your kitchen clean
In case you have never heard the term cross-contamination, it is an awful word to hear.
Cross-contamination is the transmission of a germ or bacteria from one area of your food system to another. It can happen when food is brought into the kitchen from another location, via a dish drying rack, or when utensils are hand-fed to children in the kitchen.
When this happens, there is a risk of pathogen growth and transmission. It can be prevented by using sanitizing products and being very careful who hands out utensils and dishes.
Direct contamination happens when something such as oil or seasoning comes into direct contact with food while it is cooking or while it is cooling. This occurs most often during hot cooking methods such as roasting or frying.
This can happen due to not having a dedicated pot or pan for certain fooditems, having an uninsulated pan because it was heating first, and/or having food that were not thoroughly cooked due to this happening.
Keep things clean
When cleaning a large space, it is important to keep things clean. You can do this by establishing a routine, having appropriate supplies and equipment, and by reporting problems to the crew.
A space is a large, shared area. It can be a storeroom or cafeteria. Therefore, it needs to be cleaned frequently to ensure that people have a safe place to work and live.
It is important to keep people and materials clean when accessibility issues may arise. For instance, someone with limited physical ability may need help cleaning or moving heavy items. Or if any parts of the space are contaminated or in poor condition, this may make the place unsafe for all users.
Having an established cleaning policy helps everyone understand how much work they have to put in and how they can maintain a clean workspace.
Wash fresh produce
Produce should be washed as soon as it is picked to prevent any bacteria, fungi, and viruses that may be present during storage or production from spreading to other produce.
This includes leafy vegetables such as lettuce, trees such as acones and fruit such as oranges. All production stages should be cleaned together to preventually eliminate any pathogens that may have entered during storage or production.
Washing can be done using either perchloric acid or pure water alone. Both methods are effective! Perchloric acid is more common and typically used for washing produce, whereas water alone is typically used for washing furniture and dishes.
whichever method is less separating of the produce and tissues being cleansed in. Perchlorate compounds are generally discouraged due to potential risk of cancer in those with high exposure. ! This is due to the potential carcinogenettin those with high exposure.
Use separate cutting boards for raw and cooked foods
Cross-contaminating pathogens such as the bacteria vibichum can pass from one food to another when prepared together. This can happen when making a salad or preparing some foods together in one dish and then eating some of the rest of the dish!
While this may not seem like a big deal, it makes for very difficult clean-up when there is more than one kind of germs. For example, if someone accidentally ate some raw vegetables and fruit together, then had to eat some cooked vegetables and fruit combined, it would be even more difficult to remove all of the properly handled particles.
Using different cutting boards helps prevent this cross-contamination. By using the same cutting board for different foods, they will also help prevent this.
Use a storage case or cover to help protect your cutting boards from wet food pieces or water drops as well.
Use separate plates for raw and cooked foods
This is a pretty obvious one, but: DO NOT ENCROAPSE YOUR PLATES!
Your plates can get cross-contaminated from both raw and cooked foods, even if you keep them separated. This happens when meat is prepared in the same pan as vegetables, for example.
This is not a issue for roasted vegetables or fruit, which are cooked before being placed on the plate.
Just like keeping your kitchenware and cooking utensils separate, this applies to food. Do not put together any dishes that have been cooked or exposed to water or food items that have wetted them.