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Preventing Cross Contamination

Cross contamination is the transfer of harmful bacteria from one food to another.

When shopping, separate raw meat from other foods in your shopping trolley. Place these foods in plastic bags to prevent their juices from dripping onto other foods and when you get them home place them in a container in the refrigerator separating poultry from meat.

In the kitchen to prevent harmful bacteria spreading (Campylobacter is the most common), always wash not only your hands but your utensils. Microwave ovens provide an effective means of sterilising wooden chopping boards (3-4 mins, 800w) and clothes (wrap in paper towel and microwave until steaming, (30 sec-1min), Rinse under tap to remove surface dirt before microwaving. Also a dishwasher is an effective method of eliminating harmful bacteria. Benches and boards can be wiped with a diluted solution of bleach (1 teaspoon bleach in 2 litres water) following cleaning to ensure harmful bacteria area destroyed.

If you become infected with campylobacter you are likely to become ill within 2 to 5 days with symptoms of muscle pain, headaches and fever followed by diarrhoea and abdominal pain, therefore it is really important to ensure you handle all foods correctly.