Food Contamination.. What is it?

Contamination of food is the transference of any objectionable, harmful substance or material to food.

There are four types of contamination

Microbiological Contamination

food contamination microbiologicalCaused by bacteria, toxins, moulds, viruses (micro-organisms) or parasites.

Control methods include-

  • High standards of personal hygiene e.g thorough & regular handwashing
  • On-going staff training, knowledge and enforcement of policies & procedures

Chemical Contamination

food contamination chemicalfrom pesticides, residues from cleaning chemicals, veterinary drugs, perfume, scented soap and machine oils.

Control methods include –

  • Safe and correct storage of chemicals
  • On-going staff training, knowledge and enforcement of policies & procedures
  • Suitable protective clothing and equipment – colour coded

Physical Contamination

food contamination physicalfrom foreign bodies, including insects e.g packaging materials, machinery and equipment, glass, plastic, string. Rodents hair and droppings.

Control methods include-

  • Pest control policy, procedure and enforcement
  • Metal detectors
  • Start/end production checks

Allergenic Contamination

food contamination allergenicThe main cause of this is cross contamination from allergenic to non-allergenic products.

Control methods include-

  • All food handlers should be trained in allergen awareness and the effects of ingesting allergens by the consumer
  • Dedicated areas, colour coded equipment for allergen production only
  • Thorough and effective cleaning procedures that are regular monitored and corrected.

All risks of potential food contamination are assessed as part of the Hazard Analysis Process, having control measures such as chemical, metal, glass and brittle plastic, wood and Allergens in place is fundamental to prevention

If you need any assistance in the understanding or implementation of your policies and procedures, please contact us on 01434611568 or