Food hygiene is a habit which needs to be cultivated from young. From the day we were born, our mother has already taken into consideration the importance of food hygiene. They clean their nipples before breastfeeding us, because that is when we are in our most vulnerable state. Good habits are essential to us because they determine our health for the rest of our years to come.
Food is an important source for survival. However, without food hygiene, food can also kill us. Meat is one very example of how important food hygiene is. Raw meat is edible, but not recommended for everyday consumption. Meat is a carrier of several types of bacteria, and needs to be cooked in order for the germs to die. In that way, it is safer for human consumption. Raw seafood like oysters and clams are a favourite among many in most countries. What people do not know is the fact that they carry even more bacteria than raw meat such as rare steaks! That is why in some countries, the rate of Hepatitis B cases is increasing.
The other way of interpreting food hygiene, is the process of handling food that is to be served. Have you ever wondered why chefs have to wear a toque? It not only helps to cool the chef as the kitchen is hot, but it also prevents hair from falling into the food. This helps to keep the hygiene level up for the food.
The Japanese are one of the more hygienic people when it comes to preparing food. Chefs are known to wear mouth mask to prevent saliva from spitting into the food as well. This is important as saliva can transmit diseases as well. Even though they eat Sushi (raw fish with rice), they remain one of the healthiest peoples because of the way they handle food!
Food hygiene, as seen from the various examples, is very important because what we eat determines our health now and in the future. It all boils down to the saying ‘Health is Wealth’. To prevent any illness in the future, we can start from food hygiene. I live in a country where food hygiene is not considered a big issue. The food sellers often talk as they are preparing the food. This results in ‘extra ingredients’ being added to our food. Even though it is not a general issue here, home cooked meals usually are healthier and safer to eat. Our parents take much care and consideration when preparing meals at home.
Now, do you know the importance of food hygiene? Eat wisely and the benefits of doing so will be much greater than expected. Let us all be more aware of food hygiene and live longer!