Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Avoiding Cross-Contact & Cross-Contamination

Cross-Contact is what happens when one food touches another food.
Cross-Contamination is what happens when a food touches a different surface that has food particles/residues remaining on it from a different food.

It is very important to avoid cross-contact/cross-contamination when someone has a food allergy. Even the smallest food particles, even when not visible, can send someone who is highly sensitive into anaphylactic shock and/or make them severely ill. So here are some tips and guidelines to follow to help make your food safe!

~ Be sure to wash all surfaces in the kitchen before you prep any allergen-free foods.

~ Don't use any of the same utensils/equipment for preparing or mixing allergen-free foods that you have used for non allergen-free foods without washing them first.

~ Make sure everyone washes their hands before handling food or eating the foods.

~ Be weary of bulk foods if the person with allergies is especially sensitive. You never know who has stuck their hands inside the bins and what they have touched.

In Restaurants:

~ Ask for the table to be cleaned before you are seated or bring your own sanitizing wipes to wipe it down yourself.

~ Ask for a menu that might cater to your specific food restrictions. Or ask about certain menu items you are interested in. I know there are several restaurants that offer a gluten-free menu now.

~ Make sure the cook/chef knows that your order is to be prepared for an individual with allergies so they can change gloves/wash hands and clean their equipment.

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