This video covers cross-contamination in detail including workplace hygiene, hand washing, raw food, pets and waste.

This video covers cross-contamination in detail including workplace hygiene, hand washing, raw food, pets and waste. 

The video above is an extract from the AIFS Food Safety Supervisor course, please visit the course page for more information.

Cross-contamination happens when bacteria is moved from one object to another. Dirty clothes can transport bacteria from one part of the workplace to another. If you are working in an area with high risk foods or common allergens, you should replace any protective clothing and wash you face and hands before working in a different area.

Every time you cough, sneeze or touch your face you could be causing cross-contamination. Should you do any of these things you must wash your hands immediately. We will talk in detail about the correct process for washing hands later. Always assume raw food is contaminated, as it s one of the biggest sources of cross-contamination in many food workplaces. Always store, prepare and transport raw food using separate utensils and equipment well away from prepared or ready-to-eat food.

Pests such as flies, cockroaches, mice and rats are able to cause cross-contamination very quickly. Pest control is an essential part of the organisation’s food safety program. Separate utensils should be used when chopping, stirring, serving or doing any sort of work with different foods. A common mistake is to put tasting spoons back into the dish after they have been in the mouth. Waste control is very important for food businesses. Garbage should be sealed and stored appropriately, away from other non-waste items. Regular collection of garbage is essential for a food business.

There are some rules that are considered best practice and should be followed to prevent cross-contamination:

  • Consider all raw foods as contaminated.
  • Never use the same equipment or utensils for raw and cooked foods.
  • Store raw and prepared foods separately, or store raw foods below prepared foods in the refrigerator.
  • Use separate preparation areas for raw and cooked food. If this is not possible, then ensure that surfaces and equipment are thoroughly cleaned and sanitised before switching between food types.
  • Always wash your hands or change gloves after working with raw food.

This public health information was produced and distributed by the Australian Institute of Food Safety Foundation.