Food becomes hazardous by contamination. Contamination is the unintended presence of harmful substances or microorganisms in food. Food can become contaminated from chemical, physical or biological sources.
- Chemical hazards: Chemical hazards include substances such as cleaning solutions and sanitizers.
- Physical hazards: Physical hazards are foreign particles, like glass or metal.
- Biological hazards: Biological hazards come mainly from microorganisms including bacteria, viruses and parasites.
What is Cross-contamination?
Cross-contamination is the transportation of harmful substances to food by:
- Hands that touch raw foods, such as chicken, then touch food that will not be cooked, like salad ingredients.
- Surfaces, like cutting boards or cleaning cloths, that touch raw foods, are not cleaned and sanitized, then touch ready-to-eat food.
- Raw or contaminated foods that touch or drip fluids on cooked or ready-to-eat foods.
- Utensils, such as knives, which cut raw foods, such as chicken, then cut ready-to-eat food such as Romaine lettuce.