What is food hygiene?

Food hygiene is the practice of following certain rules and procedures to avoid contamination of food. keeping them safe for consumption from a health point of view while maintaining their other properties (color, flavor, texture, etc.).

Each country and jurisprudence has its own legislation on food hygiene along with regulations and recommendations from public health bodies; For example, in Spain it is the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition, under the Ministry of Health and Consumption.

Food hygiene is followed at all stages of the food industry’s production chain, from farmers to clerks. However, the term “food hygiene” is more commonly used to refer to the rules and procedures followed in the food industry during the production, packaging, transport and delivery of products. At the consumer level, for example in domestic kitchens, it is often referred to as ‘food hygiene’.

Not to be confused with food safety. Food security refers to the access and availability of food and its biological use. The main source of confusion comes from the English translation of both concepts: food security s food security.


From the moment a food is produced or harvested until it is consumed, it is exposed to microbiological contamination (bacteria, viruses, fungi) and other substances potentially dangerous to health.

The objective of food hygiene is to keep food safe and clean through a series of rules that must be followed by facilities, handlers and production, storage and transport processes.

These rules cover topics such as storage temperature, machine cleaning methods, staff clothing (gloves, masks, hats), safe cooking temperatures, expiration dates, or raising and feeding livestock.

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Food hygiene in industry

In the food industry, dedicated to the manufacture, production and distribution of food, food hygiene becomes complex. Imagine that a factory worker fails to properly wash his hands after using the toilet and then wraps his salad packets without wearing gloves; consumers of these salads can become sick with fecal bacteria carried on lettuce leaves.

To give another example, if some beef steaks were stored at an inappropriate temperature and were packaged, transported, and sold, restaurant customers who are served with that meat may also get sick even if all the recommendations were followed correctly in the restaurant. of food hygiene.

Being a long chain with many levels, the process becomes complex. Frequent inspections of all businesses that produce or sell food and food products are common to ensure that current food hygiene regulations are being complied with at each level of this chain.

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