8.1a Describe the importance of food safety, including hygiene, in the preparation and handling of food

One of your responsibilities as a care worker is your responsibility to keep the individuals you care for healthy and well. Part of this is food safety; making sure that any food the individual consumes is safe and not contaminated. Here are some food hazards you should watch out for:

  • Physical hazards-Objects such as bones or bits of packaging that could end up in food and harm the individual. You should check for these as much as possible when preparing and serving food.
  • Chemical hazards-Chemical products that such as cleaning products or pesticides that could be harmful if consumed. Avoid spraying cleaning products near food and make sure that you clean any food that has chemicals on it.
  • Allergenic-Food that could cause adverse reactions if the individual is allergic to it. If these foods are fed to an individual with an allergy they could become ill and, in some cases, might even die. Make sure you know what foods an individual is allergic to and make sure you do not serve them this food or food that contains it.
  • Bacterial-Pathogenic micro-organisms in food that could make the individual ill. Make sure you follow effective food safety principles to reduce the likelihood of the individual becoming ill from bacteria. Cook any raw food properly and make sure you are staying hygienic when handling food by washing your hands.

Whatever the hazard may be, there are multiple precautions you can take to reduce the likelihood of the individual coming to harm. Make sure you remove any jewellery and wash your hands before preparing any food, wash any equipment used and make sure food is stored properly and cooked thoroughly. It is your responsibility to make sure you have the knowledge to prepare food safely.

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