Contamination hazards and controls in food safety welcome

Contamination hazards and controls in food safety welcome

Contamination of food is a major hazard and may be considered as the occurrence of any objectionable matter in or on the food. Therefore, carcasses may be contaminated with faecal material, high-risk food may be contaminated with spoilage or food poisoning bacteria and flour may be contaminated by rodent hairs.To prevent the consumption of food which is unacceptable or unsafe, contamination must be kept to a minimum.

There are four types of contamination hazards:

  • Microbiology hazards caused by bacteria and toxins, moulds, viruses (micro-organisms)or parasites. Usually occurs in food premises because of ignorance, inadequate space, poor design or because of food handlers taking short cuts. In early stages it will not be detectable. Contamination of this sort is the most serious and may result in food spoilage, food poisoning or even death.
  • Physical hazards from foreign bodies includes insects. Physical contamination may render food unfit or unsafe but often involves pieces or paper, plastic, metal or string and is usually unpleasant or a nuisance. 
  • Chemical hazards. Examples include pesticides on fruit and residues from cleaning chemicals.
  • Allergenic hazards. Examples include peanuts, milk, eggs and cereals.