Demonstrate your knowledge about cross contamination, the rules for food poisoning and the correct safety procedures to ensure food quality.

Essay by NoobDJ August 2007

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1. List the instances where the food handler has cross-contaminated the cooked chicken.

Cross-contamination occurs when food have either direct or indirect contact with each other during storage or preparation.

“The frozen chickens were thawed to be baked for lunch at the xyz restaurant.” This indicates that the food handler used the same container to defrost and bake the chicken. During the process of freezing, a small amount of bacteria are still capable of surviving yet the food handler still reuses the container allowing the bacteria to remain and multiply both inside and on the skin of the chicken. Moreover, there is no indication of the equipment, utensils, preparation benches and sinks being thoroughly washed before use. Also, although the food handler had unwrapped and cleaned the chickens, it does not verify her hands have been washed thoroughly before handling the chickens. “After cooking, the chickens were placed on the stainless steel tray that had been used for thawing the raw chickens.”

This method is unhygienic and allows cross-contamination to take place quick and easy.

2. What was wrong with the chickens not being cooked through the centre?Due to the food handler’s laziness and lack of professionalism, the chickens were placed into one dish in the oven to avoid additional washing up. This overcrowding of the chicken in the oven meant that not all the chickens were cooked thoroughly enough causing an uneven proportion of cooking. As a result, some larger chickens were not thoroughly cooked in the centre although they appeared to be cooked on the outside.

3. What was wrong with the bain-marie being 40*C?After cooking, the chickens were places in a bain-marie to be kept warm at a temperature of 40*C. However, bacteria can grow and multiply rapidly in this range, also known as the danger zone.