Hygiene is the science of rules of healthy living. Food hygiene is very important for healthy living because most of the diseases and disease producing germs are transmitted through food. The food may be contaminated at any stage during its journey from the producer to the consumer. It is contaminated during handling, distribution and serving. Hence hygiene refers to hygiene in the production, handling, distribution and serving of all foods. Each and every item of the food should be maintained under hygiene condition. Thus there are milk hygiene, meat hygiene, fish hygiene, fruit hygiene, vegetable hygiene, personal hygiene, etc.
Milk is a suitable medium for most of the disease producing germs. Hence it is an efficient vehicle for many disease producing germs. It is contaminated by three main agents. They are:
The dairy animal. The human. The environment comprising contaminated vessels, polluted water, flies, dust, etc. The important diseases which are transmitted through milk are as follows:
Typhoid and paratyphoid fevers. Tuberculosis. Diptheria. Salmonellosis and streptococcal infections.
The milk hygiene is maintained by the following methods:
The dairy animal should be maintained clean and healthy. The udder should be washed and cleaned before and after milking. The dairy house should be sanitary. The vessels must be sterile and kept closed. Water used must be free from bacteria. Milkers must be free from contagious diseases. Milkers must wash their hands properly before milking. Milk should be stored at 50°F after milking. This will prevent bacterial growth.
Meat includes a variety of edible animal tissues. The common diseases transmitted through meat are tape worm infestations and bacterial infections. Meat Hygiene is maintained by 1. Meat inspection and 2. Hygiene slaughter houses.
1. Meat Inspection:
The slaughtering animals should be subjected to proper antemortem and postmortem inspection. The unhealthy infected and pregnant animals should be eliminated.
The places where edible animals are killed are called slaughter houses. The hygiene of slaughter houses is very important to prevent contamination of meat. The slaughter house should satisfy the following conditions:
1. It should be located away from residential places. 2. Floors and walls should be easy to clean. 3. Provision for antemortem and postmortem inspection. 4. Provision for adequate and continuous water supply. 5. Other animals should not be allowed. 6. Meat should be stored in fly-proof and rat-proof rooms.
Fish loses its freshness or deteriorates because of autolysis after death. The deterioration of fish is due to the infection of bacteria. The stale fish should be condemned. The signs of good fish are:
1. Stiffness or rigor mortis. 2. Gills are bright red and 3. The eyes are clear and prominent.
Hygiene of Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables should be properly washed before they are used.
1.The food handlers should be thoroughly examined medically and physically at the time of appointment.2. Hands should be properly washed and cleaned before handling food. 3. Finger nails should be trimmed and free from diet. 4. Head coverings should be provided, especially in the case of women to prevent loose hairs entrance into foodstuffs. 5. Coughing and sneezing should be avoided near the food. 6. Licking the fingers before picking up a food is prevented. 7. Smoking is avoided.