Cross-contamination

Cross contamination is one of the most common causes of food poisoning. It happens when harmful germs are spread onto food from other food, surfaces, hands or equipment.

Germs love to travel. Stop them!

It's very important to prepare food safely, to help stop harmful germs from spreading and growing.

To help stop bacteria from spreading, remember these things:

  • Don't let raw meat, poultry or unwashed raw vegetables touch other foods.
  • Never prepare ready-to-eat food using a chopping board, utensil or knife that you have used to prepare raw meat, poultry or unwashed raw vegetables unless they have been washed and disinfected thoroughly first.
  • Clean worktops and utensils with hot water and detergent and remember to disinfect those surfaces that have come in contact with raw meat, poultry and unwashed raw vegetables. You can disinfect equipment and utensils using boiling water, a chemical such as an antibacterial leaner or in a dishwasher.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after touching raw meat, poultry and unwashed raw vegetables, and before you touch anything else.
  • Always cover raw meat and store it on the bottom shelf of the fridge where it can't touch or drip onto other foods.
  • Root vegetables such as potatoes, leeks and carrots often have traces of soil on them which can contain harmful bacteria, so wash them thoroughly before use. Don't forget to wash other fruit and vegetables too, especially if they are going to be eaten raw.
  • Keep dishcloths clean and change them regularly.
  • Avoid preparing food for yourself or others if you are ill, especially with vomiting and/or diarrhoea.