8.4.2  Chemical contamination of food

Attention also needs to be given to possible chemical contamination of food. Food can be contaminated through the misuse or mistaken handling of chemicals, including pesticides, bleach and other cleaning materials. All chemicals (detergent, disinfectant, sanitiser) used in the food preparation area should be removed before food preparation begins, to prevent any chemical contamination of the food.

Other possible sources of chemical contamination are:

  • reusing containers which have been used for chemicals (Figure 8.7)
  • using chemical sprays (e.g. to kill cockroaches) in areas where food is exposed
  • accidentally adding chemicals which have a texture similar to table salt or sugar during food preparation; they should always be stored separately.
Insecticide can used as salt scoop
Figure 8.7  The can that is being used to scoop salt from this sack has previously been used for insecticide. (Photo: Pam Furniss)

8.4.1  Microbial food contamination

8.4.3  Physical contamination of food