Remove food from its packaging before defrosting. Do not use foam trays and plastic wraps because they are not heat sle at high temperatures; melting or warping of the trays or wraps from the heat of the food may cause harmful chemicals to leach in. Many microwaves have special settings for defrosting. During microwave defrosting, rotate and turn food upside down periodically times during defrosting. Microwaves are absorbed preferentially by water rather than ice, and by the first layer that can absorb the radiation, so turning/stirring the food during the defrosting process improves the evenness of the heat.
Oil is an often essential part of cooking and it is usually added during the first step of cooking. It is desirable to pour some oil into the pan at the beginning rather than later when the pan is very hot. Though using a fresh batch of oil every time is good, it is not always practical and people may tend to reuse it several times.
Most s of foodborne illness cause one or more of the following signs and symptoms
A food recall may be initiated as a result of a report or complaint from a variety of sources manucturers, wholesalers, retailers, government agencies and consumers. Recalls are conducted by food businesses to ensure that potentially hazardous or unsafe foods are not consumed. Microbiological contamination is primary cause of food recall but it may also be due to chemical or radionuclear contamination of food. It is mandatory for consumer protection in industrialized countries where food labelling is compulsory for prepackaged food and commonly practised by multinational food industries.
Chicken is well cooked if the meat is white and there is no pink flesh. Fish is done when it is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
Ensuring food safety requires due attention during harvest, transport, processing, storage and finally during food preparation and storage by consumers. Processed, frozen or readytoeat food is gaining popularity in recent years due to changing food habits, product ersification, busy life and mass production practices. In urban settings, there is a growing tendency to buy meat, milk and vegeles on the weekend and store these items in the freezer or refrigerator. Microwave ovens are often used for reheating of food. However, while using a refrigerator and microwave are part of daily life in urban settings, most users and food handlers rarely have a chance to learn how to safely store and reheat food. We have, therefore, developed a collection of questions and answers on food safety, considering this knowledge gap among consumers and food handlers, with a specific focus on concerns of regional importance. These questions and answers include topics such as food adulteration and lsification food fraud, unhealthy and unsafe foodhandling practices in food markets and at home, and food allergies.
The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the World Health Organization concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Dotted lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.
Food odors may develop as a result of food spoilage, which may be associated with power ilure, overloading of refrigerator with food items, or poor hygiene. Strong food odors are frequent after power outages. The following action should be taken to get rid of unpleasant, undesirable food odors;
. Which mycotoxins are concerns from a food safety point of view?
Leave a corner of the dish uncovered to allow the steam to escape. This reduces the risk of the film being blown off and settling on to the food.
Acceple daily intake ADI of a chemical is the daily intake which, during an entire lifetime, appears to be without appreciable risk to the health of the consumer on the basis of all the known cts at the time of the evaluation of the chemical by the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues JMPR. It is expressed in milligrams of the chemical per kilogram of body weight.
Pole waterWater which is free from pathogenic bacteria and is palale.
Do not let cling film touch the food during microwave cooking as it melts at a low temperature. In many cases, the film should be removed before cooking in a microwave.
Keep food suces clean. Wash all utensils, plates, platters, and cutlery as soon as used.
. How to avoid adverse effect of acrylamides?
A single foodborne bacterium can grow into more than two million bacteria in just seven hours under the right conditions.
All reasonable precautions have been taken by the World Health Organization to verify the information contained in this publication. However, the published material is being distributed without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. The responsibility for the interpretation and use of the material lies with the reader. In no event shall the World Health Organization be liable for damages arising from its use.
Throw back the big fish as the little ones have less time to take up and concentrate pesticides and other harmful residues.
Food safety is everybodys concern, and it is difficult to find anyone who has not encountered an unpleasant moment of foodborne illness at least once in the past year. Foodborne illnesses may result from the consumption of food contaminated by microbial pathogens, toxic chemicals or radioactive materials. Food allergy is another emerging problem. While many foodborne diseases may be selflimiting, some can be very serious and even result in death. Ensuring food safety is becoming increasingly important in the con of changing food habits, popularization of mass catering eslishments and the globalization of our food supply. As our food supply becomes increasingly globalized, the need to strengthen food safety systems in and between all countries is becoming more and more evident. That is why WHO is promoting efforts to improve food safety, from rm to plate and everywhere in between on World Health Day, April . The World Health Day slogan is From rm to plate, make food safe.
Prevention or reduction of human exposure is best done via sourcedirected measures, i.e. strict control of industrial processes to reduce formation of dioxins. Many national authorities have programmes in place to monitor the food supply. This monitoring has led to early detection of contamination and has often prevented impact on a larger scale.
It is difficult to for a consumer to determine whether vegeles or fruits contain pesticide residues as often they do not have any noticeable smell, taste or visual defect. The following precautions can be taken to reduce dietary exposure to pesticide residue if agricultural products are sold in common market;
. What should be done in case of a power cut to a refrigerator for a long time?
Food poisoning from the consumption of poisonous wild mushrooms has been reported frequently during monsoon season in countries of South and SouthEast Asia. In some episodes, the whole milies lost their life due to consumption of poisonous wild mushrooms. Many toxic mushrooms are quite similar in appearance to their less toxic cousins, so often easy to mistake
Refrigerators should be kept clean and dry all the time. The following tips will help to ensure food safety, wholesomeness and quality of food materials;
. What is useby date in the food label and why is it important for a consumer?
Reheat all leftovers until they are steaming hot.
Do not overstock your refrigerator. Overfilling will reduce the circulation of cool air and make difficult the proper cooling or chilling of food materials and beverages.
. Many people taste raw food during the cooking process?
When you pierce the thickest part of the meat with a fork or skewer, the juices should run clear.
Cover foods or wrap leafy vegeles with to retain moisture and prevent them from picking up odors from other foods.
Traditionally, qualities of foods are evaluated by our sensory organs our eyes, nose or mouth or, more recently, by the use of instruments. Sensory evaluation is commonly practised by food regulatory authorities which consists of judging the quality of food by a panel of judges. The evaluation deals with measuring, evaluating, analyzing and interpreting the qualities of food as they are perceived by the senses of sight, taste, touch and hearing.
Many people have an impression that microwave ovens are used mainly for reheating. However, microwave ovens may be used for reheating, cooking and defrosting.
Cooking whole, stuffed poultry in a microwave oven is not recommended. Because food in a microwave oven can cook ster on the outside than food on the inside, the stuffing might not have enough time to reach the temperature needed to destroy harmful bacteria.
Fresh fish has firm flesh, a stiff body and tight scales. If you press the body, no indentation should be left. Select fresh fish, which have red gills and bright eyes. Be sure to purchase fish which have been refrigerated or stored on ice and are not slippery or slimy to touch.
. What are food additives and why are they added?
Food contamination is an even bigger threat in countries of the SouthEast Asia region due to the lack of produce harvesting norms, food handling standards, and environmental regulations.
The problem with reusing oil is that it can create free radicals which can cause ailments in the long run. These free radicals can be carcinogenic i.e. can cause cancer and also atherosclerosis which can lead to increase in bad cholesterol levels, blocking the arteries.
Foodborne pathogen called Listeria can survive and sometimes grow on foods being stored in the refrigerator.
This publication does not necessarily represent the decisions or policies of the World Health Organization.
In , the World Health Report, identified iodine, iron, vitamin A and zinc deficiencies as being among the worlds most serious health risk ctors. The control of iodine deficiency disorders through salt iodization, for example, has been a major accomplishment in public health nutrition over the last years. The focus of the international community for promotion of food fortification has so r been on the three most prevalent deficiencies vitamin A, vitamin B complex, iodine and iron.
A large pot of food like soup or stew should be ided into small portions and put in shallow containers before being refrigerated.
Maximum residual limit MRL is the maximum concentration of a pesticide residue expressed as mg/kg, recommended by the Codex Alimentarius Commission to be legally permitted in food commodities and animal feeds. Respective MRLs are intended to be toxicologically acceple. MRLs which are primarily intended to apply in international trade are derived from estimations made by the JMPR following both
Considering the importance of food labelling for international trade, the Codex Alimentarius Commission has made general and commodity standards and recommendations in relation to food labelling. Food labelling is important for protection of consumer interest. Label declaration on packed food is very important for knowing the ingredients and nutritional value, and helps in checking the freshness of the food and bestbefore dates. It provides a clue for food recall or food withdrawal if situation demands.
. What is acrylamide and how it is produced?
Check useby dates and labels while buying packed food.
Altering environmental conditions in which spoilage microorganisms are unable to grow in the food, e.g. in dehydration, pickling, salting, smoking, freezing etc. Such conditions can be created by removal of water, use of acid, use of oil and spices, use of chemical preservatives and use of low temperatures.
There is no time limit on how long unopened cans will be safe. The usual recommendation for canned foods with low acidity such as vegeles and meats is that they will be good for to years. Acidic canned foods such as fruits, fruit juices and tomatoes will usually still be good quality for to years.
. How safe is food when cooked in microwave oven?
The boiling temperature smoke point of cooking oil is above C.
Food adulteration is an unethical and often criminal malpractice which is unfortunately commonplace in countries of the SouthEast Asia region. It frequently occurs where informal food production and marketing services are predominant and enforcement of food regulation is weak. Adulteration of food is normally observed in its most crude form, where prohibited substances are either added or used to partly or wholly substitute healthy ingredients or to artificially create the impression of freshness in old food. Normally, intentionally adulterating food is done for financial gain. Among food items, spices, due to their inherent naturegreat demand and high price become easy substances for gross adulteration. Other forms of adulteration happen due to carelessness and lack in proper hygienic conditions of processing, storage, transportation and marketing. This adulteration ultimately causes the consumer to be either cheated financially or worse as a victim of illness or disease. However, adequate precautions taken by consumers at the time of purchase of such products can allow them to avoid purchasing such adulterated food.
Mycotoxins are a group of naturally occurring chemicals produced by certain moulds or fungi. They can grow on a variety of different crops and foodstuffs including cereals, nuts, spices and dried fruits. Mycotoxins are produced by several fungi in foodstuffs and feed during production, storage, transportation, often under warm and humid conditions.
If reused cooking oil is dark in colour or is greasy/sticky than it is time to change the oil.
Cover the dish with a lid or plastic wrap approved for microwave use. Allow enough space between the food and the top of the dish so that plastic wrap does not touch the food. Loosen or vent the lid or wrap to allow steam to vent. The moist heat that is created will help destroy harmful bacteria and ensure uniform cooking. Cooking bags also provide safe even cooking.
Food preservation is designed to prevent spoilage and decay of seasonal and perishable foods by increasing the shelflife of food thus increasing the supply and availability throughout the year. Technological advancements such as canning, vacuum packing, refrigeration, freezing and tetra packing have increased shelflife of food.
Hepatitis A virus can cause longlasting liver disease and spreads typically through raw or undercooked seafood or contaminated raw produce.
Cook food thoroughly, to the appropriate temperature.
A meat thermometer is used in modern kitchen which measures the internal temperature of cooked meat and poultry, or any other dishes, to assure that a safe temperature has been reached and that harmful bacteria have been destroyed.
. How long can we keep canned or packaged foods?
Polyethylene terephthalate PET is used to make soft drink, water, sports drink, ketchup, and salad dressing bottles, and peanut butter, pickle, jelly and jam jars. It is strong, heat resistant and resistant to gases and acidic foods. It can be transparent or opaque. Not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones and it can be recycled.
Polycarbonate is clear, heat resistant and durable and often used to make refillable water bottles and sterilisable baby bottles, microwave ovenware, eating utensils, plastic coating for metal cans. Tiny amounts of bisphenol A are formed when polycarbonate bottles are washed with harsh detergents or bleach e.g., sodium hypochlorite. At high levels of exposure, bisphenol A is potentially hazardous because it mimics the female hormone estrogen.
. Why there is a concern about acrylamides when it is produced naturally during cooking process?
Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances, causes more than diseases ranging from diarrhoea to cancers.
Refrigerate cooked food within two hours of preparation
After removing food from the microwave, always allow a standing time of at least minutes. This completes the cooking process.
There are currently no regulatory maximum limits for acrylamide in food. The following principles can be applied to minimize whatever risk exists
PreservativeSubstance added to perishable foods to prevent spoilage by inhibiting growth of microorganisms.
Bacteria will be destroyed during microwave cooking just as in other s of ovens, so food is safe cooked in a microwave oven, as long as it is heated to the necessary temperature generally above C. However the food can cook less evenly than in a conventional oven. In other words, microwave ovens can cook unevenly and leave cold spots where harmful bacteria can survive. To promote uniform cooking, arrange food items evenly in a covered dish and add some liquid if needed.
In a microwave oven, the air in the oven is closer to room temperature so the temperature of the food suce is often cooler than food in a conventional oven where the food is heated by hot air.
Reuse plastic containers that are food compatible, in the way the original food was presented. For example, you can freeze food in icecream containers but dont heat them in the microwave they were designed for use on cold food.
Useby Date also known as the recommended last consumption date or expiration date is the end of the estimated period after which the product probably will not have the quality attributes normally expected by the consumers as long as it is maintained under the stated storage conditions. In order words, the expiration date is the date up to which the food maintains its microbiological and physical sility as well as the nutrient content declared on the label. That means it is important to use the food before the expiry date to get the most nutritional value from it and to be relatively sure the contents are safe.
Sunflower, soybean, mustard and canola oil have a high smoke point i.e. they do not break down at high temperatures and are therefore suile for frying, including deep frying where the food is submerged into the oil. Oils which do not have a high smoke point such as olive oil should only be used for sauting.
Dioxins are a group of chemicallyrelated compounds that are mainly byproducts of industrial processes but can also result from natural processes, such as volcanic eruptions and forest fires. Dioxins are found throughout the world in the environment and they accumulate in the food chain, mainly in the tty tissue of animals and pass to human body through food, mainly meat and dairy products, fish and shellfish. More than of human exposure is through food, mainly meat and dairy products, fish and shellfish. Shortterm exposure of humans to high levels of dioxins may result in skin lesions. Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.
People should eat a balanced and varied diet, which includes plenty of fruit and vegeles, and should moderate their consumption of fried and tty foods.
Street food vendors are a traditional and indigenous st food approaching most countries of the SouthEast Asia Region. Street food vendors provide cheap and enjoyable food to millions of consumers. It is difficult to say how safe street food is as there are many contributing ctors associated with the safety of street food. A survey of street foods in countries, conducted by WHO, revealed the major health threat cing the public comes from raw and undercooked food, infected food handlers and inadequate hygiene measures in processing and storing such food. Since the majority of street food is cooked well and served hot, there is less chance of food poisoning. The water quality, hygienic conditions and the level of cleanliness particularly in the summer seasonmay contribute to episodes of food poisoning. However improvements in physical infrastructure and hygienic conditions are growing as consumers are also demanding quality food.
Most fresh vegeles and fruits retain their freshness for a short time under ideal conditions of storage and it is always better to buy vegeles in the morning or evening hours depending on harvesting pattern. When purchasing, select fresh vegeles and fruits which are firm, crisp, bright in colour, with no visible bruises or signs of decay and wilting. Be careful as some fruits and vegeles may be artificially coloured to give the illusion of freshness and quality. It is advisable to buy vegeles and fruits which are in season, as the quality is usually high and the price is low.
. Are there natural toxins found in food of plant or animal origin? What should be done to get rid of them?
The mycotoxins of most concern from a food safety perspective include the aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, fumonisins, trichothecenes and zearalenone. The aflatoxins are most commonly found in maize, peanuts and feed as contaminants and it can also be found in the milk of animals that are fed contaminated feed, in the form of aflatoxin M. Some mycotoxins such as trichothecene remain toxic even after being cooked.
. How long can food be preserved in refrigerator?
Mycotoxins can cause a variety of adverse health effects in humans. Aflatoxins B are genotoxic and carcinogenic, and can cause liver cancer in humans. Other mycotoxins have a range of other health effects including kidney damage, gastrointestinal disturbances, reproductive disorders or suppression of the immune system.
Never defrost food at room temperature. Defrost frozen food in the refrigerator, cold water or in the microwave.
Pasteurisation is the most popular method of heat treatment. It involves heating milk to high enough temperatures to kill harmful bacteria that can cause illness. Milk is heated to a high temperature and then rapidly cooled so that heat sle and heat labile pathogens are killed. It does not kill all bacteria, some of which, whilst harmless in the quantities present, will cause the milk to spoil after a few days. Therefore, pasteurization alone does not give a safe shelfsle product without proper storage. Pasteurized milk must be kept in refrigerator but it can be kept for longer period in the freezer chamber.
The following measures should be considered to minimize health hazard of reusing oil;
The mention of specific companies or of certain manucturers products does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by the World Health Organization in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned. Errors and omissions excepted, the names of proprietary products are distinguished by initial capital letters.
Keep food at safe temperatures, both for serving and storage.
Food poisoningA general term applied to all stomach and intestinal disturbances due to food contaminated with certain microorganisms or to their toxins.
. What is the best way to thaw frozen food in a microwave oven?
Trim t from meat, poultry and fish; discard oils and ts in broths and drippings.
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Use safe drinking water for food preparation.
It should be noted that some bacteria like listeria can grow well under refrigerator and crosscontamination can occur if raw and cooked food or salads are open and kept together. Eggs, cake and some food items may absorb flavour from other food items.
All meat should be checked visually to see if it is cooked thoroughly. The following tips should be considered while preparing meat at home;
Cabbage and related vegeles contain thioglucosides which may be absorbed in people with low dietary iodine, and may contribute to thyroid enlargement.
AntibioticsA substance produced by living organisms that inhibits the growth of other organisms, sometimes used as a growth promoter or food preservative in some countries.
All plastic is made from chemicals that have the potential to harm a persons health. Proper use of plastic packaging lowers chemical migration. Following these tips will help to reduce the migration of chemicals from plastic into food;
Make sure the leftover oil from cooking or frying is cooled down and then transferred into an airtight container through a strainer.
BlanchingDipping of fruits or vegeles in boiling water or exposing these to steam for a few minutes to kill enzymatic and biological activity prior to freezing or processing.
. What kinds of plastics are used for food handling and storage and are there any health hazards of using it?
. What are the priority areas for food fortification?
Coliform bacteriaGroup of aerobic bacteria commonly found in eces; their presence indicates lack of sanitation as in insufficiently treated water for drinking.
There is a general belief that food items can be kept in a freezer for an indefinite period. A refrigerator set to below C will protect most foods but not forever. Over time, even chilled foods will spoil. The cool temperatures slow down bacterial growth but they dont stop the growth completely.
Follow recommendations for cleaning products to be used on containers, bottles and lids.
The informal food production and marketing system is still strong in most countries of the SouthEast Asia Region, which presents challenges for enforcement of food safety regulations. As a result, instances of food adulteration and contamination can occur. Traditionally, societal preferences call for hot and wellcooked food, and even milk is boiled pasteurized. These habits are partially responsible for preventing foodborne infections. Street food is popular in urban settings in many countries. Hygienic conditions are improving, provided that pole water supply and clean cilities are ensured by municipal authorities. The introduction of bottled drinking water and its popularity in urban areas has contributed to prevent waterborne and diarrhoeal diseases in countries with inconsistent water treatment. Political awareness and consumer education on food safety will help strengthen enforcement of food standards, improve hygienic practices, and prevent foodborne illnesses. The WHO Five keys to safer food serve as the basis for educational programmes to train food handlers and educate the consumers. They are especially important in preventing foodborne illness. The Five keys are as follows.
. What are food safety issues related to seafood and fish?
. What precautions should be taken to ensure food safety while using refrigerator or freezer?
Seafood and fish can become contaminated with pathogens such as Vibrio cholera, Salmonella, E. coli, Shigella, Listeria due to human activity or poor hygiene and sanitation during food production and processing. There have been outbreaks of foodborne illnesses and infections linked to consumption of contaminated fish and seafood. In addition, Methyl mercury is formed by bacterial action in an aquatic environment from dumping of industrial mercury as well as natural sources of elemental mercury. Testing of fish against methyl mercury is demanded by most importing countries. Certain parasite larvae can be present in fish, which is why most fish should be cooked thoroughly.
Raw meat, poultry, and seafood should be in sealed containers or wrapped securely to prevent raw juices from contaminating other foods.
Thoroughly cook all meat, poultry and seafood, especially shellfish.
Foods and the ingredients in food products are increasingly grown, processed and consumed in different locations around the globe. This globalization poses new challenges in the conduct of key activities associated with food recalls, such as the traceforward and traceback activities required for a food suspected or confirmed to be unsafe. The FAO/WHO International Food Safety Authorities Network INFOSAN coordinates communication regarding contaminated food which has been internationally distributed to allow for food recalls in importing countries. Such alerts are communicated to national INFOSAN Emergency Contact Points in each country for their attention and action as required.
. What of water is suile for food preparation?
Do not mix raw meat, fish and raw vegeles.
. What is being done to reduce exposure to pesticides?
In , Swedish studies revealed that high levels of acrylamide formed during the frying or baking of potato or cereal products. Studies in laboratory animals suggest acrylamide has a carcinogenic potency in rats that is similar to that of other carcinogens in food, but the intake levels for acrylamide are likely to be higher. A joint FAO/WHO consultation on health implications of acrylamide in foods held in recognized the presence of acrylamide in food as a major concern in humans, given its ability to induce cancers and herile mutations in laboratory animals.
In microbiological terms, there are basically two methods of traditional food preservation;
Definitely long storage will change the quality of the food before the safety is affected. Temperatures over C for an extended time will speed loss of quality. Cans that are rusted or badly dented should be thrown away, no matter their age. Cans and jars with bulging sides or tops should also be thrown away; do not eat any of the food as it may be contaminated with botulinum toxin which can be tal if consumed. Unopened jars or bottles with visible bubbles or disation should also be thrown away.
. How can we reduce the migration of chemicals from plastic into food?
. How safe is organic or locally produced food?
Use vinegar solutions One cup vinegar per gallon of water to wash the interior walls of the refrigerator or freezer.
. What is the Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Point system HAP and how does HAP work in food production?
Follow manucturers instructions when using household plastics such as cling films and bags.
The refrigerator or freezer must be empty and unplugged when cleaning.
It is estimated that more than million people worldwide suffer food allergies.
Smoke pointThe temperature at which the breakdown products of t become visible as smoke.
. How to know if meat or fish is properly cooked?
AdditivesNonnutritive substance added intentionally to food, generally in small quantities to improve appearance, flavour, ure or storage properties. Amounts used in food are usually regulated by law.
Carbon monoxide treatment of fish is used where the red colour is an important quality attribute. As a change in colour is used by consumers as a primary assessment of quality, carbon monoxide treatment has the potential to make inferior quality fish appear aesthetically more pleasing to consumers. Therefore, the treatment of fish with carbon monoxide gas is not permitted in Singapore, Canada, the EU and Japan. The use of carbon monoxide to treat fish is undertaken in some Asian countries.
Food should not be cooked excessively, i.e. for too long or at too high a temperature. However, all food, particularly meat and meat products, should be cooked thoroughly to destroy foodborne pathogens.
Once a week, make it a habit to throw out perishable foods that should no longer be eaten.
Majority of tal mushroom poisoning occurs due to ingestion of Amanita Phalloides the death cap, due to its high content of Amatoxin a potent cytotoxin. One mushroom contains enough poison to kill an adult. Cooking or peeling does not inactivate the toxin, and all parts are poisonous. Onset of symptoms occurs hours or more after ingestion of mushrooms. Fatal poisoning is usually associated with delayed onset of symptoms which are very severe, with toxic effect on liver, kidney and nervous system. For absolute safety avoid any wild mushrooms, unless definitely identified as nonpoisonous.
Acrylamide is a chemical which is found in certain foods that have been cooked and processed at high temperatures, and the levels of acrylamide increase with the time of heating. Of the limited range and number of foods analysed to date, acrylamide levels are highest in potato and cerealbased products subjected to heat processing such as frying, grilling or baking. However, the mechanisms of formation of acrylamide in food are poorly understood.
Bacteria and fungi may grow inside the refrigerator if dryness and cleanliness are not maintained. Spoilage bacteria are a major concern as they cause foods to deteriorate and develop unpleasant odors, tastes, and ures. Spoilage bacteria can grow at low temperatures and eventually they cause food to develop off or bad tastes and smells, compromising quality and wholesomeness of food. Pathogenic bacteria do not generally affect the taste, smell, or appearance of a food, but there is a chance of crosscontamination if raw and cooked foods are kept together. Some pathogenic bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes thrive at cold temperatures and, if present, will multiply in the refrigerator over time and could cause illness.
. What can be done in the kitchen to reduce dietary intake of pesticides?
. Why milk or juice produced in a tetra pack can be kept without refrigeration?
High density polyethylene HDPE is used to make milk, water, and juice bottles, yogurt and margarine tubs and grocery, trash, and retail bags. Highdensity polyethylene is stiff and strong but is not heat sle i.e. it melts at a relatively low temperature. Not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones and it can be recycled.
. What is food contamination and what may be potential causes of contamination?
The information available on acrylamide so r reinforces general advice on healthy eating. Bread should be toasted to the lightest colour acceple.
Keep the door closed as much as possible to maintain internal temperature safe. Food within be safe as long as power is out no more than hours without opening the doors. Discard any perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers that has been above C for over hours. Always discard any items in the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices.
Remove outer leaves of leafy vegeles, such as cauliflower, cabbage.
. How to get rid of strong food odors inside refrigerator due to food spoilage?
. What precautions should be taken while using microwave oven?
It is always a good idea to rotate canned or packaged foods, and to put dates on packages so that one can know how old the items are.
The milk, fruit juice or cream is pasteurized at a higher temperature C., but for a shorter time which is known as ultrahigh temperature UHT food processing. The UHT milk or juice passes through heating and cooling stages in quick succession, then, is immediately put into a sterile Tetra pack shelfsafe carton. The end result is a product that lasts up to six months without refrigeration or preservatives. Tetra pack products are sterile and safe to consume until theyre opened. After opening it should be stored in the refrigerator. These products are labelled as ultrapasteurized.
Cut the meat open with a clean knife to check it is piping hot all the way through it should be steaming.
Take out all removable parts and wash with mild soap and water.
FortificationAddition of one or more nutrients to a food to make it richer than the unprocessed food, e.g. Vitamin C added to fruit juice.
Foodborne and waterborne diarrhoeal diseases kill an estimated million people worldwide annually, including many children.
If odor persists, let set two to three days, changing vinegar every eight hours.
Some examples of artificial colourants are as follows;
Make sure there is no pink meat left. Meat changes colour when it is cooked.
Most of natural toxins found in fish are produced by species of naturally occurring marine algae. They accumulate in fish when they feed on the algae or on other fish that have fed on the algae. Ciguatera fish poisoning is characterized by numbness and tingling of the lips and tongue, vomiting, diarrhea and is associated with consumption of toxincontaminated subtropical and tropical reef fish. Unfortunately these toxins are not destroyed by normal cooking or processing.
Stir, rotate, or turn food upside down where possible midway through the microwaving time to even the cooking and eliminate cold spots where harmful bacteria can survive. Even if the microwave oven has a turnle, it is still helpful to stir and turn food top to bottom.
When certain diseasecausing bacteria or pathogens contaminate food, they can cause foodborne illness, often called food poisoning. Foods that are contaminated may not look, taste or smell any different from foods that are safe to eat. Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria and Escherichia coli E. coli are common bacteria causing foodborne illness. Some foodborne illnesses are mild where most people get better within a few days, but illness can sometimes be more severe, even deadly. Bacillus cereus can form heat resistant spores and a heat resistant toxin in cooked rice left at room temperature. Reheating or lightly cooking the food will not destroy this toxin.
Water is essential in food preparation. It is used to wash food before cooking, it is used to act as a cooking medium, it is used to clean containers of food before and after preparation and it is also used as the most important beverage. Therefore, it is important that all water meant for drinking and cooking purposes should be free from pathogenic bacteria. Water free from pathogenic bacteria and palale is known as pole water. Water used for ice must also be pole. The ice may be used to cool foods or added to cold drinks. It is important to ensure that the ice for cold food storage or for drinks be made from pole water.
A food recall is defined as an action taken to remove foods which may pose a safety risk from the sale, distribution or consumption to consumers. In other words, it is the action to remove food from the market at any stage of the food chain, including that possessed by consumers. The term withdrawal is used widely in relation to food recall. Food recall is a fundamental tool in the management of risks in response to food safety events and emergencies.
Food safety refers to limiting the presence of those hazards whether chronic or acute, that may make food injurious to the health of the consumer. Food safety is about producing, handling, storing and preparing food in such a way as to prevent infection and contamination in the food production chain, and to help ensure that food quality and wholesomeness are maintained to promote good health.
Food fortification has been defined as the addition of one or more essential nutrients to a food, whether or not it is normally contained in the food, for the purpose of preventing or correcting a demonstrated deficiency of one or more nutrients in the population or specific population groups. Food fortification has the advantage of being able to deliver nutrients to large segments of the population without requiring radical changes in food consumption patterns.
It is widely known that pesticides / insecticides and herbicides / fungicides are used for pest and weed / spoilage control. These agrochemicals are available over the counter; rmers may use them without proper understanding or supervision. These chemicals can be hazardous, and there is always a chance of contamination of agriculture produce with residues of these chemicals. Considering the possible health hazard of dietary intake of residues of these chemicals, the Joint FAO/WHO Meetings on Pesticide Residues provides independent scientific expert advice on pesticide residues, residual limits and the acceple maximum dietary intake ADI and maximum residual limit MRL on the basis of evidencebased information and risk assessment.
. What kinds of toxin are present in wild mushrooms and what precautions should be taken?
It has been found that formalin solution has been used by some fish handlers for preservation which may give a special smell; the use of formalin to preserve food is illegal because it is a potent poison, and fish preserved with formalin is not fit for consumption.
Fever and/or the presence of blood or mucus in the stool are signs of bacterial infection that may require a medical consultation.
Food additives are substances not normally consumed as a food by itself and are not normally used as a typical ingredient of the food, whether or not it has nutritive value. In many cases, the intentional addition certain additives to food is for a technological purpose including organoleptic in the manucturing process, and may be added during the preparation, treatment, packing, packaging, transport or holding of such food. The term does not include contaminants, or substances added to food for maintaining or improving nutritional qualities, or sodium chloride. Adequate information shall be given about the manner in which the food additive is to be kept and is to be used in food.
Dont open refrigerator/freezer doors more often than necessary, as temperatures rise when the refrigerator doors open. Close doors as soon as possible to save energy and keep safe temperatures.
Only use cookware that is specially manuctured for use in the microwave oven. Only use products that have been clearly labelled as safe to use in a microwave, whether made from glass or ceramic pottery. Many plastics are not safe in microwaves, where they can melt, form cracks that can cause food leakage, or dissolve, so be extra careful. Most metals, including metal paints on ceramics or glass, are usually not safe either because of the increased risk for sparks and fire.
The underlying principle of all preservation techniques, whether carried out in the home or commercially, is to restrict food spoilage so that food can be used safely in a palale form at a later time. Food preservation should inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms and arrest the biochemical breakdown of tissues and the transformation of its cell contents. This is achieved by heat, cold, drying, fermentation, radiation and chemicals. The use of ice or snow to preserve foods was known to early man. Fermentation of agricultural produce also was known from early times and it is still practised for preservation of vegeles such as kimchi, sinki, gundruk and pickles. Other popular domestic methods used for food preservation were smoking, drying and salting. Smoking of meat and fish for preservation and flavouring is an old practice.
Careful sampling of the food is necessary for sensory evaluation. It is not always possible to detect with sensory methods alone the contamination of food by pesticides, veterinary drug residues and adulteration. Objective evaluation is done which includes chemical, physiochemical, microbial and physical methods of analysis. Chemical methods include the determination of nutritive value of foods before and after cooking, and to detect the products of decomposition and adulterants in foods. The most widely employed objective evaluation is the measurement of physical properties by the use of instruments. Measurements of the appearance and volume of foods are also important.
ContaminantAny substance not intentionally added to food, which is present in such food as a result of the production including operations carried out in crop husbandry, animal husbandry and veterinary medicine, manucture, processing, preparation, treatment, packing, packaging, transport or holding of such food or as a result of environmental contamination.
. What is food labelling and why it is important?
. What precautions should be taken while buying vegeles and fruits?
Use the correct of plastic for the role, e.g. only use microwavesafe plastics in the microwave.
. What kinds of chemicals are commonly used as colourants or preservatives in fish and what are the associated health risks?
Prepackaged food must be properly labelled for legal, technical and administrative reasons. Food labelling is any written, printed or graphic matter that is present on the label, accompanies the food, or is ed near the food, including that for the purpose of promoting its sale or disposal. Prepackaged food shall not be described or presented on any label or in any labelling in a manner that is lse, misleading or deceptive. The following information should appear on the label of prepackaged foods as applicable to the food being labelled which could be different in each country depending on their national food control system and the existing legislation;
. What can I do to protect myself from foodborne illness?
Ensuring food safety starts with production, at the rm level. In this regard, misuse of agrochemicals, including pesticides, growth hormones and veterinary drugs may have harmful effects on human health. The microbial and chemical risks could be introduced at the rmlevel e.g. using water contaminated by industrial waste or poultry rm waste for irrigation of crops. Good agricultural practices should be applied to reduce microbial and chemical hazards. Organic rming without the use of pesticides has been promoted in many countries of the SouthEast Asia Region, as there is a significant segment of healthconscious people. particularly in urban settings. Although organic products are expensive as compared to commonly available food items, there is a tendency among health conscious consumers to eat less, but buy organic foods.
Pasteurizationthe process of killing harmful organisms in a food product by heating at controlled temperatures below C, commonly applied to milk.
Organic and locally produced foods may have environmental benefits such as using less pesticides or fertilizers. These foods, like others, can be exposed to harmful bacteria during the growing and harvesting process. It is important for rmers and distributors to use good sanitary practices to minimize food contamination. Consumers should always prepare and cook food properly, no matter where it is from.
Lowdensity polyethylene LDPE is used to make films of various sorts, some bread and frozen food bags and squeezable bottles. Lowdensity polyethylene is relatively transparent. Many of the films are not heat sle either and may melt to the food if touching.
toxicological assessment of the pesticide and its residue
. What are acceple daily intake ADI and maximum residual limit MRL?
Some examples of food adulteration are as follows;
Crosscontamination is the transfer of harmful microorganisms from one item of food to another via a nonfood suce such as human hands, equipment, or utensils. It may also be a direct transfer from a raw to a cooked food item. Contaminated water may be potential source of food contamination.
. What are clinical symptoms of foodborne illness?
Quality includes positive and negative attributes that influence a products value to the consumer. Positive attributes that demonstrate good quality may be the origin, colour, flavour, ure and processing method of the food, while negative attributes may be visible spoilage, contamination with filth, discolouration, or bad odours or tastes. However not all unsafe foods may demonstrate bad quality, that is, unsafe food may appear to be of good quality, such as tainted meat disguised using bleach or strong spices. This distinction between safety and quality has implications for public policy and influences the nature and content of the food control system most suited to meet predetermined national objectives.
More information on safe food handling can be obtained from following websites;
It is important to cook all meat properly to kill the bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. Temperature and cooking times will vary depending on the of cut of meat and the method of cooking.
. What is food preservation and which are common methods of preservation?
AdulterationThe process by which the quality or the nature of a given substance is reduced through i the addition of a foreign or an inferior substance, and ii the removal of vital element. Adulteration of food may endanger health if the physiological functions of the consumer are affected.
Thoroughly rinse and scrub fruits and vegeles. Peel them if appropriate.
In addition, polystyrene PS and polyvinyl chloride PVC are also used during food material transportation and handling in supermarkets. Modern food safe plastic bags are plasticizerfree and will not release harmful chemicals into your food while it is being cooked.
Thoroughly wash raw fruits and vegeles with tap water.
FermentationBreakdown of compounds without the use of oxygen, e.g. breakdown of sugar by yeast to form alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Naturally occurring cyanogenic glycosides are found in raw or unprocessed cassava Manihot esculenta, which can cause nerve damage or death if consumed in quantity. To avoid exposure to these toxins, Cassava should be properly prepared before eating. Peel and slice the cassava and then cook it thoroughly, either by baking, boiling or roasting.
Withholding periodthe time interval after the withdrawal of a drug from the treatment of an animal before the animal or its products can be used for human food.
Food contaminants are any substances not intentionally added to food, which are present in such food as a result of the production including operations carried out in crop rming, animal husbandry and aquaculture, manucture, processing, preparation, treatment, packing, packaging, transport or holding of such food or as a result of environmental contamination. Food contamination refers to the presence of harmful chemicals or microorganisms in food, which can cause several debilitating illnesses if consumed. The unintentional contamination may occur during production, processing, storage and marketing. Edible oil may be contaminated during processing due to leakage of mineral oil in production line.
. How many times may cooking oil can be reused for frying and what is the health hazard of reuse of cooked oil?
Some foods contain toxins in their raw form that are made less toxic once cooked. Red kidney beans can contain high dose of lectin which is toxic when consumed in raw form. As few as four or five raw beans can cause severe stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhoea. Therefore red beans must be well cooked or boiled briskly in fresh water for at least minutes to destroy toxins. Similarly, the castor bean lectin ricin is notorious for causing deaths of children when consumed in raw state.
. How is the food recall system supported internationally?
review of residue data from supervised trials and supervised uses including those reflecting national food agricultural practices. Data from supervised trials conducted at the highest nationally recommended, authorized, or registered uses are included in the review. In order to accommodate variations in national pest control requirements,
Solanine, a glycoalkaloid found in high greatest concentration in budding or green areas of the potato, is acutely toxic to humans. Glycoalkaloids are not destroyed by cooking, so it is important to avoid eating the sprouts and to remove any green or damaged parts before cooking. Cucumber may occasionally contain a group of natural toxins known as cucurbitacins. These toxins give cucumber a bitter taste.
. What is pasteurization and how long we can keep pasteurized milk?
Polypropylene PP is more heat resistant, harder, denser and more transparent than polyethylene so is used for heatresistant microwavable packaging and sauce or salad dressing bottles.
Plastic packaging plays a significant role in the shelf life and ease of storage and cooking for many foods and most are safe to use provided that they are used appropriately. Some kinds of plastics materials which are widely used for handling and storage of food and water are as follows
Fill a large shallow container with vinegar. Set in refrigerator or freezer several hours.
ADI and MRLs are also determined for veterinary drug residues and antimicrobial substances as these chemicals are used for growth promotion and animal disease prevention and control.
Clean the vessel in which cooking is performed between uses.
Removal of microorganisms and enzymes in which most of the microorganisms present in the food are killed and enzymes are inactivated, e.g. in canning, cooking, irradiation, blanching etc. Heating food to high temperatures help preserve them through coagulation of proteins, inactivation of their meolic enzymes and destruction of microorganisms. Hight foods do not store well in the frozen state. Oily fish are the most suile for canning. Canning retains the natural flavour of the fish. Botulinum spores are not always killed by the high heat of the canning process, but the poison that these bacteria make does not occur in acidic conditions. Therefore, canning or pickling of vegeles or meat in airtight containers where possible should contain enough acid to prevent toxin formation. Cans that appear to have swelled or bulged, or unopened jars with pressure pop up centres that have popped up should not be consumed and should be thrown away.
Microwaves cause water, t, and sugar molecules to vibrate . million times per second, producing heat. After the oven is off or food is removed from the oven, the molecules continue to generate heat as they come to a standstill. This additional cooking after microwaving stops is called carryover cooking time, resting time, or standing time. It occurs for a longer time in dense foods such as a whole chicken roast than in lessdense foods like breads, small vegeles and fruits. During this time, the temperature of a food can increase several degrees. Additionally, microwave heating is often uneven with focal spots of intense heat may be near areas of cool especially if originally frozen, so standing time allows for more even heat dispersion. For that reason, directions usually advise to let a food rest for a few minutes after turning off the oven or removing food from the oven.
Keep clean hands, kitchen and chopping board all the time.
. What are the ways to reduce human exposure to dioxin?
Proper food handling can prevent most foodborne illness and diseases. Follow WHOs five keys to safer food;
Checking the best before and useby date labels on foods is one of the first things consumers should do before buying. It is important in countries of the SouthEast Asia Region where food safety law enforcement is weak and consumers understanding of food safety issues is limited. It is a common practice for super markets to reduce prices of food items that will soon reach their usebydate so special attention should be paid before purchasing such items to avoid purchasing food that may not be consumed before the expiration date.
. What kind of microbes grow inside refrigerator and how to prevent microbial growth?
. Why should I keep raw food separate from cooked food?
HAP, or the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system, is a process control system that identifies where hazards might occur in the food production process and puts into place stringent actions to prevent the hazards from occurring. By strictly monitoring and controlling each step of the process, there is less chance for hazards to occur. HAP is an integral part of modern food industry used to identify and control major food risks, such as microbiological, chemical and physical contaminants. Consumers can implement HAPlike practices in the home by following proper storage, handling, cooking and cleaning procedures. The introduction of preventive approaches such as HAP, have resulted in industry taking greater responsibility for and control of food safety risks. Such an integrated approach cilitates improved consumer protection, effectively stimulates agriculture and the food processing industry, and promotes domestic and international food trade.
The rapidly changing lifes and increasing reliance on more highly processed foods has been used to justify the addition of nutrients to an expanding range of foods in order to ensure nutritional adequacy of the diet. Fortification of food with micronutrients is a valid technology for reducing micronutrient malnutrition as part of a foodbased approach when and where existing food supplies and limited access il to provide adequate levels of the respective nutrients in the diet. Food technology has been developed for fortification of vitamins and micronutrients in cereals and cereal based products, milk and milk products, ts and oils.Food Safety What you shoulhealth and safety organizationd know