Food Safety Level 2 (VTQ)

58 videos, 3 hours and 2 minutes

Course Content

Example of indirect cross contamination

Video 22 of 58
4 min 3 sec
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Now we are going to have a little example on the problems with cross contamination and how easy it is for you to spread a potential infection or pathogen across to somebody else.

What I have done here is I have just handled a product with some ultraviolet dye on, so it would be just like you working in a kitchen, maybe, or maybe you have just been working in cleaning chemicals and there is something on you. So here it is not massively dirty, but what we have got is some dirt on my hands. What I am going to do is to go away, I am going to wash my hands, just as often as you would, because often when people wash their hands, they just literally just rub them over. They do not wash them thoroughly.

Now, there are other videos where you can see how to wash your hands correctly, but the idea here is because this is an ultraviolet agent, you will be able to hold the light up, you will see the areas where just normal hand washing just does not clean. What we then can do is see how easy it is to then cross-contaminate something, even once you have washed your hands.

If we just look at how contaminated my hands are, take in the UV light, if we just run it down, you will see where the contaminant is, it starts to glow. So you can see within the cracks of my fingers, within my fingerprints, it is there, if you turn my hand over you can see it going up my wrist, there is some specks of dust there, in between the fingers as well and the fingernails. This can be more of a problem with maybe if you are wearing a watch, when you are wearing a watch, you can maybe get the dirt underneath it, which is why you should take your watches and jewellery off.

So there is quite a lot of contaminant on there. So now when we wash the hands, we will see how much of that we actually remove. So I have now washed my hands. I have just done a normal wash, dried them with a hot air dryer and I also wiped them with a towel, even. So what we have got here, if you look at my hands now, they look clean. There is no powder on them, so that they are nice and clean, but when we take the UV light and then we bring the UV light down over the hand, you can see it is starting to make it glow.

You see how much is still on the backs of my fingers, in between my fingers and particularly around the nail beds. When we looked before we saw it coming up my thumb and what has happened is whereas it was just a few dots before, that has now expanded into quite a lot, because the actual contaminant has been spread over my hand. Looking at the palm of my hand, you can see how much of that is still there.

And this was just a normal hand wash that you would do, not just a very, a weak one, just a fairly good hand wash, but it is because it has not been done correctly. So does that really matter? Well, yes, it does matter. Now, you approach someone, you think this person is clean. If I am going to be touching some food or I am touching somebody else, then I can potentially infect them. Example can be telephones. So hands now looks clean, pick up the telephone, put the telephone down. You cannot see anything on it. If we then take the UV light over it, as we bring it down, you will start to see and you can see where my hand has been, you will see that starting to glow.

Just me picking that up once, this was completely clean before and now we have got a lot of the contaminant on it. So what would then happen if we got somebody else to then pick this up, they would then get that onto their hands. So they pick up the telephone, put the telephone down and then maybe they then put their hands to their mouths, touch a cut, eat, things like this, then the risk of getting this cross-contamination is very, very great.

Now, this is just an example using UV, but this is a real problem. You have got to make sure you keep your hands clean. You have got to make sure if you are in a kitchen environment, you have to keep them clean between touching the likes of fresh meats to cheese or any other group and wash your hands correctly. If you are working in other environments, you need to make sure that your hands are completely clean and you wash them correctly.

Need more advice? Watch the video on how to clean your hands, but you need to spend some time doing it. It takes at least two or three minutes to properly wash your hands.

Learning Outcomes:
  • IPOSi Unit one LO2.1, 2.2 & 2.3