How to Combat Cross-Contamination of Food in Your Food Truck

Cross-contamination can cause harmful contaminants can spread to your food and throughout your food truck. Cross-contamination is the transfer of harmful bacteria, parasites, or viruses to food from other foods, cutting boards, utensils, and so on that aren’t handled properly. Improper handling of raw meat, poultry, and seafood can create an inviting environment for cross-contamination.

When handling food, follow these simple but important guidelines to prevent cross-contamination and reduce the risk of food-borne illness:

  • Always wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food (see the following section for tips).

  • Start with a clean slate before you prep and cook. Wash cutting boards, dishes, countertops, and utensils with hot water and soap.

  • Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.

  • Replace cutting boards when they become excessively worn or develop hard-to-clean grooves.

  • Never place cooked food back on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs.

  • Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from other foods in your grocery shopping cart and shopping bags, and in your refrigerator.

  • To prevent juices from raw meat, poultry, or seafood from dripping onto other foods in the refrigerator, place these raw foods in sealed containers or plastic bags on the bottom shelf of the fridge.

  • Don’t use sauce that was used to marinate raw meat, poultry, or seafood on cooked food unless you boil it first.

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