Food Safety

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University of Otago Union food display


  • To maintain effective personal hygiene when working with food as per establishment requirements;
  • To prevent cross contamination in a food business;
  • Be able to measure, record, and act on temperature of high risk food.


In a food business it is really important, as you know, to provide food which is safe to eat. As a food handler this is your responsibility. Imagine what would happen to a business if all the customers got sick after eating the food, or found things in their food which shouldn't be there? Some things can be easily seen such as a fly floating in the soup, dirt on the lettuce or a hair in a sandwich, but other contaminants such as bacteria are difficult to see. If you want to have happy customers who return again and again to your establishment, there are some simple rules which must be followed to maintain food safety.

Burger Eating.jpg

There are a number of website resources available for you to look at about this topic. For example, some short video clips on hand washing. Most of the information has been provided in a hard-copy hand book. There is also a link here to a glossary of terms you will come across in your study about food safety.

There are three key principles you must adhere to when handling food:

  1. Maintain food hygiene
  2. Prevent cross contamination
  3. Monitor temperature of high risk food.

Well Groomed Waiter changed.jpg

Hygiene means clean. Contamination means dirty. There are some simple rules you can follow to keep everything clean and safe. Good grooming is part of this. If you look good you look clean. Keeping the kitchen clean takes hard work.

University of Otago Union kitchen        Image courtesy of BrianTreanor sampled CC BY :images


There is a glossary of terms and a page of learning resources - websites and video clips available.

Glossary of terms


Learning Support

The following services are available for offering learning and assessment for this course:

  • Otago Polytechnic offers learning support and assessment services through their Community Learning Centres.

Acknowledgements: Many thanks to the University of Otago Student Union cafe for allowing photographs to be taken in their kitchen for this project.