1) Which one of these
statements about bacteria is true?
grow fastest when they are warm.
Most food poisoning
bacteria grow best at 37°C , although they can multiply between 5°C and 63°C.
Food should not be left out at ambient (room) temperature
for any more than two hours. After that time bacterial growth may be rapid. (Not
all types of bacteria cause food poisoning.)
Freezing does not kill bacteria. (Their growth stops and
they go into hibernation.)
Some bacteria survive in conditions where there is no air
such as in large cuts of meat, stews, sauces, gravy and even inside canned and
Keep cooked food hot (above 63°C for no more than two
hours), and cold food cold.
Prepare and cook food to as near to time of eating as
2) The temperature
inside your fridge should be:
B The ideal
temperature inside your refrigerator should be between 1 and 4°C.
Always read the refrigerator manufacturer's instructions,
and storage instructions on food labelling.
In food premises cold food must be kept cold or chilled below
3) Which one of these
foods is likely to contain the most bacteria
raw chicken is likely to contain the most bacteria.
The key risk in chicken is from Salmonella and Campylobacter
Before cooking defrost chicken thoroughly. To do this,
remove the chicken from its wrapper. Put in a deep covered container. Place the
container in the bottom of a fridge (or cool part of the kitchen) until
completely defrosted (check by pushing in a clean knife or skewer) Cook the
chicken straight away, or place in the lowest part of the fridge for no more
than 24 hours. (You should always wash your hands, containers, utensils and all
surfaces that have come into contact with raw meat thoroughly)
When cooking ensure that
the oven is preheated before putting the chicken in to ensure that
bacteria in the centre of food will be killed. The core (centre or thickest part) of the chicken
should reach 75° (juices will run clear in a correctly cooked chicken)
Mayonnaise – Unopened jars do not need to be refrigerated, Once
opened the bottled mayonnaise must be kept in a fridge and used by the date as
instructed on the label
Tinned Steak- An unopened and undamaged tin can should
contain no food poisoning bacteria at all. If there is some left over , store
in a suitable container, refrigerate and use within 24 hours
4) Food poisoning
bacteria will multiply readily between
C . 5°C to 63°C.
Between -18°C to 0°C some bacteria (especially the kind that spoil
food by making it look taste and smell horrible) will start to grow but only
very very slowly.
At 0°C to 5°C bacteria will grow slowly.
(Remember that fridges do not kill bacteria. They only
extend the safe shelf life of food by a few days.)
Above 63°C to 90°C most bacteria will be killed, However,
there are bacteria which form spores.( a hard outer coating forms to protect
bacteria). The spores themselves do not cause food poisoning, but allow the
bacteria to survive extreme heat & if the food is then cooled too slowly this allows the spores to germinate
and the bacteria to multiply.
Typical spore forming bacteria are Clostridium perfringens
(associated with large cuts of meat, stews, mince dishes, etc) and Bacillus
cereus (associated with inadequately cooled cooked rice and re-heated rice).
5) The temperature in
your freezer should be:
D -18°C, or
Always read the freezer manufacturer's instructions, and the
storage instructions on food labelling. Above -18°C food can start to spoil
If you run a food business and regularly receive frozen food
reject any food which is delivered to you at -12°C or above. Contact the
supplier immediately to inform them of the problem
6) At work, the best
way to dry your hands after washing is
D Using a
paper towel is the most ideal way of drying hands.
This is because the paper is absorbent and can be disposed
of straight away
Warm air dryers may not remove water from your hands. Wet
hands provide an ideal breeding ground for bacteria
Cotton towels, when damp may provide a breeding ground for
bacteria which can then be spread indirectly from person to person or person to
7) Food contaminated
with food poisoning bacteria would:
poisoning bacteria cannot be smelled, tasted or seen on food -except with the aid of a microscope.
Therefore the food could look, taste and smell perfectly normal but still make
Spoilage bacteria (which do not usually cause food
poisoning) can make the food look, taste and smell strange
8) Food poisoning can occur after eating food
poisoning can occur because of poor practice anywhere, even at home!
9) If you have diarrhoea
and vomiting it definitely means that:
d) you should contact your local Environmental Health Department
who will decide if further action is necessary
Blame cannot be pointed at a particular premises or business
owner without satisfactory scientific based evidence
Are your food preparation and cooking practices at home safe?
Eg Do you follow storage and preparation instructions and use by dates on food labels, or follow the instructions for using
equipment in your kitchen eg for reheating ready meals in a microwave?
Food poisoning commonly occurs as a result of eating contaminated food
up to 4 days previously so it is not
necessarily caused by what you ate last
Diahorrea & sickness is not necessarily caused by contaminated food- eg Norovirus ('winter vomiting bug') is the biggest cause of DIV in the UK(80%) & causes similar symptoms but is more likely to be transferred in the air from a contaminated person
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