Introduction Every year thousands of people suffer from food-borne illness, usually as a result of eating or drinking contaminated or poisonous food. Many attacks go unreported and it is estimated that one person in fifty will be effected annually. Some of these especially the very young, the elderly or the infirm will die.
In 1987 Crown Immunity was lifted from hospitals following an outbreak of food poisoning at the Stanley Royd Hospital in 1984. As a result all aspects of hospital catering are subject to control under the law and hospitals, including ward areas, can be inspected at any time by Environmental Health Officers. • These officers have the power to enforce the provisions of the; The Food Safety Act (1990) and The Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations (1995).
FOOD HYGIENE LAW Food Safety Act (1990) Food Safety (General food hygiene) Regulations (1995) An environmental health officer has the power to enforce this legislation and can do so at any time. If food is not handled correctly, legal action can be taken against the Trust or the individual who fails to comply with the law. Any hospital staff who are involved in food service are “food handlers” if they break the rules the penalties can be applied to them as individuals in exactly the same way as they would in a commercial operation.
Food hygiene is more than just cleanliness; it includes all practices involved in : Protecting food from risk of Contamination, including harmful bacteria, Poisons and foreign bodies Preventing any bacteria present multiplying to an extent which would result in the illness of Consumers or the early spoilage of food. Destroying any harmful bacteria in the food by thorough cooking or processing. What is Food Hygiene?
Causes of Food Poisoning • Bacteria and their poisons • Viruses • Chemicals (insecticides, weed-killers, etc.) • Metals (lead, copper, mercury etc.) • Poisonous plants (deadly nightshade, toadstools, etc.) BACTERIAL FOOD POISONING IS THE MOST COMMON AND CAN BE FATAL
There are two main types of bacteria which cause problems for the food industry: 1.Food Spoilage Bacteria Not usually harmful to humans Cause food to go off Physical change causes smell, colour or texture of food to change. Usually very obvious that Food Spoilage Bacteria are present in large numbers. • Bacteria Which Cause Illness Pathogens Harmful to humans if present in large enough numbers. No physical change to food Cannot be detected by smell, taste, touch or appearance Most food poisoning is caused by large numbers of pathogens, often around 100,000 to 1,000.000 being consumed.
Conditions Required For Bacteria To Multiply • WARMTH (Temperature) The ideal growing temperature for pathogens is 37c They will grow quickly between 20c and 50c To prevent growth temperature must be kept below 5c or above 63c. 5c-63c is called the “DANGER ZONE” • FOOD (Nutrient) High protein food is required Meat, poultry, dairy products (except butter and hard cheese). • WATER (Moisture Content) Dried foods, or those with high sugar or salt content will not support bacterial growth. Bacteria remain dormant.
The Ten Main Reasons for Food Poisoning • Food prepared too far in advance and stored at room temperature. • Cooling food too slowly prior to refrigeration. • Not reheating food to a high enough temperature to destroy food poisoning bacteria. • The use of cooked food contaminated with food poisoning bacteria. • Undercooking. • Not thawing frozen poultry for sufficient time. • Cross-contamination from raw food to cooked food. • Storing hot food below 63ºC. • Infected food handlers. • Use of leftovers.
THE FOOD CHAIN Delivery Storage Preparation and Handling Cooking Transfer Serving Consumption Washing Up
The Cost of Poor Hygiene Food poisoning outbreaks and sometimes death Food contamination and customer complaints Pest infestation Waste food due to spoilage The closure of food premises by EHO action Fines and costs of legal action taken by local authority action Civil action taken by food poisoning sufferers Loss of production and food which has to be destroyed Decontamination of equipment and replacement of damaged equipment
TIME Division every 10 minutes is possible. Food must not be kept in the DANGER ZONE for longer than absolutely necessary.