Food hygiene is important when keeping your kitchen clean. Food spoilage occurs when certain foods deteriorate. This happens when the food comes into contact with certain micro-organisms called molds, yeasts and bacteria. These organisms cause food to decompose. The food then putrefies and turns sour. In the end the food discolors, smells or becomes slimy. In order to keep food in good edible condition you must know what the causes are that makes them spoil.
Typical Causes of Food Spoilage
Molds – Have you ever noticed a slight green fur on your foods? This green fur, that can be also white or grey, are plants that grow on sweet foods like citrus fruits, meat and cheese. Molds grow in favorable warm, moist and dark areas. Left unchecked, the molds would destroy the food. However, correct food hygiene measures dictate that mold can be prevented if the foods with high chance of going moldy is stored in a cold dry place. Molds are unable to grow in conditions where oxygen is limited.
Yeasts – This is a single cell plant or organism that is larger than most bacteria which grows on food. The single cell reproduces by dividing itself into two separate organisms. Yeas has the ability to breakdown carbs and cause fermentation. To detect the presence of yeast food spoilage would present itself in the taste or smell of the foods.
Bacteria – Did you know that there are three kinds of bacteria, helpful and harmful. Helpful bacteria can degrade organic compounds, live in the guts of humans which help break down foods consumed and can assist with the absorption of nitrogen by plants. Another term would be useful bacteria. These bacteria are used in the production of beer, pickles, cheese, yoghurt and breads. Harmful bacteria are the ones that cause food poisonings or other food borne illnesses. these are carried by hands, cuts, sores, burns, sneezes, unclean food equipment and utensils.
Food Hygiene – preventing Salmonella
This bacteria effects poultry, meat, eggs, raw foods, shellfish or fish from contaminated waters. Prevent salmonella by preventing cross contamination of poultry, meats with produce, wash hands, countertops, knives and utensils before and after use.